Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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7082Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Philip K. Dick

Goodreads Summary:

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.


So over the summer I went to Seattle and that's where I was first introduced to this book. I went to the EMP Museum up there (which was really really cool, by the way) and they had a sci-fi/fantasy exhibit and voila! There is was! So I read the  little description and it was interesting and so I vowed to read it. And I did. I AM SO GLAD I DID. Eep, it was amazing.
The only reason this is not five stars is because of the ending that I will not ruin for you. And even then, I'm tempted to change it to five. Because overall, it's pretty great.
I'd think of it as a classical sci-fi with one of the most MIND BLOWING concepts ever. In my opinion anyway. I've never read anything quite like this and it really got me. And even if there is something similar out there, this is the older idea. I really like what the author did here.
The main idea presented here really has to do with the human soul, so to speak. How can anybody tell the difference between an android and a human? When the androids are becoming more and more lifelike with each new model. Seriously, the answer is not as simple as it sounds. And I love the way Philip K. Dick explored that idea. I totally have to read other stuff by this guy. I was intrigued by his writing style and choice of characters. I really want to buy this book just so I can dig deeper into it.
All I have to say: SO GOOD

I really liked the chickenhead. I'm not being mean, this is literally his label, but his actual name is John Isidore. Somehow he was really lovable, in my opinion. I could see why he got that label. Clearly, he didn't think like "normal" humans did. But still, he had some interesting thoughts and he seemed like the liveliest one. Especially compared to Rick Deckard. From the beginning, Rick shocked me. It mostly had to do with how he accepted the technology and other "advancements." This makes sense, of course. It's not like he'd know any different. One of his dreams in the book is to own a real animal, instead of the electric sheep he has. In this futuristic society, your worth is based upon how many living animals you have, or if you have any at all. There's a whole catalog that lists the prices for certain animals. It's a dwindling list since many species have since become extinct. The "extinct" animal Deckard really wants is an owl. I found this to be relatable because I have a weird thing for owls, too.
The only other thing that bugged me about Deckard was how he responded to female androids. But that's the whole point here. He knows that they aren't human. But why can't he feel it? Seriously, this is a really crazy question. I didn't even know some of these people were androids until it was almost too late.

I feel like I totally gave away the plot in the first two sections. There's basically a lot of action and adventure. There's obviously a lot of sci-fi and technology. There's a weird... religion of sorts that I found to be absolutely intriguing and I still can't figure out if it's because I like it or not.
The entire book revolves around the question: what makes a human, well, human?
And each of the characters seem to make this question more muddled.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Why: AMAZING STORY. Wish the ending had been more...satisfying I suppose. But I couldn't tell you how I'd like more.

Recommendation: people who like sci-fi (and possibly philosophically inclined?)


"But when you get that depressed you don't care. Apathy, because you've lose a sense of worth. It doesn't matter whether you feel better because you have no worth.”  

“You have to be with other people, he thought. In order to live at all. I mean before they came here I could stand it... But now it has changed. You can't go back, he thought. You can't go from people to nonpeople."

“I'd like to see you move up to the goat class, where I think you belong.”  

“You mean old books?"
"Stories written before space travel but about space travel."
"How could there have been stories about space travel before --"
"The writers," Pris said, "made it up.”


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