When I started reading this I thought I'd get used to the characters obsession with animals, but even now I've reached the end, I still can't quite understand what it is that drives this deep-seated obsession. A lot of animals are extinct, most are extremely rare and there's a certain primitive prestige to be gained by owning a real animal as opposed to an electric/artificial one, so I can understand them really, really wanting to own one, but that deep-seated obsession..?
This, of course, is the book that Blade Runner was based on. In many ways the film had a good deal more atmosphere, what with it's dystopian, quasi-oriental feel, and the endless rain, and none of this weird animal business. Still, it's very easy to read and difficult to put down. Dekhard is very well done, although it helped I think that I couldn't help but see Harrison Ford in the role. Rachel was very much the same, and although I half-liked the ending in the film(with them both driving into the beautiful countyside), I definitely preferred the books less sacarine ending. I say half-liked because something about the ending in the film just jolted with me. Where did the beautiful green countryside come from for example? And if it's been there all along, why aren't more people living there? Or anybody at all really? Not a soul is to be seen as they're driving through this paradisical countryside.
So anyway, the story is well known at this stage I think. There are glaring differences apart from the animals already mentioned, such as Mercerism, which seems to be some sort of futuristic psuedo-religion helped along with a good dollop of future technology. It's very strange and stikes me as coming off sort of half cocked. What I mean is, it's a good start as far as it goes, but the idea needed to be more than simply a means to become one with everyone else. But then perhaps it's hopelessness was intended to mirror the dystopian world around them. I don't know. It just felt underdone as an idea really. Another difference that was perhaps even more striking was the ease with which Dekhard dispatches the remaining few Andy's(skin jobs in the film, which I liked better than the term Andy's). He simply walks in and shoots them. Job done.
I really liked the Rachel/Dekhard storyline though, and the way she makes him truly realize that everything has life, even an Android in it's own way. Part of me would have liked to have seen this relationship in a little more detail though instead of just having her go and throw his goat off the roof and him almost shrugging it off and saying, 'meh... she's just an android after all', or words to that effect anyway.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book. Felt parts were a little too alien and maybe tried a little too hard to be so, but on the whole, a book I could easily see myself sitting down and reading again sometime in the future. I wish to god there was a sequel. Very enjoyable. Loved it.