- Series: Blade Runner
- Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (July 12, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345350472
- ISBN-13: 978-0345350473
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1,431 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blade Runner (Movie-Tie-In Edition) Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1987
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a book that most people think they remember and almost always get more or less wrong. Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner took a lot from it, and threw a lot away. Wonderful in itself, the film is a flash thriller, whereas Dick's novel is a sober meditation. As we all know, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is stalking a group of androids who have returned from space with short life spans and murder on their minds--where Scott's Deckard was Harrison Ford, Dick's is a financially strapped municipal employee with bills to pay and a depressed wife. In a world where most animals have died, and pet keeping is a social duty, he can only afford a robot imitation, unless he gets a big financial break.
The genetically warped "chickenhead" John Isidore has visions of a tomb-world where entropy has finally won. And everyone plugs in to the spiritual agony of Mercer, whose sufferings for the sins of humanity are broadcast several times a day. Prefiguring the religious obsessions of Dick's last novels, this book asks dark questions about identity and altruism. After all, is it right to kill the killers just because Mercer says so? --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk
From the Publisher
The classic novel behind the cult film classic directed by Ridley Scott. As atmospheric and even more compelling than the film. A dystopian tour de force.
--Fred Dodnick, Vice President, Director of Trade Production
Top customer reviews
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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.
My favorite quality of this novel is how pkd shifted the world and examined the cultural impact of it. After WWT, live animals became scarce leading to a market of life like robotic animals. Actual animals became pricey commodities and a symbol of status. Our hero of the novel desires a living animal, and he obsesses over it throughout to an almost comical degree. This is where the title comes in, he owns an electric sheep and wonders if the androids have their own humanlike desires.
A great read, i see why PKD is a legend. His imagination is astounding and breaks all the rules without breaking a sweat. Will read more of his work including this novel again. You should too.
If you've seen the 1982 Blade Runner movie, you already know Deckard is a bounty hunter....works for law enforcement....and has a license to kill rogue androids aka replicants.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP was the inspiration for the old movie as well as Blade Runner 2049 in theatre's now and is the same in some respects, but without the intensity and violence. It kind of has a strange calmness to it....almost like you've taken a mood enhancer, and there's a whole other plot going on. Very bizarre.
I don't want to be a "chicken-head" and give anything away so I'll just say....times are bleak, desperate and totally weird after W.W.T. (World War Terminus) with people trying to survive on a contaminated earth....animals are a rare commodity....and most....those that passed the test have defected to Mars.
Definitely MORE thought provoking than the movie....Definitely NOT the action-packed thriller with brutal fights between bounty hunter and a highly-intelligent & dangerous species of replicant.
"You shall kill only the killers."
Like other PKD books I’ve read, this book has a regular main plot that I understand (humans struggling against androids), then multiple subplots, some of which I get (electric animals, artificial emotions) and others that I don’t (the Mercer stuff). I’ve spent almost as much time thinking about the book as I did reading it.
One thing that I don’t like about the book is that it posits a destruction of our earth along with the technological progress. Darker stuff and confrontation with crises makes for better stories, I suppose.
I’ll probably read this again in the future as I age. The themes of self-awareness, intelligence, handling emotions, empathy for other people, animals, and things greatly interest me.