Monday, June 5, 2017

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

Synopsis: By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force. (from the online description)

Review: I watched Bladerunner recently, and figured it was about time I read the story it was based on. All I have to say is – WTF? The book and movie, aside from sharing androids and Deckard, are NOTHING alike!
The book is a confusing mash of philosophy, angst-ridden introspection, and reflections on a religion/cult of empathy that makes very little sense to me, yet seemed integral to the story. I never did understand Rachel’s connection to the escaped androids, or what the Rosen family had to do with them. 
In the end, I gathered one of the more obvious points of the story – Deckard felt sympathy for electric sheep, but not the androids he “retired”. As the story progresses, he sees this hypocrisy in his life along with the realization that he can’t continue as a bounty hunter if he feels empathy for his quarry.
But as for the philosophy points of the story, I didn’t understand them. Some of the story was confusing and made no sense, and the whole Mercer thing was weird. It all, it was a depressing view of the future, but not an unlikely one, sadly. 

Bookmarks: 3 of 5

Awards:  1968 – Nebula Award nominee, 1998 – Locus Poll Award, All-Time Best SF Novel before 1990 (Place: 51)

ISBN: 978-0-07-756623-4
Year Published: 1968
Date Finished: 5-31-2017
Pages: 244

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