So, if you have come to this page, you are looking for background information and other people’s takes on The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch. Good luck with gaining any insight beyond what you had when you finished it! A lot of people have posted a lot of opposing opinions, largely dependent on where they start off. Christians seem to believe that Anne is right but fallen, Atheists tend towards Barney being the hero. As someone who doesnt have a strong bias either way, I have to go back a step and just go with the story.
As with a lot of Philip K Dick books, it would be helpful to know where he was in his life when he wrote this. If he was in a period where he was on a lot of mind-altering chemicals, the whole story is about being on the far side of reality and is the fevered reality of Palmer Eldritch sat on a spaceship returning from the long voyage. If he was “straight” while writing it, its Barney and Leo navigating the after effects of a new drug replacing the old, safe one.
Both versions of this have healthy lumps of paranoia thrown in, but then which of the Philip K Dick books do not have that as a theme. From the beginning, each character has good reason to think other characters do not have good intentions and as with other books, they don’t.
That’s it, have a look at this page for a far more detailed critique and commentary, I just read the books and say what I think.