Book review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

For those members of The Classics Club, a couple of months ago the latest Classics spin was #12, and in my list, it corresponded to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Many of you have read it or watched the movie Blade Runner, based on it, at least the older version.

I have not watched the movie yet.



I kind of like the book, though I would definitely not consider it as the best scifi novel of all times. Though maybe it was quite unique when it came out in 1968.

Apart from the post-apocalyptic setting of post-nuclear dust and radiation all over, having forced all who could afford it to emigrate to planet colonies, you have new social categories and values among the few people left. For instance, possessing a real animal, so rare they are now, is a sign you are way up on the social ladder. Many can only resort to electric animal, so well done actually that’s it’s sometimes difficult to make the difference.

Even more in people: who is a real human? Who is actually an android? And why are they here and what do they want?

Rick lands with a bounty hunter job, the only way he could get rich quickly, by hunting and killing these androids. But how to recognize them for sure?

A bit like the other scifi novel I just read and will review tomorrow, this one raises the question of identity: how do we really know who others are and who we are ourselves?

Could empathy be a real criteria? This was definitely an interesting element for this discernment, as a possible unique human characteristic.

I liked the ambiguity around this subject of identity, as well as around the topic of religion. The book never gives you formal clues about a definitive answer.

One thing is sure: omnipresent TV has become a source of slavery. But this is already the case, nothing specific to scifi.

The ending was flat and disappointing for me, but it could be an incentive to read the other books in the series. Have you? Would you recommend me to do so?

VERDICT: A classic scifi novel raising the important question of what makes us ultimately human.

 Rating system  Rating system  Rating system

Author: Philip K. Dick
Publication Year: 1968
Pages: 249
Genre: Science Fiction


Eiffel Tower Orange

Would you recommend me to read the sequel?

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This book counted for this Reading Challenge:

















17 thoughts on “Book review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

  1. Pingback: The Classics Club 2016-2020 | Words And Peace

  2. It sounds like this was pretty groundbreaking at the time, in 1968. Your criterion of empathy seems like a good one. I know that trying to achieve empathy with humans was a big goal of the android named Data on the show Star Trek: The Next Generation. I can recommend some other films, besides Blade Runner that feature androids–Gattaca, an early film of Jude Law’s ( he is the android); A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, which reimagines Pinocchio as a child android who would like to be a real boy; and the recent film, Tomorrowland, which is both fun and thoughtful.


  3. I read this book years ago and consider it a favorite. I suppose you have to like the dark, twisty way PK Dick wrote, but it was unique when his stories were first published and he remains a favorite author of mine.

    I have watched Blade Runner multiple times — there are several versions with different endings. And the movie is different from the book. Who is real and who is android is the central theme, and you don’t get a good answer either. But I still loved it.


    • I don’t mind the dark, not sure why I didn’t find it completely satisfying. I tried to watch Blade Runner, the director’s cut, but I gave up on it, I thought it was closer to the book. I wonder how the brand new one is!


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