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Let's Talk About Books

An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading. 

Currently reading

House of Small Shadows
Adam Nevill
Progress: 183/320 pages
Tim Lebbon
Progress: 58/656 pages
In cold blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
Truman Capote
The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
Progress: 10/182 pages

No Electric Sheep Were Harmed in the Making of This Book

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick, Robert Zelazny

Finished this earlier today but then I had to run to work. 


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? follows bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, as he hunts down illegal androids who have escaped to Earth. The androids won't go down without a fight, of course, and they won't go down without raising some serious existential questions in Deckard and the reader. There's a lot more going on in it as well but it's all a little too tricky to sum up nice and neat. 


This book was interesting and overall very enjoyable. I know it inspired Blade Runner, which everyone says I should watch, and I figured I should read the book before I watched the movie. I wasn't sure how I'd like the book but I was pleasantly surprised. The questions of what it means to be human and about empathy in particular were my favorite parts of the book. It got me thinking and while I wouldn't say it blew my mind, it came pretty close. 


There were several scenes in particular that made it impossible to put the book down. Dick had a good way of inspiring tension and horror. When Rick goes to the police department and they're all like, how do you know YOU'RE not an android, I was just like, dude. How do we know he's not? And in fact I kept reading and felt distrustful of Rick, which made me HAVE to know if I could trust him. It was a great way to keep me invested. I also loved the scene where Pris was torturing the spider. I don't like spiders but that scene horrified me as much as it horrified Isidore, which I think was clever on Dick's part. Made us recognize that in fact empathy is what makes us human (maybe). 


While this book was interesting and could be tense, it did have one big flaw and that's it does get bogged down with details some time. The whole concept of Mercerism was strange and was difficult for me to follow in particular. Dick doesn't dumb down anything for the reader, which normally is fine, but what the hell is a mood organ? I think he should have elaborated a little on his details, since without the explanations it bogs down the story and makes it difficult to follow at times. 


Final rating: 4.5/5. Overall this is a really good book and I'd like to read it again. I feel it's the kind of book that needs to be read more than once to really understand it, which is fine with me.