Alas, not much reading happened during the long weekend. Reading is a pretty solitary pursuit, and I didn’t feel right about cracking open my book when everyone else was being social on the dock. It felt rude. Plus, I wanted to be part of the conversation.
Re: Feed. I’m only at page 296, about halfway. Unfortunately, it’s not one of those stories that I’m dying to get through so I keep putting it off. I’ll read about 30 pages before I fall asleep, and then the next day do the same. When I’m reading a book that I’m not totally jazzed about, I start looking for other stuff to read, which brings me to BOOM! Studios’ comic book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Trevor has been telling me to read this for months.) BOOM! has taken Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel and converted it into comic form. (FYI: the 1982 movie Blade Runner is based on Androids.)
There are 24 graphic novels in total; Trevor has bought and read 14 of them. I just finished the first one, and it’s different than any comic book I’ve ever read, primarily because it’s loaded with description, way more than the usual, “the next morning,” “at the police station,” etc. This is because BOOM! used the entire text of the novel; they stayed true to their source material. And I love it.
The main character, Rick Deckard, is a bounty hunter on the trail of six rogue androids who have escaped their human masters. The androids look exactly like humans; the only difference is that “Andys” aren’t empathetic, though I’m sure this will be explored as I continue to read. Case in point, in book one, we see that some humans barely register on the empathy test, leading some people to believe that bounty hunters could be mistakenly “retiring” humans instead of Andys.
The world is bleak: the earth is covered in radioactive dust; the humans who could afford to, have high-tailed it to other planets, while the humans left on Earth are slowly dying; and animals are almost non-existent, having died during the war or from left-over radiation. Animals are the most coveted possession. Every human wants one. Most can’t afford one. Our main guy, Rick, used to have a real sheep, but it died, and now he owns an electric one, which most people regard as pathetic and embarrassing, including Rick.
The themes in Androids are heavy: What makes us human? What is reality? From what I understand, these themes exist in all of Dick’s book―he wrote 47 novels and more than 120 short stories. He died at 53. Talk about prolific. Several movies that I have seen are based on his books, such as A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, and Total Recall. I had no idea.
One of the cool things about the graphic novel I just finished is that it contained short essays at the back written by big-name comic dudes giving their thoughts about Androids and Philip K. Dick. Those teasers make me want to know more about the author. He sounds like one amazingly eccentric guy!
I feel like a whole new world of reading is opening up to me. I need to finish the rest of the graphic novels that Trevor has, then we need to get the remaining ten. I think I will also put Dick’s novel, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, on reserve at the library. It’s about a genetically enhanced TV star and pop singer who loses his identity overnight.