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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (original 1968; edition 1996)

by Philip K. Dick

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11,209275251 (3.97)2 / 433
Member:ashbrau
Title:Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Del Rey (1996), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968)

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English (256)  French (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Romanian (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (272)
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
I was quite let down by the book after hearing so much hype about it.

I was in AWE of the concept though! Owning a real animal being a TRUE sign of human compassion, and THAT'S how you can tell a human from an android? Or, at least, it'll help keep you from appearing suspicious. What a brilliant idea!

Delivery of the story though I thought was meh. ( )
  Czarmoriarty | Sep 14, 2014 |
If you didn't already know, this is the novel that inspired the Ridley Scott Sci-Fi film masterpiece "Blade Runner." I've heard about it for years and most people say that the film really doesn't have much to do with the book. After finally reading it for myself, I kind of have to disagree.

Does the film follow the book? Not exactly and in many ways not at all. However, there are some scenes that are directly taken from the book. More importantly, the film really does a good job of capturing the feel and tone of the book without delving into some of the more abstract concepts that would have been very difficult to put on the screen.

As for the novel itself, I really enjoyed it. It read well and delves into the psyche of the main character very effectively. The author has several messages to convey in his writing and does so in a way that is not intrusive or distracting. There are a couple of elements that I found a bit odd to my liking, but overall it has a quickly moving plot that keeps the reader engaged and interested from start to finish.

All in all, another enjoyable science fiction classic. ( )
  StefanY | Sep 13, 2014 |

As far as this book went, P.K. Dick takes some getting used to. Dropping a few scenes here and there, unusual dialogue and then just forgetting about main characters was a bit hard to take.

On the other hand the adventures of Rick Deckert, bounty hunter of androids during a near future time was interesting. Dick does great in describing this new Earth, with its predictions of massive fall-out, "chickenheads" (retarded people affected by radiation), and the androids.

The androids are near human and Rick has a device that can spot them. Rick also falls in love with an android which turns out to nearly be his undoing.

Religion:

Dick pokes at religion too, through the practice of "Mercerism" which a person may get some pathetic benefit from. As well, drugs are used to alter mood and you have your choice of mood when you wake up in the morning. His wife Iran sometimes prefers depressing moods, which drives Rick nuts. What started Mercerism and who he is was touched on, but to a slight degree.

Animals:

Most of the animals and bugs on Earth are dead, and the few there are cost a pretty penny. The poorer folk buy electric sheep and such. Better a fake animal than nothing at all. This could really have been delved into deeper but was not.

Themes: Many themes are started and then dropped. Rick for example falls for Racheal, an android built by a corporation. This is never satisfactory especially at the end, which you'll have to see for yourself when you read the book (no spoilers).

Bottom Line:

I will need to rewatch the Harrison Ford film to make a final judgment, but Dick's book is not all it's cracked up to be. The androids hanging out, trying to take over a police station, and the love angle are each one of them started and never developed. The dropped plot lines was getting irritating.

Recommended only for Dick fans or those fans of the film.




( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
Pretty good considering it is from one of the most famous of SF authors. I admit I saw the movie Blade Runner first but it didn't color the book and its own story. It has been interesting to see some of the novum described in the story and its possible uses today. Overall I look forward to reading more of Dick's work. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
I really wanted to enjoy this book, having heard such wonderful things about it. My recent foray into trying to read more science fiction came at a good time—or so I thought. It was with the desire to be entertained that I began Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Sadly, I think my next experience with science fiction will definitely have to be with a feminist author given my problems with Dick.

Along the way, I was maddened by how misogynistic the novel is: the many ways in which woman, human or android, are objectified by the male characters is appalling. I can almost imagine Philip K. Dick writing with his dick, as if creating luscious, nubile female androids—almost always discussed in adolescent terms, making the Lolita fantasy that much more disturbing—was his way of working out some kind of interspace sexual fantasy and this book is the by-product. Tricky dick.



While reading, there was one place where Rick Deckard, the bounty hunter, talks with his depressive wife, reminds himself that he can still divorce her, and then he immediately begins to fantasize about how female androids attract him. This is when I almost nearly stopped reading.

Or when Deckard tests himself using the fancy android-testing machine in order to see if his disdain for androids has begun to turn into empathy; it would appear that, at least in the case of female androids, it has:

Rich said, “A female android.”

“Now they’re both up to 4.0 and 6.0 respectively.”


And little does Phil Resch, another bounty hunter, realize what he’s putting into motion when he tells Deckard:

”Don’t kill her—or be present when she’s killed—and then feel physically attracted. Do it the other way.”

Rick stared at him. “Go to bed with her first—”

“—and then kill her,” Phil Resch said succinctly.




I found an interesting essay while trying to make it through the tail-end of Do Androids... which discusses misogyny in the film version, Blade Runner: Simon H. Scott’s “Is Blade Runner a Misogynist Text?” I have yet to see the film, and I doubt I will any time soon after finishing the novel, but it is indeed possible that the film uses more film noir conventions and figures like Rachael Rosen are more femme fatale figures in the film, as is the author’s argument against a full-fledged misogynistic reading of the text. However, the novel is not noir in any way, so I wonder if this argument has been made elsewhere with the book—and perhaps other work by Dick—as evidence. It would be something I would like to read, at any rate.

I will say that Dick knows how to pace a novel, and it was largely that which kept me reading despite many moments of nausea.

Note to picky readers: the word “ersatz” gets used so many times I lost count.
( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dougoud, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duranti, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michniewicz, SueCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Struzen, DrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wölfl, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And still I dream he treads the lawn,
walking ghostly in the dew,
pierced by my glad singing through.
~ Yeats
Dedication
To Tim and Serena Powers, my dearest friends
To Maren Augusta Bergrud
August 10, 1923 - June 14, 1967
First words
A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345404475, Paperback)

"The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world."
--John Brunner

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.

Emigrées 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."
--Paul Williams, Rolling Stone

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:48 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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