book review: a scanner darkly

And now I’m finished my Xmas present PKDick binge. I’d read the graphic novel adaptation of A Scanner Darkly at the library a few months ago and wasn’t that impressed. The novel was so much better. The main reason is that when you have a picture of Bob Arctor or Fred in front of you you can tell they’re the same person. You can see that Fred is watching himself in his surveillance. But in the book as he becomes unable to tell who he is, the reader is pulled along with him. We don’t get to see the tests they’re doing. We don’t get to be safe in the assumption we can tell who is who. Part of that is because of how the act of reading works on empathy so much more than watching. We’re already further along the line Bob/Fred/Bruce is walking at the outset just by the act of reading the book. So good.

Sadly I spilled tea on the book while reading this last chunk of the collection, so I have a wrinkly sort of stained page in my beautiful book. Selah. Gives it character.

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