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A Scanner Darkly

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


“Dick is Thoreau plus the death of the American dream.”—Roberto Bolaño

Bob Arctor is a junkie and a drug dealer, both using and selling the mind-altering Substance D. Fred is a law enforcement agent, tasked with bringing Bob down. It sounds like a standard case. The only problem is that Bob and Fred are the same person. Substance D doesn’t just alter the mind, it splits it in two, and neither side knows what the other is doing or that it even exists. Now, both sides are growing increasingly paranoid as Bob tries to evade Fred while Fred tries to evade his suspicious bosses.

In this award-winning novel, friends can become enemies, good trips can turn terrifying, and cops and criminals are two sides of the same coin. Dick is at turns caustically funny and somberly contemplative, fashioning a novel that is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 09, 2006 – Described as being "like a graphic novel come to life," the 2006 film version of Dick's classic 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly is a full-length animated feature directed by Richard Linklater using rotoscope visual technique. In rotoscoping, filmed actors are digitally transformed into drawings. The graphic novel version of the film consists mostly of direct screen grabs from the animated version. Harvey Pekar has added some narration that has been adapted from the novel. The books and film tell the story of a futuristic Southern California in which drugs are rampant and identity mutable. Keanu Reeves plays an undercover cop who has to spy on and understand the druggy circles around him. The film looks intriguing, but the graphic novel version falls asleep instead of coming to life. Simply arranging film stills on a page to resemble comic book panels does not a narrative make. And while the dialogue seems mostly drawn from the film, the narration, intended to bridge the gap between watching action unfold and reading it, is incongruous and sometimes nonsensical in this setting. This bizarre hybrid is no substitute for Dick's original and will serve best as a reminder of the film.

Customer Reviews



"A Scanner Darkly" takes place in the 90s, were society is scanned as it goes by its daily business and Bob Arcter is hunting himself, or is he?

A Scanner Darkly
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Published: Oct 18, 2011
  • Publisher: HMH Books
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings