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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
probably about my 12+ read / great book, great author / was just missing from my library
Published 20 days ago by Adrian

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Seen Blade Runner?
If you have seen Blade Runner don't worry about it spoiling the ending, completely different messages. Everything of Dick's I have read have been wild, inventive, and extremely interesting. I would recomend trying to completely forget Blade Runner (or vice versa) while reading this book, only the names and a few constructions are the same. I actually preferred Blade...
Published on March 13 2003


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4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic dreaming towards a futuristic day, June 21 2004
By 
Andrew McCaffrey (Satellite of Love, Maryland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (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). The psychological testing done on the subjects to determine their identity (either human or robot) reminded me strongly of the infamous McCarthy hearings.
I was very impressed by the actual writing itself in this novel. Dick's prose is very strong. Science fiction writers often enjoy building up a new world/universe at the expense of characterization or plot, but that isn't the case here. He excels at painting a bleak future, taking the attitudes of today and projecting them into a world with few people and fewer animals. But he doesn't let this overwhelm the book. It's a hard balance to maintain, yet he manages it well. His satire is exactly what it should be: both hilarious and cuttingly accurate.
Philip K. Dick is a writer that I've heard a lot of good things about, and I'm looking forward to diving deeper into his back catalog. DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? impressed me in both its straightforward narrative and in the deeper topics that it touches on. The "social commentary" aspect of the novel, which can be painful in books by lesser authors, is actually one of the book's best features. There are a few sloppy points (the mechanical capabilities of the androids are a bit vaguely defined, and once or twice characters talk to themselves for no reason other than to convey plot-points to the audience), but overall I was a very happy reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cut and dry, June 3 2004
By 
"imdateless" (Somewhere in the USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
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. The main plot of the book is that a bounty hunter (Rick Deckard) is searching for rogue androids who have made their way back from the colony on Mars after killing their owners. Pretty cut and dry - in fact, the movie Blade Runner was based on the book. But as far as science fiction, this is where the story departs - using the future as merely a background for commentary on the meaning of existence, the possibility of overt manipulation of the psyche due to outside sources, and the omnipresent oppression "the power" has over everyone. A very good read, if for nothing more the commentary on what separates us from robots. Definitely a book I highly recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Cyberpunk before Cyber was Cool, April 24 2004
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
A lot of people credit Gibson for the cyberpunk genre. However, you'll find many of the themes right here: alienation, our relationship to machine intelligence, the fusion of worldwide cultures, the noir-world of moral relativism.
This is the story that the film Bladerunner (excellent in its own right) was based on. However, it is important to realize that the film was very loosely based on it; there is one scene in the book that is virtually identical to the film, but beyond that it is quite different.
Unfortunately, I find that Dick can really meander towards the end of his longer works (unlike his tightly plotted short stories). Thus, I can only give it four stars. Nevertheless it is a timeless classic that will be of interest to anyone interested in what the future of man-machine interactions might hold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Science Fiction, March 8 2004
By 
William Thien (Waukesha, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
The title of this novel clearly demonstrates that this book is going to deal with some man-machine sociological technological "issues". That it does.
When reading a biography on the author, I found out that he only made something like $9,000 on the book (which is disappointing), yet it was a sci-fi hit in the theater, grossing millions.
Five Stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent, thought-provoking masterpiece of sci-fi, Feb. 25 2004
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This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
In 2021, after World War Terminus, life on Earth has changed forever. Those who were not killed either emigrated to other planets or chose to remain on a tainted planet. With most species of animals dead, live specimens are prized possessions, and for those who can't afford a live animal, companies build artificial ones. Some even build artificial humans.
Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter, sent to find and to retire rogue androids, or "andys," who manage to find their way back to Earth. The government has banned them, fearful of what they might do, especially since they blend in so well with regular humans. But, the more contact that Rick has with the Nexus-6 android Rachel, the more he begins to question what life is. Can an artificial life form have empathy? What happens when a human starts to have empathy for an artificial life form?
Philip K. Dick's masterful novel deals with these issues in a fast-paced, realistic environment. All the characters are finely drawn, especially the andys, and the intelligent story keeps your attention. I also found it relevant with what's going on in the world today. It's one of those novels that I just couldn't put down. A superb sci-fi novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seen the movie? You'd better read the book too!, Jan. 17 2004
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
This 1967 novel inspired the classic movie _Blade Runner_, and it remains Dick's most popular book because of that association. But because the movie altered so much of the original, the book has a vibrant life away from it...and it's an incredible achievement.
Bounty hunter Rick Deckard (married in the book version) goes on the search for the Nexus-6 androids loose on a nearly abandoned Earth where wildlife has come close to extinction. Dick explains the background much more thoroughly than the movie, and places special emphasis on the absence of genuine animals on Earth; Deckard's desire to possess a real animal instead of a robot copy becomes the focal point of his struggle to define his own humanity. John Isidore, a mentally deficient "chickenhead" who falls in with the androids (never called 'replicants' as in the film), is the other symbolic half of this confrontation with what it means to be human; the movie would change him into William Sanderson's diseased inventor. Throughout, Dick uses his piquant humor and dead-on satire to enthrall the reader.
A classic SF novel, no arguing about it, and it lead to a classic, if extremely different, SF film. A fascinating read. Even if you claim to dislike science fiction, you need to pick this one up. It may change your opinion of the whole genre. (And make you want to read more Philip K. Dick --there's a lot more great stuff out there!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars a 2003 take on this, Dec 27 2003
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
the way I see it - this book is particularly relevant to today because it deals with isolation, loneliness and the mechanistic world v. the frail imperfect human world. To share my ideas on this book I am interacting via a computer; I live a pretty isolated life which main connection to the world is via the web, or through internet. So to a large extent I, myself, have become an extension of the web - a biological peripheral if you like. Anyway - getting back to this book - as far as I am concerned it makes us ask how we descriminate between 'real' people and the new 'plastic' people who are programmed by big business to perform regimented tasks and will have their genes modified to remove unwanted characteristics - the human will be turning himself into a replicant in pursuit of perfection - eugenics is a powerful ethos and with the right genetic technology you can basically chose the characteristics you want - as you would if you were ordering a replicant.
So, unlike many readers - I see this book in a very much the eugenic real versus artificial tension that occupys a region of philosophy I guess.
The only thing I agree with the other reviewers is the fact that the book bears no relation to the fillum. [also as well as the book, I find the vangelis soundtrack better than the film]
read it - it is mind-altering
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5.0 out of 5 stars Asks important questions, Dec 17 2003
By 
Dr Tathata (Omphalos, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
By now, most people are familiar with the book because of the movie, Blade Runner, which frankly fails to capture those qualities that make the book special. Let's face it, Dick was a hack writer, but a fascinating philosopher. I personally, read Dick for his boundlessly thought provoking ideas. In Androids Dream, he is principally concerned with the questions:
If the ability of humans to manipulate logic can be modelled in machines, and machines are extensions of human intelligence, then what does it mean to be human? Can there be Artificial Intelligence? If so, can it be distinguished from Natural Intelligence? How so?
Obviously, Dick believes the difference is empathy, a notion that derived from an early childhood experience of his own. He was torturing a beetle, and observing the beetles struggles to survive, when he had a full blown satori--that he and the beetle were the same, they were alike in their striving for existance and their avoidance of pain. It was a life changing moment, he later would claim, and that theme is a the heart of this novel, and is reminiscient of Blakes poem, "The Fly". But his point goes deeper than this. He seems to want us to think about how we humans can lose our humanity and behave as if we have become machine-like. If we sacrifice our free will, our creativity, our ability to say yes, or no, independently; if we sacrifice our conscience--and blindly commit ourself to be governed by a set of external rules--then we have become computer programs, not human beings. And he seems to imply that this is how places like Auschwitz came to exist, built by human beings who had become machines that are exceptionally good at following orders. Around the world, we have political machines, economic machines, marketing machines, martial machines. In Cambodia, a political and miliary machine consisting mostly of children forced millions of people from the homes into the fields to be mowed down like so many insects.
The points that Dick makes are important--extrememly important, to an authentic human being who has not sacrificed their humanity or abdicated their sense of responsibility to a set of rules. But his particular genius lies in his ability to paint different, contradictory views and interpretations of the same reality. This ability conveys a peculiar paranoid sense of reality that is as eerie as it is profound. It gives a strong sense of what it must feel like to experience a psychotic break with reality. That may be a strange roller coaster ride, but it helps to create a sense of empathy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Only an inspiration to Blade Runner; this book stands alone, Dec 16 2003
By 
J R Zullo (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
If you have watched "Blade Runner" before reading PKD's story (like I did), you'll find they are very different indeed. "Do androids...?" is the inspiration behind Ridley Scott's movie, but this book has its rightfull place within the realms of good science fiction.
While the movie is very graphic, visual and dark (all those rainy nights and opulent clothing), the book seems like a mind-breaking experience. In fact, to fully understand the many layers contained between the lines, one reading is not enough. The novel itself is not that much graphic. Dick rarely describes settings, people, buildings, etc., leaving the reader's immagination to work full-time. In fact, is this science fiction? Yes, I think it is, not because of the science involved, but because of the revolutionary elements present in the story.
This is mental sci-fi; the main question of the book is: what defines a human being? Rick Deckard has to answer this question every time he retires a Nexus-6, all the time taking care not to loose his bearings of what he thinks a human being should be. This kind of complexity is what makes "Do androids...?" a great read, although I thought Dick's style a little too dry for my personal taste.
Grade 8.2/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars no title, Dec 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Paperback)
147 reviews --- says a bit. maybe we need some of that empathy in what's up, what's around us.
rip it
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (Paperback - May 28 1996)
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