Description By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies build incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women.
Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.
First off, the narration in this is painfully slow. I feel that needed to be said upfront, because if you can't stand sloooow narration then be warned. I changed the playback speed to 1.5x before I could listen to it normally without throwing my hands up in frustration. Honest to goodness, 50% faster sounded NORMAL.
I don't know if the narrator was told to read that slow, reads that slow normally, or was somehow artificially slowed down... but I won't be seeking out anything he's read any time soon.
Now, unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard of this book, seen the movie, or both. If you loved the movie, then again, be warned as the book bears little similarity. Calling the book "Blade Runner" seems a quick way to make a buck from people thinking they're buying the novelisation of the movie.
The book is classic, hard-boiled, hard sci-fi written by a master craftsman - Phillip K Dick. I've read so many of his books and seen movies loosely or directly based around his stories... sometimes not even realising they're based on his work.
The action, which would have been let down by the narrator's pace had it not been for the speed up, kicks along while being interwoven with sub-plots of other characters which all get drawn together towards the end.
Dick creates a dystopian future after "World War Terminus" where most of the human race have fled for a better life off-world. His exploration into the human condition, artificial intelligence, and what problems may arise in such a society are well thought out and thoroughly explored.
His knack for inventing plausible machines (hey, it's almost 2021 and I want my Penfield Mood Organ!) is second to none, and fit in perfectly with the story.
Let's face it. This was a no-brainer. It's a great story... BUT... even though it is an old favourite of mine, it was almost ruined by the speed of the narration. If the ability to change playback speed didn't exist, well... I'd have been asking for my credit back.
All that said though, Brick's character performance was fine, just the speed killed it so I'm not one-starring it, but two since that helped save it.