Dark novel, enthralling and paranoid

Dark novel, enthralling and paranoid

Courtesy photo

"A Scanner Darkly" tells the story of drug abuse and paranoia in the near future.

Christopher Bengtsson

This summer director and screenplay-writer Richard Linklater will attempt to translate Philip K. Dick’s novel from 1977, “A Scanner Darkly” for the filmgoing crowd. Previous attempts at Dick-movies have proved to be surprisingly successful, “Bladerunner” being the strongest one (and let’s not forget “Total Recall” and “Minority Report”, which also shine in their own particular light.)

The novel is set in the near future in Orange County. Fred is a nark who is spying on his own roommates who are addicted to the dangerous drug Substance D. The problem is Fred is also on Substance D. In addition to this difficult situation, Fred gets the mission to spy on Bob Arctor. Bob Arctor, who is actually Fred… Needless to say, things get a bit complicated.

The main themes of the novel are paranoia, self-depredation and identity. There is no question about it, “A Scanner Darkly” is a book about drug-addicts who let their substance abuse do terrible things to themselves. At times, it is a depressing read. “A Scanner Darkly” is not for everyone. It would be more worrisome to read a book about drug-addicts that isn’t depressing though.

Having said that,