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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

4.2 (869 )
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4.2 (588 )
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Story
4.5 (589 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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

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    "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
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    "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 08-20-12
    James 08-20-12
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    "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 2015
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    "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
  •  
    Greg 02-12-12
    Greg 02-12-12 Member Since 2016

    WI

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    "Just as good second time around !!!"

    This was my first audible book ever. Loved the narrator. Encouraged by my brother, I gave it a try. Since then I have been hooked on audible. Thanks Bro!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle poway, CA, United States 01-16-12
    Kyle poway, CA, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2016
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    "A long, drugged out rant"

    I have heard that PKD didn't spend a lot of time editing his work. If he had, he would have removed the nonsensical ranting about nothing that makes up the first half of the book. The second half is interesting, and the narrator is decent, but your credit is better spent elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-10-12
    Lauren Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-10-12
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    "Powerful"
    What made the experience of listening to A Scanner Darkly the most enjoyable?

    The change and development of the tone of the story surprised me: at first I thought the author had a Nancy Regan-style


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Donna. I especially like her because of the development her character underwent. At first I was really disappointed, because initially she seemed weak and one-dimensional. Being the only female in the book, the tone of the entire story seemed distractingly misogynistic. I was really pleasantly surprised to see how strong and sympathetic this character became.


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

    He did a good job. His voice is good and gravelly when it needs to be, which compliments the grittiness of the story.


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

    I didn't laugh or cry, but after the book was over I definitely sat back and thought about life and existence and those type of big questions.


    Any additional comments?

    It is interesting to look at futuristic/distopia stories from previous generations such as this. It gives an insight into the culture and concerns of the time in which they were written. Today, it wouldn't make as much sense to write this sort of book, since rampant drug abuse just isn't the phenomena it once was (or at least isn't perceived to be so threatening to mainstream society). It is fascinating to see how a reality such as this may have seemed plausible a few decades ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Toronto, ON, Canada 12-19-11
    Janice Toronto, ON, Canada 12-19-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Scanner Darkly Illuminated"

    Paul Giamatti brings this Philip K. Dick classic to life. The characters are distinct and fully realized under Giamatti's vocalization. I easily slipped into the story and the warped, paranoid and dual world Dick created, Giamatti enhances that voice and provides access to the action not to mention the subtext of this dystopian tale. I flew through the recording and would heartily recommend it to any Philip K. Dick fan. I hope to find more Giamatti narrations on Audible in the future. He does more than justice to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jl MS, USA 07-29-08
    jl MS, USA 07-29-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Fills in the movie"

    I was drawn to this book, having seen the movie several times. I was amazed at the fidelity of the movie to the original manuscript. I can so clearly see various scenes of the movie as they are narrated, but with exquisite detail that augments my memory of the movie. Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penelope Austin, TX, USA 10-08-06
    Penelope Austin, TX, USA 10-08-06
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    "Paul Giamatti is great"

    My partner and I listened to this on a road trip and both loved it. Giamatti's reading is fantastic. Even though I've since seen the movie, I still hear the story in Giamatti's voice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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