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Do Androids Dram of Electric Sheep? Interesting Question and Philip K. Dick chooses to address that! We are now at No. 11 of our Top 20 Sci-fi and it’s a great book here again!
Many people know this book better as the movie Blade Runner featuring Harrison Ford ( read geek god, he is after all Han Solo and Indiana Jones!). These reviews bring back memories of all these books I have read and the impression I have is one of…domestic life. The novel follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard through one day of his life. The initial few scenes are all filled with domestic references and even though the post apocalyptic world is introduced soon enough, I still felt Rick was a terribly normal guy! For instance he was fretting over whether to buy an animal or not.
In the post apocalyptic world having an animal is a sure sign of success and Rick constantly wishes he had a ‘real’ animal and not one of the synthetic ones. He envied his neighbor who apparently had a real animal. He fretted over how many androids he might have to capture before he could buy an animal. It was all terribly mundane and yet very funny! Then there is the meat of the story itself, he has a wife who is going through some emotions of her own and he has work that needs his attention and all sorts of conflicting emotions!
I keep going back to describing rick because it’s a day in his life and even though it’s the most eventful day in his life he has normal thoughts and conflicts. The world is not described in detail but then again it doesn’t really need to be. It’s a post nuclear war waste land where life has become a little stunted. People wear protective clothing when they head out to prevent radiation poisoning and there is migration of people going on to other planets as well. Now the reason why I am not going into any further details here is because the novel is pretty action packed.
Rick is a bounty hunter who hunts renegade androids. Androids who have committed crimes and are now living in the world as humans. Not an easy task but then being a bounty hunter is not an easy job. The novel goes through the various conflicting emotions that Rick feels as the day progresses. Let’s just say that things happen.
I honestly cannot come up with enough praise for this. It’s weird, there is a bit of a struggle getting to terms with the initial chapters for the slight shift in living conditions and priorities but I liked how grounded the protagonist was all through the novel. There is nothing ostentatious about what he wants! He wants a goat or a sheep or a cow( he really can’t afford that) and throughout the novel we are constantly reminded of this. It’s the progression of this wonderful character that makes this book so special! It is a must read for everyone!