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Book Reviews

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I was always interested in reading the 1968 novel by Philip K. Dick. I’ve tried many, many times. And when I finally got the audiobook version, I was really excited, thinking that having someone narrate this to me one the way to and from work will actually get me long enough in the novel to get me interested.

Boy, was I wrong. The narrator was the same guy who did Atlas Shrugged and I couldn’t get over the voice for the longest of times.
Then, the subject at hand, did not interest me in the least.
I love sci-fi BUT. Not this.

The Story

The Rosen Association manufactures the androids on the colony of Mars, but certain androids violently rebel and escape to the underpopulated Earth where they hope to remain undetected. Despite their realistic appearance and advanced intellect, androids are not treated as equals to humans. They are prohibited from doing many things, including emigrating from the colonies to Earth. Therefore, American and Soviet police departments remain vigilant, keeping officers on duty to track and “retire” fugitive androids. Similar to the androids, humans with mental disabilities, psychological disorders, or genetic defects, called “specials”, are also treated as sub-human; they are forced to remain on Earth and are prohibited from traveling to the colonies.

Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter for the San Francisco Police Department, is assigned to “retire” (kill) six androids of the new and highly intelligent Nexus-6 model which have recently escaped from Mars and traveled to Earth.

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Deckard buys his wife Iran an authentic Nubian goat with the bounty money.

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His supervisor then insists that he visit an abandoned apartment building, where the three remaining android fugitives are assumed to be hiding. Experiencing a vision of the prophet-like Mercer confusingly telling him to proceed, despite the immorality of the mission, Deckard calls on Rachael Rosen again, since her knowledge of android psychology may aid his investigation.

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“I like her; I could watch her the rest of my life. She has breasts that smile.”

Rachael wants him to abandon the case. She reveals that one of the fugitive androids is the same exact model as herself, meaning that he will have to shoot down an android that looks just like her. Rachael coaxes Deckard into sex, after which they confess their love for one another. However, she reveals she has slept with many bounty hunters, having been programmed to do so in order to dissuade them from their missions. He threatens to kill her, but holds back at the last moment. He leaves for the abandoned apartment building.

Meanwhile, the three remaining Nexus-6 android fugitives plan how they can outwit Deckard. The building’s only other inhabitant, John R. Isidore, a radioactively damaged and intellectually below-average human, attempts to befriend them, but is shocked when they callously torture and mutilate a rare spider he’s found.

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They all watch a television program which presents definitive evidence that the entire theology of Mercerism is a hoax. Deckard enters the building, experiencing strange, supernatural premonitions of Mercer notifying him of an ambush. Since they attack him first, Deckard is legally justified as he shoots down all three androids without testing them beforehand.

Isidore is devastated, and Deckard is soon rewarded for a record number of Nexus-6 kills in a single day. When Deckard returns home, he finds Iran grieving because Rachael Rosen arrived while he was gone and killed their goat.

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Deckard goes to an uninhabited, obliterated region of Oregon to reflect. He climbs a hill and is hit by falling rocks, and realizes this is an experience eerily similar to Mercer’s martyrdom.

He stumbles abruptly upon what he thinks is a real toad (an animal thought to be extinct) but, when he returns home with it, his wife discovers it is just a robot.

Phew. That was a mess.

I just didn’t like this book. The narrator was just so whiny. I don’t feel like the metaphysical questions that the book posed were brought to the forefront enough, and I never personally felt challenged to review my personal definition of humanity, which is what I think Dick wanted. I felt like there was a good idea for a story in here but it was buried in pseudo-religions that were not fully realized within the context of the story.

This was a huge meandering cluster of a story. The preoccupation with animals baffles me–and for how little it had to do with the story overall. And except for maybe Isidore, all the characters in general were extremely flat, with close to no personality traits. I couldn’t tell you anything about Deckard, except that he really wanted a goat.

1/5

Categories
Romance Books

If Not For You – Debbie Macomber Book Review

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth might never have taken charge of her life. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney – a tattooed mechanic who is her conservative parents’ worst nightmare. And if not for Sam – who witnessed a terrible accident and rushed to her aid – Beth might have never survived and fallen in love. Yet there are skeletons in Sam’s closet that prevent him from ever trusting a woman again. Will he be able to overcome his past and fight for love?

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Book Reviews

Lord of the Rings Volume 1 – The Fellowship of the Ring

It’s been a long time waiting but it’s finally happened. I’ve started reading Lord Of The Rings and I can’t be happier! The books are epic and there is so much more in them compared to the movies. I have watched all three movies, extended editions, multiple times and I have had marathons over the weekends spanning more than 12h of content. But I’ve never read (so far) the books that made it all possible.

So let us go on this journey together and I can tell you why this book is by far one of my favourites to date.

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“Home is behind, the world ahead,
and there are many paths to tread
through shadows to the edge of night,
until the stars are all alight.” 
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Dean Koontz

Winter Moon: A Novel – Dean Koontz – Book Review

ABVMY.jpgI love Dean Koontz’s books because you just never know what his rich imagination is going to come up with…but whatever it is it’s always a huge surprise. This is one of the scariest books that he’s written in all of the years I have had the pleasure of reading his works. Usually there is a suspenseful story with some horror moments thrown in….this one has a dark undertone with both gory and psychological horror from the start to finish.

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Book Reviews

A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison Book Review

When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. With almost everyone they know suddenly erased from the face of the earth, the girls set out for the convent where they attend school. They are abducted almost immediately and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, beginning a hellish descent into the bowels of the sex trade.

Halfway across the world, Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crisis-and makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical working in India for an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent’s human traffickers. There, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the trade in human flesh, and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. Learning of the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals.

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Book Reviews

Voodoo Eyes by Nick Stone Book Review

I like Miami. I like Dexter’s version and in a weird way, I also like the humid and horrible version Nick Stone depicted. This entire book reminded me of those old-style detective stories where a sullen detective who spends his time tracking down adulterous spouses is suddenly in the middle of an international police investigation.

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Book Reviews

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Book Review

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

This was a weird book to read. It’s been on my list for ages and ever since they’ve released a movie, I wanted to see the story of the fireman by myself.

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Book Reviews

Say Nothing by Brad Parks Book Review

I picked this book up from the recommended Audiobooks Crime/Thriller section and I must say I absolutely loved it! The voice actor (George Newbern) really gives Judge Sampson a personality and is perfect for the women voices too!

The story is brilliantly done, with multiple possible suspects and a few cases which only show how important the decisions of a court judge can affect other’s lives.

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Excerpts

Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays? Quote from Farenheit 451

“Why aren’t you in school? I see you every day wandering around.”

“Oh, they don’t miss me,” she said. “I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it?
Social to me means talking to you about things like this.”

She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard.

“Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don’t think it’s social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That’s not social to me at all.

It’s a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can’t do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to lampposts, playing ‘chicken’ and ‘knock hubcaps.’

I guess I’m everything they say I am, all right. I haven’t any friends. That’s supposed to prove I’m abnormal. But everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another.

Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?”

Categories
Book Reviews

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” sold more than one million copies in its first month of publication in Japan in April 2013. I can totally see why! While going through my growing Murakami book collection, I decided to read this interestingly titled story next.

One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.

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