I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick before, to be honest. This here is my first novel by him. And I'm having a hard time thinking about what to write because it's almost like a lot of things I've read about drug users, yet, nothing like I've ever read before. It's no wonder why the movie was made the way it was - any other way wouldn't have done the novel justice.
Before you jump ahead of me, I haven't watched the movie either. I started to, but never came around to completing it. I wasn't ready for another movie made in the same vein as Waking Life.
Another reason I decided on holding off on the film was because I wanted to read the novel first - something I rarely do these days. I picked up a copy, used, at Hastings during the outing where I discovered it was closing. It's one of the last books I purchased from the store and will be very dear to me as will the others.
The back of the book reads as follows:
Cops and criminals have always been interdependent, but no novel has explored that perverse symbiosis more powerfully than A Scanner Darkly. Bob Arctor is a dealer of the leathally addictive drug called Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, he has taken on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D - which Arctor takes in mammoth doses - gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize that he is narcing on himself.
What I expected from that semi-misleading description was a dual personality. Here we have Fred following Bob, never being the wiser. However, Fred, at least at the beginning, knows he's Bob Arctor and vice versa. However, the deeper he gets into Substance D, the more the becomes two individual minds within his own head.
The ending also leads me down a stray path, leaving me wanting more. In other words, it's misleading to the core, but never completely leaving me disappointed with the story in of itself.