Great Look at Book that Inspired Blade Runner

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

Wow. I really did enjoy this book a lot. The main reason I only gave this four stars was that I was and am still confused about the character of Mercer. I just don't get what Phillip K. Dick was doing with regards to him. Everything else I thought worked well though. The plot, writing, setting of a new Earth that is dead, and an ending that was poignant (at least to me).

 

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" takes a look at a ruined Earth in 2021. Due to a World War that has killed off millions also lead to mass extinction of animals (like owls) and has left few people left on Earth. Most have fled for Mars and while there have started to create androids in order for people from Earth to have something life-like around them. However, the government (and I guess this is a global government) has banned androids from Earth. If any are found, they are "retired". 

The story starts with us following a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard whose job is to find rouge androids and retire them. He and his wife remain on Earth though she's become increasingly despondent with living in a almost empty apartment building where they care for their electric sheep. Yes you read that right. In this new Earth, people show one of the primary forms of Mercerism (and no I am not explaining that, read the book) by caring for animals. Rick and his wife owned a sheep that got sick and dead, so they hired a company that produces fake animals. Rick is given an assignment to track down several rogue androids. When he realizes how much money he can make, he dreams about the animal that he can buy.

 

There are other characters in this book as well as Rick. We have his wife, Rick's boss, another bounty hunter, the androids, as well as a man considered a chicken-head (not special) who works at the company that creates fake animals.

 

Ultimately, the book looks at what makes someone truly human (empathy and love) and why is is that the androids are seemingly incapable of it. 

 

I did love the hard look at the humans in this one as well as the androids. Some of the humans, like Rick's wife seem to realize that the reality that they are in is pretty awful. The fact that the woman scheduled 6 hours to deal with being depressed at first seemed kind of funny, and then turned into being pretty awful when you think about it. I did love the role reversal that happened in the end with regards to her taking care of Rick though and being protective of him. 

 

The androids were a bit harder to figure out though. We find out that the androids rapidly age after a few years (2-4) and that the company that has created them is pushing the boundaries to create more and more realistic androids. However, my main question is why though? Why would this company want more realistic androids? It's not as if the androids seem to have any feeling for humans besides what they can get from them.

 

We get to a creepy scene of one of the androids slowly cutting off the legs of a spider. Even one of the androids that we do meet I was initially thinking was a bit different, until we get a reveal that threw me and Rick as well.

 

 

In the end though we have Rick seemingly coming to terms with himself and the world that he lives in with the comment as long as he knows something is electric (not real) that makes it better. Instead of being lied to about it, that is what makes it worse.  

 

 

Kindle edition: 256 pages; $3.00. 

 

Bank: 

April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00

April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages; $3.00.