Amanda's Reviews > Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
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May 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, read-in-2012
Read in May, 2012

I suspect this isn't Philip K. Dick's best work, but I enjoyed it all the same. Very excited to see Blade Runner with all its differences now.

I loved that the dehumanization theme was key to the world-building - it's easier to retire andys when you keep things impersonal and convince yourself they're not human (note the language: "retire" instead of "kill" because you can't kill something that isn't even alive). But the thing is, the thing is, androids look and behave exactly like humans. To consider them nonhuman would mean disassociating yourself from your own human qualities. It would account for a lot of things, like how cold and mechanical the human population was in the book. People have, in fact, lost the one quality that set them apart from androids: empathy. There's something to be said about needing an external contraption (the empathy box) to connect to the world, when it should be a natural intrinsic thing.

On the other hand, animals are premium and wanted. It makes a lot of sense that Deckard, whose job is to hunt down androids and kill them in cold blood, places so high regard for real animals, even more than people. (Throughout the book his relationship with animals is pitted against his relationship with androids.) And it makes a lot of sense that Deckard doesn't use the empathy box - his disassociation with androids also creates a disassociation with his wife; it's correlative. The moment he goes for Luba is the moment that sets off a huge internal struggle (and eventual change), compounded by personal contact with Rachael.

Anyway, issues and other notes:
- Rachael Rosen. I don't get her. I don't get her at all. I liked how her similarity with Pris put a roadblock for Deckard, but the character background just doesn't add up, which I guess is why the ending didn't really work for me.

- Mercerism? At first it reminded me a lot of Camus' Sisyphus, but the concept wasn't developed enough for me to hang on to it.

- Special mention: Bataan Death March, haha.

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, being alone in the building. But now it's changed. You can't go back, he thought. You can't go from people to nonpeople.
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message 1: by Rai (new) - added it

Rai do you know where i could find this book around metro manila? Thanks!


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