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A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick, Author, Paul Giamatti, Read by
Philip K. Dick, Author, Paul Giamatti, Read by , read by Paul Giamatti. Random House Audio $34.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7393-2392-2
Reviewed on: 07/10/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006

The great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick died in 1982, but his fame continues to grow—especially through films based on his work, like Terminator and Blade Runner . This dark but devilishly entertaining audio—read by the terrific Giamatti (American Splendor , Sideways )—offers Dick fans the complete book just in time to compare it to Richard Linklater's movie adaptation starring Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. Giamatti is an inspired choice, managing to capture both the touching charm and the irritating obsessiveness of Dick's leading characters in a slightly futuristic version of Los Angeles: a drug addict named Bob and a narcotics cop called Fred—who might just be the same person, especially since they're both addicted to a drug called Substance D, which gradually splits the user's brain into two warring entities. Dick's book is not for the squeamish or those offended by strong language, but he and Giamatti make the degradation and despair of addiction poignant and often hilarious. Simultaneous release with the Vintage paperback movie tie-in. (May)

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