Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “philip k dick”

Alli’s #CBR4 Review # 46 – A Scanner Darkly by Phillip K Dick

This book has been on my to read list for some time so when I was out shopping at Chapters (they reeled me in with a card that got me savings from $5-$50 if I spent $50, guess how much I saved) I decided to pick this one up. I really enjoyed “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” so I was excited to read another Philip K. Dick novel and I wasn’t disappointed.
A Scanner Darkly” is set in “the future” well it was when it was written. This book was written the year I was born and set the year before I graduated High School. It is hard to say what it is “about” per say, drugs and conspiracies maybe? It is set in a world where you are either drug user or a “straight”. The drug that most of the users are addicted to is called Substance D, Slow Death or Death. It is a drug that apparently is grown and has only one source. Our protagonist, Bob Arctor is an undercover narcotics agent seeking to take down a big time supplier and maybe one day even take down Substance D from the top.

Amanda6′s #CBR4 Review 41: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

Plot summary from Amazon:

“By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.

Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.”

My enduring impression of Dick is that he is a genius when it comes to visions. The worlds he creates, the stories, the ideological conflicts — all are arresting and immediately engrossing. As a writer though, the words he puts on the page somehow fail (for me anyway) to inspire the kind of electric energy that could bring his books to the next level. That’s how it is with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the story that inspired the film Blade Runner. If you’ve seen the film before reading this book, you may be surprised, as I was, as to how different the book actually is. Without getting into a detailed description of all of the elements that were changed for the screenplay, I’ll just say that I think Blade Runner did a better job with Dick’s story than Dick did.

I rarely feel this way when it comes to books vs. movie adaptations, but I don’t really think this book is required reading at this point. It’s bizarre: very cold and detached, with all of the tension building to Deckard’s final showdown with the remaining androids, though the final meeting wraps up in a matter of seconds. It’s the ultimate in anti-climatic; I literally blinked and missed it and had to go back and make sure I had really just read the entire encounter in about four sentences. I don’t really have much else to say. It’s a short review for a short book.

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