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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Genre: Humor

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

If you think of the Apocalypse, do you think of it as being funny?
No, you don’t, because the Apocalypse is meant to be a bad thing, a cleansing from Evil. And yet, it might be funny, especially if it comes out of the combined pen of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and includes a demon with impeccable taste in music, a great car, and a not-so-bad soul, a nerdy angel, a nutty “witch” who makes “nice and accurate prophecies”, and an antichrist with sense of justice.

And obviously the world will end on a Saturday. Just so to not interrupt the work-week. The End of the World is very thoughtful.

I laughed a lot without interruption, you could say. I nearly died from lack of oxygen.
And how clever is the symbolism/the metaphors/the analogies – whatever?!
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse show up as Hell’s Angels, a Hell Hound turns out to be a normal dog with a (normal) dislike for cats, Good and Evil (the angel Aziraphale & the demon Crowley) join forces to actually stop the Apocalypse!

This is what I call meaningful and pleasurable literature.

One of my all-time favourites, and undoubtedly one of the most thought provoking book about the nature of good and evil. A satire that borders to irriverence, without ever stepping over the line.

There’s always so much more to a book then the words that compose it. It’s the meaning behind those words, those sentences! You find yourself pondering on deeply meaningful subjects, like “what’s good, what’s evil?”, “what does it take to step over the line between right and wrong?”

Verdict: Highly Recommended.
★★★★★

 

7082Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Philip K. Dick

Genres: Science-Fiction, Dystopian, Modern Classics

“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”

What’s the difference between robots and androids?
It’s more than the much fancier sound of the word “androids”, though there is supposedly a fuzzy line between the two categories.

“A robot can, but does not necessarily have to be in the form of a human, but an android is always in the form of a human”.
[Edmond Woychowsky]

But what does “in the form of a human” actually mean? Is it just the physical aspect, or does the mental/emotional more complex aspect factor too?
And if it factors, how can an artificial life-form – be it called robot or android – simulate/gain such empathic/emotional depth (because, in terms of intelligence, there’s of course no doubt of their superiority – they are called “artificial intelligence” after all; and there would be no point in creating a stupid robot/android)?

That seems to be the whole point of discussion of this futuristic novel.
Can an android feel empathy, can it care for something/someone?
Moreover, is an artificial life form as valuable as a human life?

The electric things have their life too. Paltry as those lives are.

Empathy, of which we humans supposedly are capable of, allows to appreciate every kind of life, even one form that appears to be “false”.

Verdict: A great Classic that MUST BE READ.
★★★

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