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Book Reviews

Review: A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Blurb:

Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Substance D doesn’t just alter the mind, it splits it in two, and neither side knows what the other is doing or that it even exists. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.


Like a snake eating its own tail, A Scanner Darkly delivers a humorous but paranoid tale of Bob Arctor’s downward spiral through being the prey and the hunter at the same time. Seemingly, no one else besides Arctor falls and because of that, Arctor falls himself into a pit of despair and a classic case of reaping what one sows.

A Scanner Darkly is the second full length book by PkD I’ve read and it worked really well for me, just as expected with paradoxical content that is easy to read, but themes that are muddy to say the least and could be confusing to some readers.

Personally, having watched the film several times ( and it being a favorite ), this was an easy read for me and my familiarity with the story made it just that much better. Like most book to film adaptions, this 300 odd paged book delivers more content than the movie with added scenes and insight into the story PkD writes for us. If I could pick one thing that makes me mad about this story is how the people around Bob Arctor simply let him fall the way he did. However in same sense he became what he wanted to.

If you ever wonder what people act like when under the influence, several scenes in A Scanner Darkly I’m assuming, paint an accurate picture and a humorous one at that. At the back of the book, Dick dedicates the book to his friends that either have died from drug use or suffer permanent, detrimental effects from “playing” in the game and admits to having played himself at times.

Recommendation:

As a distinguished piece of American culture, A Scanner Darkly explores topics surrounding a game of drugs where the hunted and hunter are the same person. The story follows a path of self destruction that should prove a moral of the story consisting of “Drugs are bad. M’kay.” and “You should be number one in your own life”.

Drugs are bad, m’kay

★★★★★ – Five stars out of five for A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick and if you like mind twisting tales, I think you’d agree.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Book Reviews

Dual Review: Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick

I’m excited to announce, in cooperation with Tales From the Neon Beach, I present you with our dual review of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said:

Sneak peak at dual review of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick.

It was a great honor to complete this study with Tales. He was excellent to work with and made the experience that much better seeing this work of art from another side.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Resources

What I’m Reading: Flow My Tears, the Police Man Said by Philip K. Dick

It’s no secret, Colin ( from Tales From the Neon Beach blog ) and I are working on a duel review of Flow My Tears, the Police Man Said by Philip K. Dick and I just got a chance to dig my claws into the story, in which an acclaimed TV star wakes up in a different reality where he is a normal person. Like most other books by Philip K. Dick, it reads easy, but presents complex problems which fits my reading bill just great, at least so far. I won’t go into any more details about the book ( in which it seems like there is a lot of things to talk about ), so be on the look out for that duel review, on Tales from the Neon Beach, coming ( not very ) soon.

“Fear can make you do more wrong than hate or jealousy. If you’re afraid you don’t commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back. You shouldn’t be alone. It’s killing you; it’s undermining you. All the time, every day, you should be somewhere with people.”
― Philip K. Dick, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

I’m also reading 10 Years of Darkness by Kristen Chambers and Viktor H. Strangewayes, in which I started on the eBook, but that won’t last long because I gratefully received a hard copy with a nice, signed note attached, then I will feature this book next week on What I’m Reading, so you may get a good look at it, the formatting, etc.

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

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Resources

Nov. 2020 Book Haul

October is almost over and the horror reading will be winding itself down, here shortly. It was a great month for reading and writing, but it will be a nice change of pace because now I have several cobwebs growing in my brain. I didn’t quite read everything I meant to with Corpsepaint by David Peak and Wytches Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder sadly taking a bench seat on the Halloween 2020 reading list.

Remember, kids. The horror reads you. You don’t read the horror.

But, pay no mind, because November is practically here and we will have a wide variety of things to read. These books listed here are all paperback book haul here in November. Don’t even ask me about my eBook Haul. 🤣

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Resources

Interview with Philip K. Dick (1977)

YouTube.com, being the nosey, creepy one that it is, started playing this video out of the blue, as I was driving down the road yesterday. With my recent interests in his books, I listened. And, I thought it was really interesting.

If you prefer to read the text, instead of the video you can do so @ Scraps From the Loft.

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Creative Methods Memories On Art Resources

On ‘A Scanner Darkly’ by Philip K. Dick

A Scanner Darkly © WARNER BROS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

WARNING: Some elements of this post are NSFW, as also the suggestive themes and premise of this book and movie. The movie is Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and a brief violent image.

S.D. McKinley.com presents a quick dive into the book and film, A Scanner Darkly.

I must not have been as big of a fanatic I thought I was about the story A Scanner Darkly, because I just learned that the movie was first a book by Philip K. Dick.

NSFW Video clip of the movie A Scanner Darkly. I am not the creator of this video.
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Resources

A Collection of Notable Free Audio Books

Enjoy a couple of books from most of the genres that I favor, hopefully that are somewhat foreign to you. I consider some of these highly profound, others I am newly familiar with myself. There is no particular order for significance.

Psychology / Philosophy: