A Scanner Darkly
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A Scanner Darkly

4.03 (59,712 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A brilliant sci-fi novel from one of the last century's most influential pop culture figures 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 14mm | 222.26g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Gollancz
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Diagrams 3
  • 1857988477
  • 9781857988475
  • 8,650

Review quote

One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Dick made most of the European avant-garde seem like navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac Sunday Times My literary hero Fay Weldon For everyone lost in the endlessly multiplicating realities of the modern world, remember: Philip K. Dick got there first Terry Gilliamshow more

About Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are The Man in the High Castle, Time Out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.show more

Review Text

A marrow-freezing morality play set in a 1994 California. The central fact of life is drugs: every hard drug in the current lexicon plus Substance D - "Death" to its friends - which progressively impairs coordination between the brain's two hemispheres. The hero is an addict, a nark engaged in surreptitious electronic "scanning" of himself and friends, and - it slowly becomes clear - a patsy in some dreadful hidden game. Dick has bitten off an awful lot here. Much of the straightforward narration is theatrically bad, yet dialogue and internal monologue carry a cruel (and cruelly funny) conviction. And the larger plot is brilliantly hinged upon a consciousness split by two insanities: the Kafkaesque charade of secret self-surveillance and the terrible advance of irreversible brain damage. Flawed, almost too grim to take, but stunningly realized. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

59,712 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 35% (21,153)
4 39% (23,511)
3 20% (11,859)
2 4% (2,444)
1 1% (745)
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