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

Philip K. Dick
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 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 (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,909 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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocking portrayal of a brutal future. 10 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', a true classic of science fiction novels and one that stands alone at that. This is the original format of the classic movie under the title 'Blade Runner'. It follows the trials of the Bounty Hunter Rick Deckard as he hunts down humanoids known as 'Replicants'- androids with the appearance of a regular human but with super strength, agility and intelligence. They are illegal on earth so the position of a 'Blade Runner' is put to the test - a hunter/killer of the perpatrators. Rick Deckard is one of them. This all takes place in a dreary acid rain-sodden San-Fransisco. With an extremely dark, murky however engaging atmosphere. Although the 'Blade Runner' film was based on this novel, it's story line is completely altered although it's atmoshere and technologies remain. If you liked the film then this is simply a must as it almost adds a brand new chapter the the blade runner saga which is truly remarkable. I, personally have read it several times already and I am about to start it again. A truly timeless sci-fi classic - 5 stars!
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23 of 24 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC -- BUSTER FRIENDLY SAYS SO! 30 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This was published in the late sixties and could easily fit into the cyberpunk era.
It is set in the near future on a decimated Earth where humans have colonised Mars and other planets, it paints a very bleak time for all.
Most humans have left for Mars leaving only the unfortunate and the 'specials' to live life under a cloud of dust and degradation. The story centres around a bounty hunter called Rick Deckard who is commissioned to 'retire' six androids that have escaped from Mars. The androids are intelligent and have taken on a personality of their own that gives a sense of human survival.
The dark backdrop of Earth together with the intense characters sets up a paranoid existence. There are many metaphors in place dealing with religion - mercerism - and of status in society - the materialistic needs, where owning are real animal denotes where your social standing is. Buster Friendly shows modern societies reliance on the media.
The spectre of Blade Runner sits on the shoulder of this book and may cloud the readers views somewhat. The ideas are very interesting but I do think becomes a little cumbersome in the final chapters and although thought provoking many of the aspects are not fully addressed.
This book is certainly worth are read and is entitled to feature as one of the Masterwork series.
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19 of 20 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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69 of 74 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Beauty
Years after watching Blade Runner I finally got around to reading this. Similar and so different from the film based on it. Far more thought provoking yet less entertaining. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Christopher Arnott
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book and thought-provoking
Great book - and a relatively short read. It shares some similarities with the film (Bladerunner) in terms of character names but actually the tone is very different. Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Rachel Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful piece of Science Fiction.
Somehow Philip K. Dick creates empathy for all living things through androids. Briliantly written and a book all should read.
Published 1 day ago by Darren Kloss
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't even finished the book yet but already I'd ...
I haven't even finished the book yet but already I'd rate it highly, twists and turns,irony,thought provoking,
I could go on and on.
Published 12 days ago by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars The novel that inspired Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' - highly...
My favourite film 'Blade Runner' was based on this classic from Philip K Dick. If you're expecting the film in novel format then this won't be for you, but it is a fascinating read... Read more
Published 13 days ago by E. JACKSON
1.0 out of 5 stars Unthought through with little to say
This book has one of the biggest reputations in sci-fi, largely because of the film, but it isn't deserving of it. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Kublai
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good buy.
Published 21 days ago by Alan King
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good plot driven story that invites thinking. Character development could have used greater depth.
Published 23 days ago by Adam Kohtz
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps if I were not such a huge fan of Bladerunner I would have...
I must admit that I had read a few other reviews of this book and everyone had said it was five stars. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Farno
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
posted as advertised and on time
Published 1 month ago by alhaze
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