Paul Perry's Reviews > Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
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Aug 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: to-re-read, sf
read count: 2

Dick is an odd writer. There are distinct flashes of true genius in the writing, and some of the ideas are wondrously mind bending - but sometimes the dialogue is painful and the prose destroyed by silly technology names or just plain awful writing.

It is especially hard letting this book make it's own impression when the images from the movie Blade Runner are so strong. It isn't that the story is different, in fact the problem is that so much of the two stories are identical, but the differences jar badly. Obviously, this is hardly Dick's fault, but it is there.

Do Androids Dream... in particular hasn't aged well. Set in 1992, the future seems archaic and, frankly, not especially well thought out - there are hover cars and laser pistols, but these seem merely standard sci-fi props to place the world in "the future" to support Dick's real ideas - the scarcity or extinction of all animal life, and the new culture in which all humans have to demonstrate their empathy by publicly caring for a domestic animal while they actually have to use an empathy box and dial emotions on a personal device.

The thriller element of the story has problems because, although we are told that the Nexus-6 androids are stronger and smarter than humans, we see no evidence of it, and Deckard disposes of them far too easily. Pris and Roy Baty were created far more effectively in the film.

Not one of Dick's great books - The Man in the High Castle is better on every level - but definitely worth reading.
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