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Publisher's Summary

Substance D - otherwise known as Death - is the most dangerous drug ever to find its way on to the black market. It destroys the links between the brain's two hemispheres, leading first to disorentation and then to complete and irreversible brain damage.

Bob Arctor, undercover narcotics agent, is trying to find a lead to the source of supply, but to pass as an addict he must become a user, and soon, without knowing what is happening to him, he is as dependent as any of the addicts he is monitoring.

Now a cult classic film starring Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr. Read by Paul Giamatti.

©1977 Philip K. Dick (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about A Scanner Darkly

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Death & madness

I can’t believe this was written before the meth epidemic. Substance D, the true villain of this story, is what meth is today- guaranteed death by way of madness 1st. This is written by someone who has been there, there is no doubt about that. Reading this book is like taking a one way trip into the mind of a strung out junkie wired & insane but trucking along anyway, embracing the delusion fully until it consumes you. Buy it. Buy it now!

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Wonderful

An incredible recreation of Dick’s magnum opus. The narration brings it to life. Highly recommended!!

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Brilliant and harrowing

Such a haunting novel with predictably brilliant narration by Paul Giamatti. Would recommend to anyone who wants a slightly twistedperspective on the aftermath of the 60's counterculture.

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Massive book

This book is a masterpiece about drug use. Very dark book. Kudos to Giamatti for his amazing voice acting.

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Heartbreaking

This is a dark and disturbing novel. The lives lived are shells filled with so much detritus, and the depiction of minds crumbling is made so much crueller by the precision of the depiction set against the inane lives.

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  • D. Oxford
  • 24-10-2017

Full stars, no dark

Sorry - couldn't resist :-/ Actually, though there is much bathos there is a good deal of dark pathos and a sincerely felt author's end note to underline that. More manic than most PKD and very entertainingly handled, with Paul Giamatti fully committed to every phrase.

4 people found this helpful

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  • T. Irvine
  • 28-04-2015

Wow...

This novel starts a little slowly and seems a little rambling at first. If you're not familiar with Phillip K Dick, you'd probably be best to start with 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'. That said, once this book grips you, and it will grip you, you will be sucked in completely to the weird world of Phillip K Dick. When you emerge blinking into the real world you will be... Changed somehow, and you will never see the world through the same eyes. Extraordinary.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sean V
  • 29-05-2015

Brilliant but not for everyone.

It's a really freaked out book well read and I truly enjoyed it. My partner however couldn't listen to it and it was banned from the car.
I will be listening to it for a second time.

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  • andy
  • 19-03-2020

junkies

well observed, well written and very well read. But i gave up after a few hours. If i were interested in the ramblings of paranoid junkies I'd hang out with those toothless folk near the shops.

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  • Jack S.
  • 24-04-2019

Slow and disappointing

Loved “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” But this was slow and long winded. Wouldn’t listen again

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-12-2013

Brilliant resurrection of an abandoned read

Where does A Scanner Darkly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In particular this was one of my abandoned reads. So like other abandoned reads I was interested to give it a second go, albeit as an audiobook. Amongst all the audio books I've listened to and I include audio books I've heard before using Audible, this is easily the best. In fact I would say for me this was better as an audio book over a traditional read.

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

Anyone not wishing a spoiler , should look away now, but the disintegration of Bob Arctor particularly when he arrives at the clinic

Which character – as performed by Paul Giamatti – was your favourite?

Barris easily, I could almost imagine Robert Downey Jr taking over the microphone

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have liked to but I didn't have the time but it did encourage me to listen to the book at times I would not have listened to another book

Any additional comments?

Its a stark read, when you think about substance addiction, but this makes the read even more compelling. I also think that its an interesting counterbalance read when considering the literature of psychedelia. For me it brings into sharp distinction the irresponsibility of a book like the Doors of Perception, even though I generally like Aldous Huxley

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  • O E Casale
  • 19-10-2020

Good story

My first P K Dick book and pleasantly surprised. Didn’t know what to expect as one of my favourite films is taken from a book of his but enjoyable I felt for the the central character and definitely won’t be my last book of his.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-10-2020

I'll reflect on this for a long while.

Its more than merely sci-fi entertainment going on here - the story builds and weaves and separates ingeniously, the characters and features are brilliantly detailed, it really captures a culture and its consequences.. and last but not least it's narrated superbly. it moved me and I shall think about this for some time, reading it for the first time now in 2020 you can tell that the culture described here is a little dated but actually so much of this holds up today like great sci-fi should . I should have heard or read this this long before now... quality listening. would 100% recommend.

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  • Wolfie's Wibbles
  • 17-08-2020

Excellent performance and story

this is classic Philip k dick, exploring themes of identity and free will. Paul Giomati's performance was great too; gave extra personality to the main characters

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  • Steveht
  • 02-07-2020

A depressing dirge of a story

The title of the review says it all I couldn't reach the end because of the unremitting darkness

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