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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [School & Library Binding]

Philip K. Dick , Roger Zelazny
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)

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Library Binding CDN $18.05  
School & Library Binding, May 1996 --  
Paperback CDN $13.00  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.89  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $35.20  
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Book Description

May 1996 0613916662 978-0613916660
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal -- the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -- and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted ...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a book that most people think they remember and almost always get more or less wrong. Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner took a lot from it, and threw a lot away. Wonderful in itself, the film is a flash thriller, whereas Dick's novel is a sober meditation. As we all know, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is stalking a group of androids who have returned from space with short life spans and murder on their minds--where Scott's Deckard was Harrison Ford, Dick's is a financially strapped municipal employee with bills to pay and a depressed wife. In a world where most animals have died, and pet keeping is a social duty, he can only afford a robot imitation, unless he gets a big financial break.

The genetically warped "chickenhead" John Isidore has visions of a tomb-world where entropy has finally won. And everyone plugs in to the spiritual agony of Mercer, whose sufferings for the sins of humanity are broadcast several times a day. Prefiguring the religious obsessions of Dick's last novels, this book asks dark questions about identity and altruism. After all, is it right to kill the killers just because Mercer says so? --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In Dick's futuristic dystopian novel, life has become a tenuous existence for those who have stayed behind after the war and exodus to other planets. Rick Deckard struggles as a bounty hunter in San Francisco to destroy a new breed of androids nearly undetectable to humans. However, he finds himself battling with empathy for the supposed lifeless beings—especially when he must team up with one to achieve his goal. Dick blends the detective story with science fiction and a bit of philosophy. Brick is a perfect match for one of Dick's most memorable novels. He maintains Deckard's grittier disposition and a range of other human and inhuman characters, but also provides the inflection and morose tones found in the story's more somber moments. Not all of his female voices are completely believable. However, one of Brick's most gifted abilities lies in his quivering voice used throughout for emphasis and mood. A Del Rey paperback. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired, Anxiety-Ridden Sci-Fi June 23 2004
Format:Paperback
After being an ardent Blade Runner fan for years, I decided to explore it's roots in Philip K. Dick's book, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". The movie and the book had less in common than I'd expected, particularly with the character development. Unlike Blade Runner, there is nothing at all redeeming about the personalities of the replicants/ "andys" in this book, which has an even more chilling effect. There are, however, plenty of interesting ideas here, and depicting "authentic" animals as the ultimate status symbol is definitely intriguing. What interested me the most, were the marital issues between Deckard and his wife Iran. The love scene between Rachel and Deckard here is curiously shallow, adding to the isolated tone of the book.
Philip K. Dick is a good writer, effectively permeating the book with an unrelenting anxiety and cruel irony. PKD's ideas came to fruition in Blade Runner, but this is the blueprint, and therefore an absolute must for Blade Runner enthusiasts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor and humanity June 5 2004
Format:Paperback
This novel, first published in 1968, was the basis for Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner (1982), which despite its striking, evocative visuals, plucks elements of the novel out of their context, making them somewhat less intelligible and less radical than in the original. Additionally, Dick's humor and his metaphysics are missing from the movie. The reader of the book is continually challenged to evaluate how human the androids are and how mechanical the humans are. The androids are not mere machines like most of the simulacra in Dick's other novels: they are artificial people made from organic materials; they have free will and emotions like fear and love. Physically and behaviorally they are indistinguishable from real people. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter whose job it is to hunt down and kill escaped androids. His life is thoroughly programmed; but in the course of the novel he starts to wake up to his buried human nature and capacity for empathy and understanding. This novel is the place to look for a serious analysis of the question of what it means to be human; you get only the tip of the iceberg of that issue in the movie. The book is one of Dick's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book, known for its tie-in to the SF blockbuster film Bladerunner, is a distinct beast. One of Dick's best, most fully developed, and imagined novels, it takes place on a radioactive wasteland-Earth in the not-so-distant future, after a war that killed virtually all animals (whose prices, even when no specimens are available, are kept in auction guide-like catalogues called Sidney's Animal and Fowl), and necessitated lead codpieces to protect the human germ line in the minority not turned into "specials"-radioactive rejects such as one of the book's two male protagonists, Jack Isodore. The main, tough male character is Rick Deckard, a married bounty hunter who steps up to the plate after his senior colleague is killed in the line of fire. One thing that I don't think comes through in the film, but which is a major focal point of the book, is the metaphorical, metaphysical status of the weak, the feminine, the loving-emotional-animal axis so central to our mammalian human being. As always in Dick, it helps to look beyond the action to the philosophical or metaphysical verities that are being expertly explored through the condensed tool of his nonpareil fiction. Here it occurs to me that the "being-a-man" coolness (i.e., emotionlessness) of the prototypical-and ideal-1950s male is here what is being taken to task. In non SF pulp forerunners to a book like Androids-in the works of Raymond Chandler and his hardboiled ilk, that is to say, in detective fiction-the desirable femme fatale is resisted as the detective (the "private dick," as the slang goes) solves the crime. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic dreaming towards a futuristic day June 21 2004
Format:Paperback
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? is another classic science fiction novel that I only just got around to reading. And once again, I find myself wishing that I'd gotten around to reading it earlier. It was also my introduction to the writings of Philip K. Dick, and I also wish I had started exploring his output before now. This novel demonstrates what science fiction can do at its best. It tells an absorbing, thrilling story, but it also works on other levels.
The book's protagonist is named Rick Deckard, and he's a police officer in a post-apocalyptic future whose job is to track down and destroy rouge androids. Although this is clearly a science fiction work, I felt a strong flavor of noir creeping throughout the sections dealing with Deckard's career. The trappings of the fantastic are present, but they're presented in a clearly thriller-type way. Deckard may be a cop from the future, yet he owes a lot of his characterization to the hardboiled, fictional detectives who came before him. This makes him an extremely entertaining character, as well as an immediately sympathetic one.
As has been noted, this novel is doing a little more than just telling another adventure story (although it does a great job at that). While the themes of alienation and isolation and what it means to be a conscious, reasoning entity are well-developed and much discussed by readers, several other metaphors are also lurking beneath the surface. This is a book very much influenced by its time (it was published 1968), but pieces of it seem almost timeless (the war which nearly destroys the world is caused by a right-wing policy group wielding too much influence at the Pentagon; boy, does that sound familiar).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
probably about my 12+ read / great book, great author / was just missing from my library
Published 1 month ago by Adrian
1.0 out of 5 stars Fairplay to Ridley Scott...
... for basically making something out of nothing. How in the world did he see the potential of making such a breathtakingly good movie – speaking of Bladerunner, of course – out... Read more
Published 3 months ago by CUTTER
4.0 out of 5 stars The future of empathy
This wacko classic of bounty hunters, rogue androids, and a post-nuclear-war world almost devoid of animal life carries a somewhat unforgettable lesson. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian Griffith
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe They Dream of Electric Sheeps
A dystopian sort of future with civilization deconstruction, mixed with incredible plot twists? Only some of a lot more solid reasons on why you should read this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by E Himawan
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to me, really good read
Really interesting, thought provoking read. It frames nicely some of the questions we are starting to deal with with artificial intelligence. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bradley Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Blade runner
This book which has been adapted in theatres under the name blade runner is a great Sci-Fi book that reaches philosophical levels.
Are dreams and desire reserved to humans?
Published on May 19 2011 by Anton PANAITESCO
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I expected!
I read the description for this book and I was intregued. I found it to be even better than I though it would be. It was deffinately a book that I couldn't put down. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2009 by Amy Sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction, Suspense and Philosophy
I became a rabid fan of Philip K. Dick from the first novel of his that I read. All of his books are excellent, and this one ranks as one of the best. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2008 by Douglas P. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelation
Having never read sci-fi, or seen the film, before, this novel was somewhat of a revelation to me. While I had trouble keeping track of the details, I loved the big ideas:... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2007 by Tez Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cut and dry
It is a futuristic story, set in a distopian society where, since the fallout of world war III, humanity has managed to set off to colonize other planets. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by "imdateless"
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