"Fred" is an undercover narcotics agent for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. As "Bob Arctor," he lives in a messy pad with a bunch of other druggies and buys Substance D (known on the street as "death") in quantities from his sometime girlfriend Donna. The authorities set up cameras and microphones on the premises so that "Fred" can conduct 24-hour surveillance on himself and his housemates. But Substance D steadily separates the two halves of his brain until his personality splits almost completely as he tries to figure out which of his roommates has been sabotaging his car and other equipment. As Dick has explained, this novel -- first published in 1977 and set in 1994 -- is an exploration of drug misuse and a tribute to friends who got lost along the way, but of course it touches on his favorite themes of the nature of identity and reality.
This report prepared by David Loftus
A Scanner Darkly is a psychological drug thriller. Substance D is a highly addictive drug that slowly splits the human brain into two seperate idenities. When Fred, an undercover police agent is hooked on the drug, his alter-ego/cover story, Bob Arctor becomes a seemingly seperate character, and Fred is assigned to keep surveillance on himself.
This report prepared by Trent Dick