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In the riveting style that won accolades for The Adversary, Emmanuel Carrere follows Dick's strange odyssey from his traumatic beginnings in 1928, when his twin sister died in infancy, to his lonely end in 1982, beset by mystical visions of swirling pink lights, three-eyed invaders, and messages from the Roman Empire. Drawing on interviews as well as unpublished sources, Carrere traces Dick's multiple marriages, paranoid fantasies, and vertiginous encounters with the drug culture of sixties California. He vividly conjures the spirit of this restless observer of American postwar malaise whose more than fifty novels subverted the materials of science fiction -- parallel universes, intricate time loops, collective delusions -- to create classic works of contemporary anxiety.
As disturbing and engrossing as a work by its subject, Carrere's unconventional biography interweaves life and art to reveal the maddening genius whose writing foresaw -- from cloning to reality TV -- a world that looks ever more like one of his inventions.
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