Monday, May 14, 2007

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

This marks my first book read for the Dystopian Challenge, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. I'm not entirely sure why I chose to read it, I've never really been interested in robot-type science fiction.
It was OK. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. It's the book that Blade Runner was based on, and while I know I have seen the film, I don't remember the details so I went into reading this book without much of an idea of what it was about apart from the fact that it was set in a dystopia. I hadn't read anything by Philip K. Dick before, and possibly this wasn't the best book to jump in from?

It's about a bounty hunter in a future covered in radiactive dust where having a live pet is the ultimate symbol of prestige and all animals are sacred, even spiders. People are encouraged to emigrate to Mars where they would be given an android servant. Some androids escape and try to live amongst humans on (what's left of) Earth. Rick Deckard is set the task of 'retiring' 4 such androids but questions the moral implications.
To be honest, here's where I get quite confused with the story. I understand that Deckard questions his humanity in killing the androids, especially after his encounter with a beautiful android, Rachel. But I didn't get the significance of Deckard's depressed wife, Mercerism, the 'chickenhead' character. Maybe I wasn't as involved in the storyline or the characters as I could have been, but it all just baffled me. The writing was easy enough to read, and I sped through the book quickly, but I didn't take in much of it unfortunately.

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