cover image PAYCHECK


Philip K. Dick, , read by Keir Dullea. . Harper Audio, $9.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-058990-5

The moral and the atmosphere of the recent Paramount Pictures film Paycheck differ significantly from those in the original short story performed here—a fact obscured by the movie-poster packaging and one that might confuse listeners. Jennings, a mechanic, signs on at Retherick Construction, agreeing to be paid richly on the condition that his memory will be wiped clean of everything he did after he completes his two years of service. When he awakes, his memory erased, he discovers that he had declined the money in favor of seven seemingly random items which he must use to avoid the Special Police, who are investigating Retherick Construction. Narrator Dullea does a fine job of evoking the story's tension as well as Jennings's puzzlement over his situation. However, he lends the story's one female character a saccharine, whispery voice that detracts from the narration. Although this audio adaptation may please fans of the movie who are interested in seeing how the original story has been altered for the silver screen, those looking for an introduction to the author's works would do better to pick up the collection on which this audio is based, Paycheck: And Other Classic Stories . (Jan.)