This Philip K. Dick novel, written and published in the year 1968, is still an important relevant manifest these days - if it's for the imaginative vision or for it's philosophical meaning, both which were perpetuated in the 1982 classic sci-fi film Blade Runner, which is based on this novel.
The plot takes place in San Francisco, 2021, where a lethal world war has damaged Earth in an irreversible way. This holocaust, killing millions of human beings and animals, has destroyed the environment, leaving it to crumble into dust. The humans are left in great loneliness, even among the minority of those few who are left on the face of the earth, after being deserted by those who have preferred to immigrate to Mars, for a better life.
Those who emigrated to Mars are given Androids: electric humanoids - in a purpose to serve them. But these high intellect Robots have grown superior to their creators and begin to hunt down the humans, without mercy, on their way back to Earth. Therefore, they are pronounced illegal and, by law, a bounty is set on their heads.
Rick Deckard, a police officer and bounty hunter, receives a mission: to hunt down and retire six of these escaped androids. However, he soon discovers some difficulties in the task as he begins to have inner conflicts about the moral nature of his job.
Every sci-fi fan will enjoy this book. However, any fan of the movie must not expect any impressive thriller or an action novel. Reading this book reminds one more of Frantz Kafka's stories or George Orwell's "1984", all which describes the lonely human inner struggle between the truth, and the truth presented by society. The book seems to analyse Deckard's world in a more sensitive way, as reflected in the environment, relationships and beliefs.
Though the long dialogues may sometimes seem to be overwhelming, it gives a great contribution to that clutching dark atmosphere of the novel, so I would describe it more as an excellent futuristic psychological drama than a sci-fi thriller. I had a great time reading it, and found myself thinking about it long after finishing it. I would rate it a 4.
Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?