I read this as part of the Jolly Good Reading Society book club on Goodreads and it is a book that I have owned for about a year and a half and just didn’t know anything about.
Philip K. Dick creates a dystopian world in which most humans have left Earth after a nuclear war and this story follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who’s job it is to ‘retire’ androids.
The world that the author creates is reminiscent of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a world in which humanity somehow seems hopeless, but it Dick’s world, instead of surveillance and politics being the focus, nature plays a huge part in this novel.
In a world where androids are slaves and animals are worshipped, electric animals are common and I found that the themes of nature and what is natural/unnatural were extremely interesting. Deckard constantly questions what it is to be human and why ultimately the androids need to be destroyed, raising intriguing questions about instinct and empathy, making the reader really think about what he/she is reading.
The themes in this book are spoken about in quite a subtle way, nothing is too preachy. However, despite the timeline of this novel only spanning one day, it is a much slower read than I was expecting from a book that is under 200 pages. This slowness is in no way a bad thing; I actually found that I wanted to savour each chapter, leaving a break in between to think about certain sections, but I was unable to because the story just captivated me so much.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book if you like dystopians with a slightly slower pace, especially if you love Nineteen Eighty-Four as I did. I think, for me, it isn’t quite as enjoyable as that one but I think that is mostly due to its length, but I am giving them both the same rating because I think this book is definitely something I will reread at some point and it’s a classic that needs to be talked about more.