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Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (Gollancz) [Paperback]

Philip K. Dick
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Mar 2007 Oxford Bookworks Library

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 . . .


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (8 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575079932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079939
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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, it is a flash thriller where Dick's novel is a sober meditation. As we all know, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is stalking a group of androids returned from space with short life spans and murder on their minds--where Scott's Deckard was Harrison Ford, Dick's is a financially over-stretched 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 asks dark questions about identity and altruism. After all, is it right to kill the killers just because Mercer says so? --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Published to celebrate the life and work of Philip K. Dick, the bestselling author of BLADE RUNNER and MINORITY REPORT, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death

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First Sentence
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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read this novel some years after first seeing the film version - "Bladerunner". At first, I was disappointed: I foolishly expected something to resemble the film - but I had forgotten that Dick himself was extremely distressed about the distruction of his plot when the film was made: Hence the book and the film, although based on the same ideas should really be viewed as different stories: Both have a "Bladerunner" chasing after escaped Androids, but there the similarities start to run out.
On reflection, I now recognise the book as being an excellent work. The only reason I have awarded it four stars out of five is that I have also read "Ubik" - which is so excellent that I cannot judge "Do Androids..." at 100% in comparison.
The book is more subtle than the film, and includes a lot of Dicks subtle examination of the human condition, which, over the years, had led him to accurately predict several technological innovations to come, not because he was up on technology, but because he knew the sort of thing we'd end up doing. The story contains electric animals, since the real ones have become rather scarce, one of these being the electric sheep owned by the main character, which he pretends is real to save face. One of my favorites is the device which can change your mood: When you don't feel like changing your mood, you can dial in a code to put you in the mood for using the machine! So, given that we are now cloning sheep, I would suggest mood-machines and Androids are on the way.
If you're new to Dick, you're also new to his unique ability of being able to weave a puzzle that will take at least half the book to unravel (or so you think, until you reach the end, and you realise you were wrong!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality? 7 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
Philip K. Dick was part of the generation of 1950's science-fiction writers who took as their core task the criticism of American popular-culture. Thus there is a frequent recurrence of certain themes in his works: The threat of nuclear war; the evil effects of unbridled capitalism; and the degrading influence of mass-media (especially television). However there is another theme which pervades Dick's work, and is more personal: An obsession with the blurring of reality, dreams and waking confused together, mechanical replicas indistinguishable from their originals, drug-induced hallucinations more real than reality. His books are often structured as a series of unexpected trap doors. You think you know where you are and who is whom, then suddenly the bottom falls out and your certainties are thrown into doubt...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Forget about Blade Runner. That was as much about Ridley Scott's stylish visual sense as androids and humanity. The book the film was based on is much more about decay. This is not a world of Tokyo cityscapes; it is a broken world, a dying world, a world populated by those too old or to stubborn to leave. It is about a society where people strive to own a real animal. And of course, it is about questions of what it is to be human, and about the rights of androids when their intelligence surpasses humans'.

As usual Dick imagines this with incisive intelligence himself, considering commercial and political influences on the development of androids and society in general. The plot is 'overcoming the monster', delivered in simple prose, with twists to confuse and tease your mind. A quick but stimulating read, in short, it deserves its classic status.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After the nuclear war 29 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
Deckard is a bounty hunter in the regular employment of the San Francisco police department. His regular salary is low but he earns 1000 dollars for every android he destroys. there's not much life left on Earth. Most of the plants and animals were either killed in the nuclear war or died later from radiation poisoning. Those left are still deteriorating and dying. Unaffected survivors were persuaded to colonise other planets and were offered android 'slaves' as an incentive. So Deckard and his wife now live in a dry, barren, depopulated city where radioactive dust and escaped androids are the big problems. The diminishing fertility of the few remaining healthy men is guarded by lead codpieces. The most expensive, prestigious and coveted commodity is an actual living animal - even a spider or a toad is highly valued. Deckard and his wife own an electric sheep which they keep on the roof of their apartment building. They're ashamed of it. If Deckard could 'retire' 3 androids, the 3000 dollar bounty would be enough for a down-payment on a real ostrich or a goat. This is his ambition.

If you've watched 'Blade Runner', it might strike you that this, the book it was based upon, tells a very different story. This Deckard bears little resemblance to the Harrison Ford Deckard. The android characters are equally dissimilar to those in the film. the way they're tested (in book and film alike) is by asking them a series of questions, the answers to which show whether they have empathy. Androids fail the empathy test. Whereas the film androids failed the test, they then went on to behave empathetically. the book androids, on the other hand, confirm the test results in their cold behaviour, not only to their enemies, but to each other.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly too esoteric for me
Good entertaining read. Buzzed along energetically until the last few chapters,, when my mere human brain was incapable of grasping why the hero transmogrified into a fake god, and... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Josephine Brennan
4.0 out of 5 stars Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? | Review
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Perhaps they do, but that’s not the point of this review – to find that out, and to truly understand the poignancy behind the title, you’ll... Read more
Published 21 days ago by SocialBookshelves.com
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic read
Been meaning to read this book for years and now I finally have I'm not disappointed, although I would like further discussion on the ending!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ribena berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie and now the book.
So much more than the movie. A classic, buy it and watch it! I have nothing further to add but Amazon insist I write more words, rhubarb.
Published 1 month ago by DALee
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets a bit heavy towards the end
The experience was a bit different than I expected, with the push to religion toward the end. Would recommend to non casual readers.
Published 1 month ago by Robert Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Very happy with buying a kindle copy of this book as it is one of my favourites. I am trying to minimise so having things on the kindle is much better.
Published 1 month ago by Alice O'Mahoney
5.0 out of 5 stars can't believe this was written in the 50's / 60's and was set in the...
Unknown author to me, so so so happy I made the effort to get through the first few pages. Wasn't included at first, quickly immersed - highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by C L SAMUELS
4.0 out of 5 stars It may have provided much of the source material, but it is *not*...
Though this book inspired one of my favourite films, Blade Runner, it is actually a rather different story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by N. Miles
3.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction
I have to be honest and say I have never been a big fan of science fiction, so this was never going to be my favourite book. It was okay.
Published 1 month ago by Teresa
3.0 out of 5 stars Better as a film
Well, it was better than Ubik, but still unsatisfying. Ridley made this work better than Philip. Think I'll watch it now actually :-)
Published 2 months ago by David Harwin
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