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


I'm not a huge fan of science fiction. I picked this up at a book sale because I know it's a seminal novel within the genre and because I knew I would be lecturing on Blade Runner this winter at the Film Archive. I was ready for a futuristic world where a bounty hunter tries to kill of renegade androids and has mixed feelings about it; what I was not expecting and really enjoyed was the cultural context created for the novel, with Mercerism and the obsession with owning an animal. (It certainly explains a thing or two about the film.) I have to say I didn't love the plotting -- it drags in places and the ending is so ambiguous I couldn't quite sort it out. On the other hand, it offers the kind of social criticism all of the best dystopias offer (although this doesn't qualify as one) and the characterization is quite rich, much more so than BR, with which it was impossible not to compare. I really enjoyed it and I would like to read more of his work.

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