66 Following

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Broken Angels
Richard K. Morgan
Progress: 56/468 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 166/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 164/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages

A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick

A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick

This book is so open to pastiche. Chicks, straights, narks and like that could all do one. So I won't bother; there are a bunch of them on Goodreads already.


PKD here writes a Requiem for a Dream decades before that film came out, showing from a convincing internal viewpoint what the disintegration of a mind through drug abuse might be like. Initially amusing, the continuous sequence of ridiculous conversations and bonkers, apparently incomprehensible events soon palls as the plot seems to go nowhere. But stick around! The back half goes typically PKD crazy as it becomes clear to the reader (but not to our hapless protagonist, despite his growing paranoia) that there are machinations afoot. The last quarter then turns both tragic and startling as one discovers what is really going on. This abrupt turn away from the humourous heightens the tragedy (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?) and results in a powerful culmination to the book, which does for the '60s American psychedelic subculture what Trainspotting did for '90s British heroin subculture.