A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

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By Philip K. Dick

Might be the main unnerving drug novel ever written, in addition to an industrial-grade rigidity try of identification, this novel explores the perverse symbiosis of cop and felony, observer and saw.

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I worked until I got it. " Sharply, concealing his concern, Arctor said, "What kind of electronic surprise? It's my house, Jim, you can't start rigging up--" "Easy, easy," Barris said. "As our German friends would say, _leise_. " "If the front door is opened," Barris said, "during our absence, my cassette tape recorder starts recording. It's under the couch. It has a two-hour tape. I placed three omnidirectional Sony mikes at three different--" "You should have told me," Arctor said. " Luckman said.

That way," Barris said, smoothly again, "we'll know who had been doing this, Bob. " "Unless they rip off the tape recorder when they rip off the couch and everything else," Arctor said. He was thinking rapidly as to how much of a problem this really was, this additional example of Barris's messed-up electronic nowhere genius of a kindergarten sort. Hell, he concluded, they'll find the mikes in the first ten minutes and trace them back to the recorder. They'll know exactly what to do. They'll erase the tape, rewind it, leave it as it was, leave the door unlocked and the note on it.

He passed the snuffbox to Luckman, who took a few, then passed it to Arctor. "Maybe that's what's fucking us up," Arctor said, declining irritably. " "Dope can't screw up an accelerator linkage and carb-idle adjustment," Barris said, still holding the snuffbox out to Arctor. "You'd better drop at least three of these--they're Primo, but mild. " "Put the damn snuffbox away," Arctor said. He felt, in his head, loud voices singing: terrible music, as if the reality around him had gone sour. Everything now--the fast-moving cars, the two men, his own car with its hood up, the smell of smog, the bright, hot light of midday--it all had a rancid quality, as if, throughout, his world had putrefied, rather than anything else.

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