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A Scanner Darkly Audiobook

A Scanner Darkly

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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

4.1 (796 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 06-21-08 Member Since 2006
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    "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
  •  
    Vincent Tume 01-02-07 Member Since 2006

    I'm a software engineer working out of Toronto Canada. I enjoy science fiction but have started to drift into other areas.

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    "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 2014
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    "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 05-12-06 Member Since 2002

    Angelicide

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    "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
  •  
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09 Member Since 2010
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    "Drugs are bad"

    Having lived through it, Dick nailed the 60s drug culture perfectly. I thought it was very funny and well written, love Dicks books.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Cano California 01-11-08
    J. Cano California 01-11-08 Member Since 2007
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    "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
  •  
    D. Parsons Seattle, WA 01-16-07
    D. Parsons Seattle, WA 01-16-07 Member Since 2007

    D. Parsons

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    "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 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Bullard 04-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Inspired Addiction"
    What made the experience of listening to A Scanner Darkly the most enjoyable?

    The combination PKD's skill with the narrative, and Paul Giamatti's pure vocal genius. The combination is powerful, and reinvents the story to me. Mr Giamatti's performance added layers of meaning that the story alone cannot provide. In hearing the words go on, I was softly crushed by the tale of addiction.


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

    Bob Arctor examining his own actions and being unable to discern he is watching himself. It is told in casual matter of fact style, that it is unnerving, but so believable. Any work of this length has several gems, and begs to be listened to several times. I've heard critiques that the work is dated, or unbelievable, I found it lucid, sharp, satirical, and one of the best audio books I've had the pleasure of hearing.Paul


    What does Paul Giamatti bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Paul Giamatti brings a craft to this tale. While I'm certain a skilled cadre assists with the performance, he owns the material he presents. His characterisation never seem forced. The whole process is as authentic as it is convincing. I might not want to have been in this addicted land, but Mr Giamatti bought an overflowing empathy to it. I listened to the story about three weeks ago, and wish to hear it again soon. Finally, I've heard other I'd stories on Audible this is the best.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I recall a very nuanced performance and great material. Snippets about people who lost their minds to substance D who could not figure out how to vacuum the floor left me oddly numb.In total, this whole story and its presentation shows brilliance.


    Any additional comments?

    Solid story well told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron 02-15-16
    Ron 02-15-16 Member Since 2010
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    "loved it"

    loved it the book is great, and it's performance was amazing as well. it you check out the movie you will like the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey 06-07-15
    Corey 06-07-15
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    "Fantastic combination of story and voice actor"

    Paul Giamatti kills it as the dystopic druggies in A Scanner Darkly, adding more meaning to the text than is written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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