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Dick, Philip K.
book-date: 1977
cvr art:
cvr price:
The Quays
Book= Fine-
Dustjacket= near-Fine

Book is tight and square with slight bumping to spine ends; age-tanning is very mild and uniform; no stamps marks or writing; no remainder speckling to any page block; corners are unbumped & square. Stated "First Edition" at bottom of credits page (see scan) and gutter-code "G 51" on page 216 [apparently there was a second printing or edition with a different gutter-code and no statement of "First Edition."] An excellent copy that is definitely NOT ex-library - very clean and bright. Unclipped dustjacket has no tears, back cover has slight rubbing/dirt? at upper left and lower right; the biggest flaw is mild color-change (sun-fading?) to the spine (see scans.) I bought this used thirty or more years ago and placed it in a new DJ protector in the early Eighties, and never got around to reading it - it looks unread.

A 1977 novel by Philip K. Dick: A Scanner Darkly. This is the basis for the 2006 movie of the same title. Not all blurbs are created equal, so I'm quoting from the flap-copy of the hardcover for the best plot summary I could find:

Bob Arctor asked himself: How many Bob Artors are there? Two that I can think of. The one called Fred, who will be watching the other one, called Bob. The same person. Or is it? Is Fred actually the same as Bob? Does anybody know? I would know, if anyone did, because I'm the only person in the world that knows Fred is Bob Arctor. But, he thought, who am I? Which of them is me?

Bob Arctor is a totally spaced-out dope dealer in a vaguely futuristic society, circa 1986. Or is he? Periodically he dons an amazing device called a "scramble suit" which allows him to appear as merely a vague blur he calls Fred, who then proceeds to monitor and inform the narcotics agents of events in the political and narcotics underworld. Fred's latest assignment is to monitor video/audio scanners in the apartment of one Bob Arctor. It seems like the ultimate rip-off of the law - getting paid for surveillance work on himself, feeding false information to the police about his own activities. But strangely, as Arctor becomes so hopelessly strung out on drugs, particularly a mysterious and mind-bending concoction called Substance D, his two personalities - pursuer and pursued - launch him into a schizoid nightmare. Soon he begins to play tricks on himself, believing he is acually two people - no longer knowing which "side" he is on or even who should "win." A chilling revelation, given credence by Philip Dick's own experiences with drug users, when paranoia links up with reality.

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