Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blade Runner the book

Book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Author: Philip K. Dick

Published: 1968 (Del Ray)

Pages: 244

I’ve been wanting to read this book since I heard about the movie Blade Runner and that it was based on a book. Fortunately, I’ve just moved a very walkable distance from the main branch of my new county’s library system and had a disconcerting lunch that drove me in search of a giant pile of emotional reading. While I initially wandered in to idly check the sci-fi section, I got excited when I saw they finally had this one in and went a little apeshit in the rest of the general fiction. You’ll hear about the rest of those by November 19.

But! I digress! Unlike Mr. K. Dick, who cuts great swathes of plot about a bounty hunter who chases down androids to pay for a new, real animal in a world where that’s like buying a new car. He gets caught up in a tangle of questions about reality, empathy, and identity that pulls apart his world view. The book ends after he goes back home to his wife, before he can reconstruct anything, which didn’t bother me but did leave me wanting to know a little more.

The whole story was like that; it introduced a lot of metaphysical difficulties that I wanted K. Dick to explore better. I think another hundred pages of that and character distinguishing would have elevated this good read to excellent. He can’t improve a bit on that title, though. It’s magnificent.      

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