Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (book review)

Book review by The Movie Snob

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritchb, by Philip K. Dick. This is another of the four novels collected in the new Library of Americas edition of Dick's novels from the 1960's. It is truly bizarre. In the future, the Earth is slowly cooking because of global warming(!). As a result, the UN is drafting people and shipping them out to colonies on Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, where they eke out a bleak and hopeless existence. The colonists keep their sanity by taking a nominally illegal hallucinogen called Can-D, which deceives them into thinking they are back in Earth in its pre-global-warming days. Then news gets out that a mysterious and eccentric industrialist named Palmer Eldritch is returning from a years-long expedition to the star system of Proxima Centauri, bearing a new hallucinogen that is far more effective than Can-D. Is he a spy or agent for the alien Proxers? Or something even more sinister? A trippy book, definitely kept me wondering what was going on, but the ending was sort of a letdown.


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