In his first book, ex-lawyer Sutin offers an engrossing, generous, balanced biography of the late visionary science-fiction writer. Using the standard props of the sf genre to explore his two primary themes--what is human? what is real?--Dick's many novels and stories were often brilliant. Best known for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel upon which the movie Blade Runner was based, Dick's oeuvre is considered among the most important in sf. Unfortunately, the unusual circumstances of his life have prevented a clear view of his work. Dick's involvement with the street-drug scene (depicted in A Scanner Darkly); an alleged unexplained break-in of his home; and, most centrally, a series of visions that obsessed him for the last ten years of his life and became the focus of his work--all contribute to his two popular images as a persecuted mystic--""Saint Phil""--and as an addled acid head--""Took drugs, saw God, B.F.D. (Big Fucking Deal)."" With a humor reflecting Dick's own, Sutin follows the central circumstances that shaped Dick's life and work. Beginning with the death of Dick's twin sister in infancy--a loss that influenced him all his life--Sutin sorts through the various versions of events (Dick had a writer's tendency to rewrite). Sutin describes Dick's desire for mainstream recognition and his five failed marriages, and considers Dick's visions, excerpting Dick's Exegesis, the 10,000 pages of notes Dick wrote attempting to understand his experiences (Sutin leans toward temporal lobe epilepsy.) In all, the best overview of Dick's life yet, and the first that could appeal to an audience not already steeped in PhilDickiana.