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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 Paperback – May 28, 1996
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Praise for Philip K. Dick
“The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.”—John Brunner
“A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet.”—The New York Times
From the Inside Flap
"The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world."
THE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . .
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . .
They even built humans.
Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.
"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from."
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a moral dilemma for Decker and he cannot untwist his increasing sympathy for the androids he is hunting from his sense of duty to the force and his wife.
It is very sad and very depressing especially when you are clearly presented with androids who are not sympathetic, do not care, except about their own survival, and can only imitate emotion, not really feel. In the end Decker is crippled by his murder of the last of the androids. He will no longer hunt them, can no longer kill them.
Blade Runner hinted at this moral dilemma but spectacle triumphed over substance and all we have left of it is Decker's moves to save the woman/android he has come to love. That, and the magnificent monologue of Rutger Hauer on the roof of the Bradbury Building. Stunning performance. That recollection of his life makes him human, no different then other humans but then, it's time to die. Love, love, love that scene.
I found the world the author created to be fascinating. While there is fear of androids, humans use devices to dictate their emotions. Television is a major factor in their lives, and religion is embraced but controlled. The author handles all of this and more in a matter-of-fact style, drawing the reader into a future that at times is strange, yet vaguely familiar to those of us living in what would have been PKD's future.
The story is told through two people, the bounty hunter Rick Deckard and John Isidore, a "damaged" human who lives for a time with the androids Deckard is hunting. The reader sees the world through the eyes of these two men, and we are allowed to experience the inner turmoil both must deal with as the story rushes to its conclusion.
While I still love the movie, the differences between the book and movie versions are why I awarded five stars. Some of the book explained a bit of the back-story never told in the movie, and the well-detailed future world is definitely worth your time.
After hearing good reviews of Philip K. Dick's writings, I was highly pleased after my first read of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Dick incorporated heavy life contemplations into the story placed in future Bay Area. Although the story was extremely absurd, it still contained a sense of realism. The story is largely focused on an attempt to establish an essential element to determine the meaning of life. I thought it was interesting how Dick focused the possible meaning of life around the emotion of empathy. Even though the emotion of empathy was what was used to determine real life amongst the fake, the concept was convincing and plausible.
The book was easy to read as far as the tone of writing and the language. The concepts of the book were hard to comprehend at first. It took a little getting used to to being to understand the mind state, views, and ideals of the characters in the book. Rick ponders, "the electric animal could be considered a subform of the other, a kind of vastly inferior robot. Or, conversely, the android could be regarded as a highly developed, evolved version of the ersatz animal. Both viewpoint repelled him" (Dick 42). The values of life that Dick presented were difficult to grasp. It was difficult to grasp not because the writing was unclear but because it was so bizarre that your brain had to get used to the way the characters minds and thought process worked.
What I didn't like about the book was the random love affair between Rick Deckard and Rachel Rosen. For me, it set me off and left me a little confused. I understand where Dick was coming from when he threw this part of the story, but I think it was initiated a little poorly. Throughout the book, Deckard has many sexual thoughts that he expresses, but then all of a sudden his thoughts quickly become a reality out of the blue. One second he is stressed from the hunt or androids and asking Rachel Rosen for help. Then all of a sudden they are confessing their love for each other and having sex. While laying in bed with Rachel Rosen, Rick thinks, "I will retire a Nexus-6 which looks exactly like this naked girl" (Dick 194). The whole scenario just seemed really awkward and random in relation to the rest of the book. The love connection definitely surprised me.
Over all, I thought Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was an interesting and captivating read. It put new ideas into my head and really made me think into depth about common life conventions that I haven't even noticed were so significant.