Summary by Jason Koornick: The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch (1965)


Corporate intrigue, radical psychics and reality-bending drugs all figure prominetly into The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch. In a not too distant future the spiritual activity of interstellar colonists is controlled by P.P. Layouts, a company owned by Leo Bulero. Legally P.P. Layouts sells minituarized homes, accessories and dolls that colonists collect like gold. Coupled with the illegal drug Can-D (of which Bulero’s company has a monopoly), it allows the colonists the group experience of inhabiting the minds of Perky Pat and her boyfriend. For this period of time, they are allowed to live out their earthly fantasies denied to them by the loneliness of space.

When Palmer Eldritch, an exiled businessman returns from a far away galaxy with a new (and legal) drug called Chew-Z, Bulero’s monopoly is in grave danger. Chew-Z is a drug that claims to deliver eternal life. The book follows P.P. Layouts employee Barney Mayerson as he confronts questions of loyalty, judgement and love. His insecurities about his ex-wife and his own addictive personality thrust him in the middle of a mystery as to the true nature of Chew-Z and what it means for the future of the galaxy. Palmer Eldritch is omnipresent throughout the novel as the reader tries to figure out his intentions. The characters experience profound changes and hallucinations thoughout the book and the question of the true nature of god is addressed as well. The reader is left wondering if God just exists to make a few bucks.

One thought on “Summary by Jason Koornick: The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch (1965)

  1. Palmer Eldritch is the living substance of and the Universe in the novel.Does this mean then that the living mind that is the cosmos and all creation within this dark farce,is just a divine,mega corporation?

    Seems so futile and funny!

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