A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Science Fiction Novel A Scanner Darkly

American writer Philip K. Dick published an exceptionally written science fiction novel, titled A Scanner Darkly, in the year 1977. Although this novel is semi-autobiographical, the author set the story in the dystopian Orange County of California. It is one of the best-known works of Philip K. Dick. The novel also changed into a movie with the same name in 2006.

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Author: Philip K. Dick    

Genre: Science fiction, paranoid fiction, philosophical literature

Pages: 304

Good reads rating: 4.01 of 5

My Ratings: 8.1 of 10

Published: 1977 (Original publication)

Publisher:  Mariner Books; Reprint edition (October 18, 2011)

Language: English

For The Latest Price: A Scanner Darkly

Review and Summary of Science Fiction Novel A Scanner Darkly

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

A Scanner Darkly

The hero of A Scanner Darkly is one member of the house of drug users. His name is Bob Arctor, and he lives a double life as an undercover police officer. Bob hides his identity from both the drug users and the police because a narcotic agent needs to remain anonymous. Although Arctor poses as a drug user, he gets addicted to a substance known as Slow Death or Substance D. This drug comprises an effective and powerful psychoactive nature. Arctor loves a girl named Donna who is a drug dealer and Arctor with the help of her wants to find out the high-level dealers of Slow Death.

As Arctor is an undercover agent, he works with a dual name, Fred. He also wears a scramble suit to hide his identity from other police officers. He works by sitting in a police facility and observe the inhabitants of his house with the help of holo-scanners. Holo-scanners are audio-visual surveillance devices, which they placed everywhere in the house. Since Arctor used drugs, the two hemispheres of his brain function independently from each other. It is so much that when Arctor sees himself in the videos, he cannot identify himself.

After performing different drug and psychological testing, the seniors of Arctor realise that he cannot perform his duties as a narcotics agent. The superiors do not know his identity because of his scramble suit, but it might be Bob Arctor. Donna’s task begins, as she takes Arctor to a rehabilitation clinic for withdrawal of Substance D. They reveal that Donna is also a narcotic agent and aims to find out the funding source of Substance D. In a rehab program, Arctor gets named Bruce and started taking part in group dynamic games to break his will.

Will Arctor be able to get rid of this addiction? What is the future of Arctor and Donna? Will Arctor be able to continue his job or not? Read the book to find out the answers.

Final Say on The Science Fiction Novel A Scanner Darkly

This novel is undoubtedly one of the best works of Philip K. Dick. The novel presents an amazing story that keeps readers interested until the end. In my opinion, the novel deserves a rating of 8.1 out of 10 because of the storyline. Would I re-read this novel? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

For The Latest Price: A Scanner Daily

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.