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Tony Grist

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THrough A Scanner Darkly [Dec. 2nd, 2004|09:39 am]
Tony Grist
I've just finished reading Through A Scanner Darkly. I like Philip K Dick, but I don't like him all that much. He burbles. It's an interesting burble, but it doesn't stick with me.

I read Valis a month or two back and I find I've already largely forgotten it. A test of good writing- in fact of good art in any medium- is that it leaves you with unexpungeable images in your head.

Dick wrote Scanner in the 70s and set it in the 90s. It feels dated. And all the predictive stuff is wrong- of course. Basically its an everyday story of brain-fried hippies with some portentous, paranoid sci-fi stuff tacked on.

He can't do character. All his people are interchangeable. And when he's writing about women he notices whether or not they're wearing bras under their tight sweaters and that's about it. He goes on and on about how boring druggies are and- yes, well- he's right.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2004-12-02 03:49 pm (UTC)
I tend to agree with you about Dick. In fact, I agree with you to the point that after reading one of his works, I decided I really didn't want to continue reading him at all, and thus I have read nothing of his since.

His writing, to me, felt...slapped together. He had interesting ideas and concepts, but seemed unable to put them to paper in an entertaining way.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-02 05:02 pm (UTC)
I've read two now- and I think I'll call it a day.

"Slapped together" is about right.

I'm glad to have made his aquaintance- but there's a lot of other stuff out there to read.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-02 05:14 pm (UTC)
...but there's a lot of other stuff out there to read.

BTW, I've just sent off to Amazon for the Complete Works of Charles Fort--over a thousand pages, for under 20 dollars--a bargain.

I'm going to plunge into Charles Fort's head tonight--he is a pleasant companion to Algernon Blackwood, isn't he?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-02 06:56 pm (UTC)
Excellent. That is a bargain.

I think Dragon Seed is next on my list
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-02 05:05 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever read Dick's work.

Wasn't the very fine movie Blade Runner based on one of his stories?



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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-02 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yes it was.

Dick's original is called Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep. I haven't read it.

He's an interesting writer and I can see why he's a cult figure, but....
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