We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
A Scanner Darkly | [Philip K. Dick]

A Scanner Darkly

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D, which Arctor takes in massive doses, gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.
Regular Price:$27.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D, which Arctor takes in massive doses, gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

©1977 Philip K. Dick; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (509 )
5 star
 (201)
4 star
 (169)
3 star
 (86)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
4.1 (266 )
5 star
 (120)
4 star
 (73)
3 star
 (53)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.4 (267 )
5 star
 (145)
4 star
 (93)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "A must read for any PKD fan"

    Paul Giamatti does an excellent job bringing this book and it's characters to life. I would not have enjoyed the book as much without his ability to make you connect and feel involved with the characters.

    I am a big fan of Philip K. Dick, but I really struggled at the beginning of the book. I found the large cast of characters introduced at the beginning without much plot development confusing. Once the book settled down on the character of Bob Arctor and his struggle I found it more enjoyable because I was able to connect to someone and their struggle. Unlike other PKD works, this book seemed very dated. Another review mentioned that this book felt like it was stuck in the 1980's and I concur, which is a bit strange for a "science fiction" writer. The ending of the book made the book and I am glad I stuck with it. Once I read the background on the book, I had a greater appreciation of the material. I rarely recommend reading the background of a novel before the novel itself, but this novel is so personal to such a great author, I think it is necessary to fully appreciate the autobiographical nature of the novel. All-in-all, this is not one of my favorite PKD stories, but it is a must read for any PKD fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Parsons Seattle, WA 01-16-07
    D. Parsons Seattle, WA 01-16-07 Member Since 2000

    D. Parsons

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A wonderful listen!"

    Paul Giamatti brings this story to life! You feel as if you are falling into the psychosis of the drugs along with Bob Arctor. You feel Fred being pulled more and more outside himself.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-02-07
    Vincent Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 01-02-07 Member Since 2005

    A science fiction fan for as long as I can remember but I also enjoy history (fact and fiction) and humor.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "It Helps To Be Crazy"

    Philip K Dick's stories are more frequently the source for feature films than those of any other SF writer. This is surprising when you consider that much of the dialogue in Dick's stories occur in the central character's head. In the case of "A Scanner Darkly", there are two central characters who just happen to inhabit the same body courtesy of a narcotic, appropriately known on the street as "Death". I have no idea how this will be handled in the feature film but the Audiobook is a definite treat (and trip) for the ears. The reading is clear with near-perfect pacing and the 'voices' of the individual characters are distinct.
    This is another audiobook that I started listening to at work and ended up finishing on a vacation. If your already a Dick fan, this reading of the story is a worthwhile addition to your collection. If you're not, and are looking for something really different, this story will certainly fit the bill.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 06-27-06
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 06-27-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    302
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    688
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    "really great novel"

    This is a great psychological novel. I wouldn't classify it as science fiction. I would classify it as a gonzo, drug, spaced out future fiction. Everything from the plot development to the character development was really great, I thought. One thing I don't understand is how they made a movie out of the plot of this book? It didn't really have alot of intensive action because the plot was psychological and thought driven, you are basically in the head of the characters as they go through drug induced phsychosis. I wonder how they will portray this on the silver screen, I suspect the movie will suck, but the audiobook was great. Oh yeah, Paul Giamatti did an excellent job as a narrator. He's not the greatest actor, but he may have a career as an audibook narrarator. His narraration is probably one of the reasons that I enjoyed the audiobook so much.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Birmingham, AL, USA 05-12-06
    Amazon Customer Birmingham, AL, USA 05-12-06 Member Since 2002

    Angelicide

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good story - Fantastic narration"

    Philip K. Dick is one of my all-time favorite authors, although I've never felt this title is one of his best. Don't get me wrong, the story and characters are interesting, and there's the usual philosophical themes of divided reality and questioned identity that are common in PKD's work, but I suppose having never been a part of the drug-culture it just didn't resonate with me.

    Enter: Paul Giamatti. I cannot imagine a better choice of narrator for this book. He infused each character with such distinct personality that I couldn't help being drawn into the story. I wish I could thank him for making it possible for me to enjoy this book from a new perspective.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Cano California 01-11-08
    J. Cano California 01-11-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    295
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "great production quality"

    Enough as been said about the actual book being good. I'd like to chime in that the production quality is great! The reader is good and the sound quality is great!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 05-01-14
    Kelly SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE, United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2014

    Kelly, Aussie living in Nashville, Employment Specialist, Writer & so on

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but meandering story made great by Giamatti"
    What did you love best about A Scanner Darkly?

    The paranoia and Paul Giamatti's performance.


    If you’ve listened to books by Philip K. Dick before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any Philip K Dick books before


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Anything with Barris


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Arctor went to work in the farm and he was almost a vegetable himself


    Any additional comments?

    Paul Giamatti was wonderful and did an excellent job with the characterizations. I got a little frustrated with the meandering of the story. It needed to be a little tighter, but worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marissa JERMYN, PA, United States 04-17-13
    Marissa JERMYN, PA, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Trippy Look at "Reality" and Addiction"
    If you could sum up A Scanner Darkly in three words, what would they be?

    What is real?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Scanner Darkly?

    The discussion of the stolen bicycle. The guys all talk in circles about a fairly simple concept, the gears on the bike. This is later presented to Bob as evidence that Substance D has begun to deteriorate their brains.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Giamatti’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I haven't, but based on his performance, I would suggest other books narrated by him.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Surprisingly, the afterword by Philip K. Dick about the people close to him who were destroyed by drugs.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of PKD's classics. If you're a fan of his other work, then I suggest this performance by Paul Giamatti.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Toronto, Ontario, Canada 08-20-12
    James Toronto, Ontario, Canada 08-20-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very disturbing - tough to make it through"

    While obviously well written and well performed, the material is quite disturbing and hard to stay focused on. So much so that I finally gave up and, for the first time, have not finished listening to an Audible book. Some people might really appreciate it but it definitely won't be for many.

    The characters are well portrayed which may be part of the problem. The main narrator is going in and out of reality. The conversations that happen are often just plain annoying. Not the writing but the type of conversations that could very well be had by people whose brains are messed up due to their trip.

    One disappointment was that I was expecting science fiction, especially considering the author and the classification. This might have been considered sci fi when it was written but doesn't fit that category today. It was a look into the near future when it was written but could also have just been considered an exploration of a different sub-culture. Perhaps the ending might still categorize it as sci fi, but I ended up stopped about 3/4 of the way through it. My time is just too valuable and I unfortunately should have given up much before I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Burbank, CA, United States 07-24-12
    William Burbank, CA, United States 07-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Giamatti Reads PDK!"

    If the idea of Paul Giamatti reading Philip K Dick sounds exciting to you, buy this audio book. You won't be disappointed.

    Giamatti brings to life the mundane beauty and everyday struggles of the characters in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 32 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.