The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

{4.5/5} “I’ll bet I’m late for work, he said to himself, slid from the bed, and tottered to a standing position with eyes shut, keeping himself from being sick. For all he knew he was several hours’ drive from his office; perhaps he was not even in the United States. However he was on Earth; the gravity that made him sway was familiar and normal.”

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick, published in 1965

Leo Bulero is head of P. P. Layouts, which creates the drug Can-D. Can-D isn’t available on Earth but everyone does it on the other planets and moons to escape their not-so-great lives. Palmer Eldritch has returned from outside the solar system with a new and improved drug called Chew-Z — Bulero, of course, isn’t happy about this. Meanwhile Barney Mayerson, who works for Bulero, has received his draft notice — unless he can find some medical reason to avoid it, he will soon be living on a colony world.

Dick often includes philosophical speculation about the nature of reality, and that’s present here. It’s also about religion, accelerated evolution, and an alien invasion.

This is a 1960s vision of the future, so it’s a bit dated — but worth reading nonetheless.

I’ve read a few books by Dick — The Man in the High Castle is a masterpiece, and Ubik and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? are great. He also has some brilliant short stories, found in collections like Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

I previously reviewed the movie Minority Report, which is based on one of his stories.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015 at 6:35 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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