Machines Like Me

Machines Like Me

And People Like You

Book - 2019
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4
"[Set] in an alternative 1980s London. Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda's assistance, he co-designs Adam's personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong, and clever--a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, [2019]
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9780385545112
Characteristics: 333 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Doubleday & Company, Inc. - Publisher

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Judithbond
May 10, 2019

In reference to an earlier comment, thank goodness all novels are not written with Americans in mind. I’m a great fan of McEwans novels and as per usual the ending sees the philosophical punch when the protagonist converses with Turing. If you love his writing this one won’t let you down. JBO

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NVMercer
May 10, 2019

I could not finish reading this book because a third of the way through there has yet to be a plot. There’s these tiny page-long scenes interspersed into his stream-of-consciousness poetic waxing about the history of AI and the state of world politics. The main character goes to the doctor for an ingrown toenail and it prompts a multi-page reflection on the history of medicine. Not only is this so incredibly irrelevant to the plot, it’s also mind-numbingly boring. We get it, you did worldbuilding research, but we don't need to know every tiny detail about how your alternate history world is different, especially when it's not that different.

The "what makes us human?" android story has been done a dozen times before, and I can't see that McEwan is bringing anything new to the table.

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BKWordNerd
May 09, 2019

McEwan's alternate history is built on changing an event that few American readers have probably ever heard. And rather than infusing the story with the changed timeline, he drops long expositions about how his world was working. While his premise of AI and humanity could have been interesting in the hands of other writers who deftly explore other histories and the essence of being human, McEwan clomps along, smashing down what once was a good idea into a terrible, plodding novel.

debwalker Apr 18, 2019

Big read for spring.

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