Thursday, 19 February 2015

NON-FICTION READING CHALLENGE - A LIFE OF PHILIP K. DICK


I've read a lot of Anthony Peake's books whose writing - and I quote from his website - 'deals with borderline areas of human consciousness.' They are fascinating books, so I knew I'd love this one the same. A Life of Philip K. Dick is his seventh book.   

Before reading this I had read two of PKD's book: Counter-Clock World and Time Out of Joint, though I believed I'd read more. Then I realised that I've seen some of his books adapted for screen: Blade Runner, Paycheck, Minority Report, and a favourite, Total Recall. They are Science Fiction, but for PKD, what he wrote about was far from future imaginings, he was seeing the future in his present life.         

Philip K (Kindred) Dick or PKD was born 1928, in Chicago, America. His life was plagued with tragedies leading to his constant fear, anxiety, paranoia, and other phobias, which are reflected throughout his novels and short stories. He was fascinated with science and technology and seemed to gleam advances in this arena before they became mainstream. 

A connecting theme running through his fiction is the question: What is reality? Is it real? Is it an illusion? This resonated in his actual life where his state of mind was questionable. You have to bear in mind he dabbled in drugs, too, recreationally and to support his mental state with his prolific writing output. 

This aside, some of his visions appeared out of this world, but Peake later gives sound esoteric and neurological explanations to back his own theories why PKD experienced what he did.

PKD was a man who remembered the future. In the end, as if taken from one of his novels, he died as he predicted, found lying between the sofa and the coffee table. He'd had a stroke. 

P.S. 
What is real? An explanation from Plato.




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