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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Scanner Darkly [Graphic Novel] by Philip K. Dick

             I was expecting more

 Published in 2006 by Pantheon

I may be living in a box because I had not heard of this book or the movie before I found the graphic novel. When I saw it was based on a Philip K. Dick book I was hopeful - after all, he is the author of such thought-inducing works as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (A.K.A. Blade Runner) and he is the inspiration for The Minority Report and Total Recall (Not that Total Recall is as deep as the other two, but there are some themes that the three share, including a caste system based on birth, be you an android, a mutant or someone who can see the future).

What I hoped would be a thoughtful commentary on the "War on Drugs" and/or the damage that drugs do to the user turned into a rambling work of several episodes in the lives of some druggie pals and the undercover narc officer who has caught himself in the web of addiction. Sometimes funny, usually odd, this book just never lived up to the other Philip K. Dick works mentioned above. It never gelled, it never reached that critical mass where it started to make commentary on the folly of drug use, or the folly of empowering our government to go after users, etc.

Much like its characters, this book never really got off the couch and did anything, despite a series of fits and starts in which I thought that it might finally be going somewhere.

I rate this graphic novel 2 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on December 13, 2006.

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