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

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This was not my first venture into adult sci-fi, I had previously read and loved The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. However this was my first experience of a Philip K. Dick novel. I have watched Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly but this was my first time reading his writing.

This film Blade runner is based on this novel, if you have seen Blade runner and think there is no point in reading the book…you’re wrong. Go now and read this book! The complexity of the story goes far beyond a simple bounty hunter in a post apocalyptic world. Rick Deckard is a complicated man, confused by his position in the world and he begins to question the religion that dictates how they live.

Earth has been devastated by war, those who haven’t emigrated from Earth or weren’t allowed to are stuck living with the potent dust that can damage your mind and genetic properties. On Earth Deckard owns an electric sheep with aspirations of one day owning a real sheep…or real any kind of animal. On this new Earth it is the ultimate status symbol.

When Deckard sets out on his newest assignment his belief system, as well as his own judgement begins to unravel. As you read you will begin to question (just as Deckard does) what is real and more importantly what makes us real. It challenges what exactly makes us human. But just like a lot of Philip K. Dick’s work these answers are never really answered instead I found myself pondering life for days after finishing the book!

Easily this book is a 9/10, I was a little sceptical before reading it. Although I have only seen bits of Blade runner, I’ll be honest it did put me off but I am so glad I read the book and I hope you do too! I now have a pile of Philip K. Dick novels sitting on my shelve which I cant wait to read…even if they do make my brain hurt a little.


‘Do androids dream? Rick asked himself.’

– Philip K. Dick

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

  1. I could be mistaken, but I think Philip K. Dick included a question-mark (?) at the end of his novel’s title, that is: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thereby making the novel one possible answer to the title’s question.

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      1. Well, discussion/debate about the “possible answer” has been going on for years now. And the title is really two questions: Do Androids Dream? And, if they dream, do they dream of electric sheep? Which gets to, is dreaming a quality of the “authentic human,” one of PKD’s main themes. But we also know, they are given “implanted memories.” So, if the Nexus 6 android can dream and has memories….raises all kinds of questions….

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      2. I find it not only an impossible question but a scary one too. The question of the authentic human seems to go much further, to the point where you’re made to question if some humans in the novel can be classed as human. I do believe beneath the surface it says an awful lot about the changes in the world at the time, especially slavery. If indeed the androids display human qualities can they justify themselves using them as human’s slaves. I thoroughly enjoyed all the questions raised! And hope I find this a lot in his novels but it can be a little taxing sometimes!

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