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A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

A Scanner Darkly (1977)

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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  1. 10
    Rubicon Harvest by C. W. Kesting (Aeryion)
    Aeryion: The world of Rubicon Harvest seems to be a mixed homage to both Scanner Darkly and A Clockwork Orange in the way the sub-culture of designer drugs are used and abused and how their importance interplay with the expression of self and the experience of perception on reality. The synthetic neurocotic Symphony makes Substance D look like Tic-Tacs. Rubicon Harvest deserves it's place among the medicated plots of these other great postmodern works of spec-fiction!… (more)

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» See also 107 mentions

English (59)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Slovak (1)  German (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Romanzo dolente, la discesa negli inferi della droga (qui denominata M, morte) che spappola i cervelli e nel migliore dei casi rinchiude in comunità, dedicato a tutte quelle persone che Dick ha visto morire o perdersi. Straordinari i dialoghi, sempre più sconclusionati, tra Bob Arctor, il protagonista, e i suoi amici/controllati tossici. Senza dimenticare altri temi cari a Dick - il controllo poliziesco - e un'invenzione straordinaria, la tutadisinviduante. Uno dei migliori romanzi di Dick, di sicuro, a mio avviso, il più straziante. ( )
  gfonte | Mar 15, 2014 |
As Phillip K. Dick makes plain in the author’s note, A Scanner Darkly is an anti-drug book. A story about “some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did.” Which was “play,” or abuse drugs. Dick says the novel has no moral, but that it simply shows the consequences of drug abuse, which he says is a decision, not a disease. Dick includes himself in a list of friends that paid a high price for their fun.

Written in the 1970s, the book takes place in 1990s California, but has futuristic technology-based science fiction elements such as identity-blocking scramble suits and holographic cameras. Bob Arctor is a guy trying to get through life on drugs and he’s also an undercover scramble-suited drug agent. He yearns for more out of life but seems to have an inkling he’s not going to get it. One of his doper roommates appears to be out to get him and a girl he’s trying to get close to is standoffish. The drug Bob takes, Substance D, is also responsible for his split personality.

I read this on the recommendation of my son, who called the story excellent, but sad. It is that. ( )
1 vote Hagelstein | Feb 26, 2014 |
This is a complicated book but by the end it all comes together. The ending is sad, but there's really no other way to finish. I really enjoyed it. ( )
  SebastianHagelstein | Feb 16, 2014 |
The last great Dick novel before the descent into the uninteresting, crackpot world of VALIS. Though there are some strong thematic intimations of his later work here, this book is still grounded in the quotidian: Dick still engages fully with our reality rather than his world-
historical delusions. Distinct in style and feel from earlier and later efforts, which may owe something to the editing/rewriting of his wife Tessa. ( )
1 vote ehines | Sep 27, 2013 |
I liked this book quite a bit. It wasn't as filled with science fiction as his other books, more like exaggerations. I was also surprised by how sad the book became and by the heavy Author's note at the end of the novel.

Here is a passage that sums things up nicely:

To himself. Bob Arctor thought, How many Bob Arctor's are there? A weird and fucked up thought. Two that I can think of, he thought. The one called Fred, who will be watching the other one, called Bob. The same person. Or is it? Is Fred actually the same as Bob? Does anybody know? I would know, if anybody did, because I am the only person in the world that knows that Fred is Bob Arctor. But, he thought, who am I? Which one of the is me?

Welch Dunkel Hier! ( )
1 vote dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burgdorf, Karl-UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gasser, ChristianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ochagavia, CarlosCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webb, TrevorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love:

To Gaylene     deceased

To Ray            deceased

To Francy       permanent psychosis

To Kathy        permanent brain damage

To Jim            deceased

To Val            massive permanent brain damage

To Nancy       permanent psychosis

To Joanne     permanent brain damage

To Maren       deceased

To Nick            deceased

To Terry        deceased

To Dennis       deceased

To Phil            permanent pancreatic damage

To Sue            permanent vascular damage

To Jerri          permanent psychosis and vascular damage

... and so forth.
First words
Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair.
Robert Arctor halted. Stared at them, at the straights in their fat suits, their fat ties, their fat shoes, and he thought, Substance D can't destroy their brains; they have none.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679736654, Paperback)

Mind- and reality-bending drugs factor again and again in Philip K. Dick's hugely influential SF stories. A Scanner Darkly cuts closest to the bone, drawing on Dick's own experience with illicit chemicals and on his many friends who died from drug abuse. Nevertheless, it's blackly farcical, full of comic-surreal conversations between people whose synapses are partly fried, sudden flights of paranoid logic, and bad trips like the one whose victim spends a subjective eternity having all his sins read to him, in shifts, by compound-eyed aliens. (It takes 11,000 years of this to reach the time when as a boy he discovered masturbation.) The antihero Bob Arctor is forced by his double life into warring double personalities: as futuristic narcotics agent "Fred," face blurred by a high-tech scrambler, he must spy on and entrap suspected drug dealer Bob Arctor. His disintegration under the influence of the insidious Substance D is genuine tragicomedy. For Arctor there's no way off the addict's downward escalator, but what awaits at the bottom is a kind of redemption--there are more wheels within wheels than we suspected, and his life is not entirely wasted. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:52 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A drug dealer of the future periodically moves away from his spaced-out world to become an informer for narcotics agents until he becomes unable to separate his two personalities.

» see all 7 descriptions

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