Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

For readers, there is no mercy.

Philip K. Dick doesn’t tolerate ineptitude in his readers. As I started his book (per Adam’s recommendation) I felt like Neo from The Matrix, except instead of taking the blue OR the red pill, I had somehow consumed both, with no antidote.

Dick’s writing proved to be the elixir. Mood machines, kipple, the enviable possession of live animals, radio religion, and the post apocalyptic world of human and android existence propels readers—or rather immerses them—in a deep analysis of the philosophical quandaries of envy, love, materialism, and solitude. The values are recognizable, but the setting demands attention. Planet Mars, anyone?

The novel is technically one day in the life of Rick Deckard, android slayer. He’s meeting his capture quota until, halfway through the book; Dick hurls the reader down a different rabbit hole, rearranging the motives between the antagonists and redirecting the storyline.

Even before this point, I couldn’t stop reading.

The efficiency of Dick’s writing evokes an interpretive response from who love to dissect the significant details of the insignificant moments in life. What really separates an android from a human? Are we only as special as the possessions that we covet? Who do we trust when our world rearranges itself? 

The answers are not here. And if they are, I haven’t decoded them yet. The ending of the book is as brilliantly, manipulatively crafted as the middle, beckoning readers to re-read, re-analyze, and re-discover this imaginative world of electric sheep.  

Review by Tina Panik, guest blogger

Chech out some other books by Philip K. Dick:

Or watch some movies inspired by his writting:

The Adjustment Bureau (in theaters March 2011) 

Search the library's catalog and place them on hold today

1 comment:

  1. Like many, I found it hard to believe that 'Blade Runner' is based on this book. Even Philip K himself said he preferred the movie to the book. No problem there, there are plenty of Philip K books (Man in the High Castle, Ubik...) that are better than 'Blade Runner' smthbck@aol.com