In the overcrowded world and cramped space colonies of the late
21st century, tedium can be endured through the use of the drug
Can-D, which enables the user to inhabit a shared illusory world.
When industrialist Palmer Eldritch returns from an interstellar
trip, he brings with him a new drug, Chew-Z, which is far more
potent than Can-D, but threatens to plunge the world into a
permanent state of drugged illusion controlled by the mysterious
Eldritch. THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH is, by universal
consent, one of his three key novels, and the book in which he
first took his perennial interest in the fragile nature of reality
to a new level of imaginative intensity.