Regular price: £18.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

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 members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A powerful audiobook

I first read this book 5 years ago and this audiobook was a great find. A really powerful story of a group of friends battle with addiction. Laugh out loud funny in places and solemn and moving in others. Definitely worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

One of the best audio books I listened to. The narration enhanced the story. Would recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and unforgettable

Paul Giamatti is simply amazing and the story is visually engrossing. We forget this for a long time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MR
  • 23-08-17

Don't do drugs people

Thoroughly enjoyed this, a true classic. Dark, deep, funny and thought provoking. Enjoy the trip!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • Leeds
  • 24-11-16

Harrowing

Hard to get through at times. It starts out like a sci-fi noir and ends up somewhere entirely different.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A pitch-perfect rendition of a brilliant novel

What did you like most about A Scanner Darkly?

Paul Giamatti's crushed, hard-worn voice perfectly encapsulates the characters and emotional themes of this novel. I've never heard a more accurate rendition of PKD's bleak, miserable yet often hilarious narratives. I wish Giamatti would read Valis and Do Androids Dream... as well!

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

A Scanner Darkly is already a magnificent book, but Giamatti enriched it with his miserable, exhausted cadence. I know that doesn't sound particularly like a compliment, but it really brought the characters to life.

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

Very much so!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A gloomy but brilliant listening experience

An amazing audio book. Great performance, haunting insights into declining minds.
Only hint of criticism is the pronunciation of the German phrases is abysmal, but it doesn't really take away from the story so it's still 5 stars for me

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.