Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Paperback - 1996
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A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film Blade Runner

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.

Praise for Philip K. Dick

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

"A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet." -- The New York Times

"[Philip K. Dick] sees all the sparkling--and terrifying--possibilities . . . that other authors shy away from." -- Rolling Stone
Publisher: New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 1996.
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780345404473
0345404475
9780613916660
0613916662
Characteristics: x, 244 p. ; 21 cm.

Opinion


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From Library Staff

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... Read More »


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d
DeltaQueen50
Jul 21, 2018

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick was a fantastic science fiction read with themes revolving around man’s humanity. First published in 1968, this iconic novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco as bounty hunter Richard Deckard tracks down and “retires” runaway androids.

I was absolutely fascinated by this tale. Set in the year 2019 (which seemed in the future when the book was written), this world is an unhealthy, dreary place with it’s fake religion, mood amplifiers and a non-stop 24 hour television show. The story totally held my attention while at the same time the author left many unanswered questions that give the reader a lot to ponder upon. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a complex, dark and disturbing read that in light of the world situation today seems all that more relevant.

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VPAL7
Jun 30, 2018

I can appreciate the book's focus on philosophical questions of morality, it definitely gave me some food for thought. However, I found the pace was sometimes lagging and I would have liked a bit more action. Additionally, the religious beliefs of characters that play a relatively big role in the story were not very well explained. That being said, I did enjoy the aspects of the story that revolved around the value of animals and I liked the development of the main character.

z
zpare
Jun 19, 2018

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" is a story that isn't always coherent on what's actually happening. Unlike the movie, animals are coveted now as the Earth atmosphere has become toxic. This alludes to the title of the book. The movie is nothing like the book. It's important to remember that the book inspired the movie and it isn't an adaptation of the book itself. With that in mind, don't expect to like the book if you really liked the movie.

f
flygt
May 16, 2018

A very enjoyable read but I liked the movie it inspired better.

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jewaters06
Mar 11, 2018

I didn't rate this book as highly as I would have preferred. Despite the hooray and praise surrounding the novel it failed to enthrall me. I struggled through every chapter, but I tried to keep an open mind to the ideas an social commentary the author was making. From a literary context the novel is well written, well organized, and the story creates a world full of imagination. However, I had a very hard time relating the main character and an even more difficult time relating to his wife or to Rachel. But, I contemplate the fact that it may be the authors point to make his characters difficult to relate too considering most of them are humanoid robots. However, even Deckerd with his needy disposition to 'keep up with the joneses' and snide, near caustic, attitude towards all female characters, failed to inspire empathy. If you want a dystopian novel that presents human desire for empathetic connection in a existentialist, materialistic world yet robs you of that emotional fulfillment then this is the novel for you. Please don't misunderstand, the author is an imaginative genius and his novel presents incredible themes and perceptions on modern society - I simply didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

p
Papadog
Feb 21, 2018

Very interesting book, especially given it was the model for The Blade Runner movie, the first one, which by the way is the best sci-fi movie ever made. That's not just my opinion, most critics agree... Further interest stems from that it was written in 1968 and was surprizingly innovative for that time. I suppose I've underestimated what good writers are capable of regardless of when they lived,.
For the Blade Runner fans the movie does not follow the book's plot much, and actually the movie's plot is much, much better.

a
abbi_g
Jan 26, 2018

I am in a book club at work and this was the first book we read since the club's launch. When I requested Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep through my local library, I didn't realize that I had selected the graphic novel adaptation of this book; but I am so glad that I did. The artwork complements the story very well and the story itself is really interesting. Although Phillip K. Dick published this novel in the 60s, it is very reminiscent of the world today, which goes to show you that no matter how many techy products we develop, humans are humans are humans. We struggle with envy, insecurity, anger, and the desire to worship someone or something. We love using terms like primitive and progressive when it comes to describing human behavior & beliefs, but eventually you realize that regardless of the year change, our faults & weaknesses remain the same.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Dec 08, 2017

A fast read elapsed a short span, an effect on me will last much longer. Compact (story and characters), elaborate (concept and outer/inner landscape), and so far ahead of its time.
It's quite different from film Blade Runner, or extend further to different dimensions, e.g. the book delved deeper from human (regular and special) perspective, and the movie is equal on both human and replicant ("humanoid robot" in the book). As I love the movie so much, I can't tell right away if its inspirational source - the original book, triumph over.
I expect to read more Dick's novels.

7
7626dee
Nov 01, 2017

The format of the book as an illustrated book was impossible to read. Print varied in color and was occasionally invisible on the illustrations. A very expensive comic book where the format completely overshadowed the contents.

Never make the mistake of comparing this book to the movie it inspired (Blade Runner) and expect the exact same experience. For one, different mediums of artistic expression require different choices in telling the same or similar stories. Second, the film was inspired by the book and only somewhat based on it. Some character names are the same but their individual lives/stories are often quite different. Some characters are changed or deleted. The basic blot is still there but, as movies often do for reasons of expediency, many subplots are removed or ignored. That's fine. What the movie does well is capture the heart of the story and the mood of Dick's writing. Enjoy them both for what each is meant to be. Appreciate them for their similarities as well as their differences. It's a good study on how books are typically reworked as films.

Note: This was the fourth time I've read it and the first time in 30 years.

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MichelleinBallard
Sep 17, 2017

"I am a fraud," Mercer said. "They're sincere; their research is genuine. From their standpoint I am an elderly retired bit player named Al Jarry. All of it, their disclosure, is true. They interviewed me at my home, as they claim; I told them whatever they wanted to know, which was everything."

"Including about the whisky?"

Mercer smiled. "It was true. They did a good job and from their standpoint Buster Friendly's disclosure was convincing. They will have trouble understanding why nothing has changed. Because you're still here and I'm still here." Mercer indicated with a sweep of his hand the barren, rising hillside, the familiar place. "I lifted you from the tomb world just now and I will continue to lift you until you lose interest and want to quit. But you will have to stop searching for me because I will never stop searching for you."

PimaLib_JB Oct 28, 2014

“Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."

PimaLib_JB Oct 28, 2014

“Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."

l
LazyNeko
Oct 19, 2011

He thought, too, about his need for a real animal; within him an actual hatred once more manifested itself toward his electric sheep, which he had to tend, had to care about, as if it lived. The tyranny of an object, he thought. It doesn't know I exist. Like the androids, it had no ability to appreciate the existence of another.

Wolvie Aug 12, 2009

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.

d
DavidB
May 10, 2009

I'm seeing one of them for the the first time. And they damn near did it; they came awfully damn close to undermining the Voigt-Kampff scale, the only method we have for detecting them. The Rosen Association does a good job -- makes a good try, anyhow -- at protecting its products. And I have to face six more of them, he reflected. Before I'm finished. He would earn the bounty money. Every cent. Assuming he made it through alive.

Age

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brihawkins13 Mar 26, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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sannuus
Oct 29, 2013

sannuus thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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everydayathena
Jul 21, 2012

everydayathena thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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jabey
Jun 10, 2008

jabey thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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jlapham
Oct 02, 2013

Do Androids dream of electric sheep? Do androids dream at all? Do they hope for something better? Humans have dreams and hopes, and humans have empathy. How and why have these traits come about? Research on this can be found, yet here, Dick has explored what happens when these traits are missing. How cold logic and curiosity can take over, and how when the pain in others does not register, or the pleasure for that matter, lead ultimately to worse and deadly choices. Can a person live without these qualities? Would they be condemned by their peers? What happens when we remove the spider's legs? Does it make a difference if the spider is artificial? I personally was intrigued when a discussion about judgment came up, or at least it did in my mind. A being exists which is pure acceptance, and lacking in judgment. Lacking judgment allows for a more clear perception of the worald, and a release from stress. What happens when this point is reached, and can it be reversed? Can a mind go from complete numbing acceptance to the strong opinion and emotional reactiveness which seems more common to human nature. If you, or anyone, lacked empathy, how would you go about testing for its existence in others? At some point, though we may recognize the pain of another, most people have committed some act at the painful expense of someone else. So, then, does empathy only give recognition of feeling? Are some more susceptible to their empathic sense than others? I would imagine so; in fact, I'm sure I've observed this. If your arrival to this work was due to watching the film Blade Runner do not expect too much similarity. Certainly, many of the characters and ideas, and even at times the plot, seem to go with the film, but ultimately it is quite a different experience. The landscape of Dick's future is hard and polluted. So much so that it can take lives, and souls. Try not to let the imagery of the film be the backdrop when you read, for it is not quite the same. And, in order to prolong the inevitable build-up of kipple, I suggest checking this book out from the library so that you can return it before it breaks down... Then again, I would consider one worth keeping in the personal collection.

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DavidB
May 10, 2009

Sexual Content: "Copulation with an android; absolutely against the law, here and on the colony worlds as well."

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