Erik Graff's Reviews > Altered States

Altered States by Paddy Chayefsky
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Jan 25, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: sf
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Recommended for: psychonauts
Read in May, 1997 — I own a copy

Paddy Chayefsky wrote only this one novel as well as the screenplay for the motion picture, so both can be considered as mutually amplifying.

I saw the movie when it came out and only read the book when, years later, I found a used copy of it for sale. Frankly, I preferred the movie, partly for the Artaud-inspired sequences, partly because I expect less of a movie than of a book.

Although inspired by Lilly's very real experiments with sensory deprivation and psychotropics, the novel gets too far out in having a physical transformation seem to occur to the protagonist. I can handle the suggestion of other dimensions of being and of the possibility of accessing them by such means, but not the contravention of physical laws in this dimension.
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