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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.”—John Brunner
“A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet.”—The New York Times --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B000SEGTI0
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (February 26, 2008)
- Publication date : February 26, 2008
- Language : English
- File size : 2044 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 229 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,910 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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By Schwifty on January 4, 2021
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.
I found the central theme of the novel quite profound and it caused me to consider deeply just what the difference between genuine and counterfeit are, and whether such difference even matters.
Also, I deeply enjoyed the complexity of the characters as there were several moments in the novel where their motives were not easily predictable.
Furthermore, the book had several tense moments when the detective was attempting to ascertain whether one of his targets was an android or not. I was quite surprised by how tense I felt and this is a testament to the quality of the writing.
The end of the book is a fair bit sombre but it feels congruous with the general tone of the book, I was quite satisfied with the end of the novel.
This is a classic example of the science fiction genre and a great read, a real must read!
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."
Top reviews from other countries
He crams so much information into every paragraph, but it's not banal or mundane, every sentence is fascinating. The creative prose oozes from every page, leaving you mesmerized. There have been many great writers, but it's a rarity to find one who not only invents fantastic stories but also put them into magical words.
If you've never read a PKD novel start here and, like me, I guarantee you, you will send off for a stack more.
His writing is so clever, loaded with detail, that paints a flawless picture in your mind of every scene. And the humor in his books is incredibly good; how I laugh when reading his novels. Jane Austen,; he is not.
PKD is out there on his own; no one else comes close to his unique brilliance.
Many version of the book ,in my country in particular , have been even sold with the title of blade runner instead of the original one, yes that title.....it could have put off so many readers want to be, but it does so much sense once you are in the process of reading this masterpiece of sci fi , and change the name of the book has the only target of selling more copies , as as I said are two completely different stories.
So much have been said on Dick and this book so there is nothing I can add apart that I have finished few weeks ago and the feeling that has left is still fresh in my mind.
I was a little disappointed by the length of the novel ( very short ) but who am I to judge a novel that has influenced the last 50 years of sci fi writing ? ,a must read for any sci-fi fan.
However, in spite of being written in 1968, it has some relevance for us. We no longer fear nuclear war but we are warming the planet to dangerous levels which will result in sea-level rises and climate changes which will render much of the world uninhabitable as well as causing a great mass extinction of many animal species. Perhaps there will soon be a market for ‘electric’ pets instead of live ones.
In the book, the solution is to colonise other planets but this is simply impracticable, even though the idea was endorsed by the late Stephen Hawking. This is the only planet we have and we should start to take better care of it.
Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter, hunting down androids who have escaped from the offworld colonies and returned to Earth. Rick owns his own electric sheep, his live one having died. He dreams of one day having another live animal to care for. As the book begins, he has been given the task of destroying a group of six of the latest model androids, so convincing it's almost impossible to tell them apart from humans. In fact the only test that works is one that measures lack of empathy - thus making this the characteristic that most defines humanity. If Rick manages to 'retire' all six androids, the bounty money will let him buy a real animal to cherish.
I've read this book three times now and each time I come away with the same feeling. It's very readable, has some interesting ideas and the characterisation of Rick is excellent. But fundamentally the book makes no sense. There are so many inconsistencies in it that I always come out of it wondering what message exactly Dick was trying to send. The thing is I know what he was trying to say, because he explained it in interviews - he was saying that no matter how humanoid the androids appeared, they were still soulless and heartless, but that the very task of hunting and destroying such human-like beings puts Rick's own humanity at risk. Unfortunately that doesn't come out as the message in the book. I can't help sympathising with the androids. They are created as superior beings then sold to be slaves (and Dick makes explicit reference to pre-Civil War slavery) performing domestic and agricultural chores. When they rebel, they are hunted down and killed. Humans on the other hand rely on machines not just to give them empathy but to control their moods. Seems to me that there's very little left of humanity in the humans at all.
Mostly what the book provokes in me is a series of unanswered questions:
Why do the androids return to Earth knowing they will be hunted - why not go elsewhere when they escape?
Why have humans given up all their existing religions and taken up Mercerism? And what is the point of Mercerism? As religions go, it's a particularly depressing one.
Why have some people decided to stay on Earth? There's little prospect of it recovering in the foreseeable future, and they will eventually get sick and die.
Why are the humans so freaked about the androids - they don't seem to do much harm except when enslaved or attacked. One of them has actually become an opera star - well, OK, soprano opera singers are a pestilence, I admit, but even so...
And the most basic question of all...
If humans are freaked by androids that are so human-like they can't be told apart from the real thing, then... why make them???
Perhaps I've been spoiled by all the subsequent brilliant exploration of what it means to be human via the world's greatest android, (no, not Marvin!), Commander Data. But I suspect Data owes his existence more to Asimov's robots than Dick's androids, and personally I think Asimov's robots were the superior creation.
So while the book is an enjoyable read, and one I'd recommend because of its status as a classic of the genre, it's lack of internal logic always prevents me from thinking of it as a truly great one.