Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

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.

I received this for a friend who lives abroad and immediately grabbed it and read it! It just looked so fascinating! Apparently, the film Blade Runner was based on the book. I haven't seen it so I had no preconceived notions about the book - which is probably a good thing.

The book was so bizarre and quite intellectual feeling. It felt like I should be reading it while dressed all in black drinking coffee at a cafe! The story itself was interesting and made you think about all the ethical arguments of androids. I think I'll just stick with my Roomba!

The book was originally published in 1968 and yet is still applicable today. There were some vintage Cybermen moments for me but it still seemed quite up to date. It's amazing how the author could come up with these ideas so far before the technical revolution!

This one get six stars. It was a fast read, but rather too intellectual for light reading. It left me feeling like although I read the entire thing, I didn't get it like I was supposed to. Like there was some deep message that could only be understood by discussing it for an entire semester in a literature class.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆


Gwendolyn B. said...

This is a terrific book - let it "sit" with you awhile and perhaps you'll "get it" more as time passes. The movie is, of course, different, but definitely something to see. It's worthwhile in it's own right.

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