Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author: Phillip K. Dick
Release Date: First published in 1968
Publication: Del Rey
Awards: Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (1969)
Fulfills: A book that became a movie, A book with nonhuman characters, A book set in the future, A book by an author I’ve never read before
Finished Reading: March 10, 2015
About: “A final, apocalyptic, world war has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending the majority of mankind off-planet. Those who remain, venerate all remaining examples of life, and owning an animal of your own is both a symbol of status and a necessity. For those who can’t afford an authentic animal, companies build incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep . . . even humans.”
The theme for March book club was “leftovers”, so we nominated a good portion of books that had already been nominated, but didn’t win. Among the group was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick. I voted for this book, one of a couple, only on the knowledge that it was the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner and that it was set in the future. My guess is that there was something to do with androids. (This guess turned out to be correct.) I had not previously watched Blade Runner or know anything about it. I was basically going at this one blind.
This book was beautifully written. Going from Ready Player One last month to this one was a huge difference in the use of language, and linguistic (hmmm… I don’t want to say “tricks”) tricks. (Dammit, I said it anyway.) There was one member that admitted the book was too well written, and he couldn’t handle it. He opted for the Sparknotes.
Dick definitely had a Vonnegut-feel to it, and upon further investigation about this, I discovered that Dick was a huge fan of Player Piano by Vonnegut. It really shows the influence Vonnegut had on Dick, through the way characters were portrayed. They’re all beautifully flawed.
There were themes on themes on themes. This is one of those books that you could spend your whole life reading and find new things to talk about or new themes each time you read. I’m sure I didn’t catch anything close to how much is going on in this book. There’s just an insane amount. It also depends on the mindset you’re in for which themes or tones you pick up on.
Our book club had a solid hour discussion. A good portion consisted of the character Rachel. In how she develops and changes in the story. We had several theories bobbing around the circle, but I won’t tell because spoilers. We also talked about the name differences in book and movie. It’s not a far stretch to see that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? might not be the ideal choice of a movie title, but where, oh where, did Blade Runner come from?
My rating and why: I gave this book four stars! I read it and really enjoyed it. It’s not one of those books that you can read when you’re looking for something light-hearted. This is not the book to turn to if you’re looking for a book that won’t make you think. This is the book that makes you think and makes you take a look at society and wonder just how far off this could be from reality. Excellent writing, again, by Dick. Applause all around.
Your turn! Have you seen the movie Blade Runner or read this book? Do you know why the movie is called Blade Runner? Have you read anything else by Phillip K. Dick? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.
Until next time my fellow bibliophile beasties!