This is one of the best Audible books I have listened too. I read the Asimov books something like 10 years ago, and wanted to see what this would be like. I was more than pleased. PLEASE Audible, bring us ALL of the Asimov foundation and robot books!
I am not really great with reviews since I like everything and suspend reality quickly but I do it anyways. Umpire and classic books yay
Scott Brick is a brilliant narrator. If I am looking at an audiobook and wondering if I should listen to it, then notice Scott Brick is narrating, I'm going to plop some money down to give it a try.
The book itself is an epic tale of man verses machine, where men think they are winning but things don't always pan out like they appear to be heading. This is a book of several short stories connected by two robot troubleshooters who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time constantly. Each story is a mini-mystery looking for not the whodunnit but the whydunnit. It's engaging from front to back and really does lay down the groundwork for robotics in the entertainment industry from that point forward.
The end story really ties it together and shows the full effect of turning over the world to an AI.
So much more than Wil Smith's version.
This collection of short stories with common characters is worth a read all by itself. The stories invoke questions about humanity and morality as well as the "What If" that drives science fiction. But more than that, this is the jumping off point for SO MANY modern (and recent) robotics and AI stories that I cannot imagine being able to fully enjoy a modern discussion or story regarding the topics, without having read this first.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
I sure would. I would recommend it especially to readers of Asimov who are interested in his early work, which servers as a precursor to the Robot, Galactic Empire and Robot Series. Good stories, that are a foundation (no pun intended) to later work.
Susan Calvin is alluded to in the Robot Series often, here we find out how elemental she was in robot development. The psychology angle plays an important part here and in later works. This thread was fascinating, and is woven through all the stories.
Scott Brick does his usual fine job. Part of me likes the fact that sometimes he goes a little over the top in his performance. It adds to the Sci Fi Theater element to some of the stories here and in later performances. Well done.
I have said it before...Asimov does not translate well to movies. Many of these stores are "thought puzzles" that are based on interior action. Audible is the right delivery method for this materiel, a movie could never compare.
There are short stores, hence my 4 star review. This is not to diminish the short story model. But Asimov weaves these basic concepts into later, more complicated and ultimately more satisfying material. These stories are great, and I recommend them to any fan of Asimov or early Sci Fi. But read them as an appetizer to later material, or background information on characters and stores you love in the later works.
Incredible book. One of my favorite non-fiction / Sci-Fi stories. The only downside is that it I'm now sickened of the motion picture's interpretation of the source material. I once thought that it was a decent movie.
It's hard to review a book that I had so many misconceptions about when I picked it up. I knew it is considered a great piece of sci-fi, but was really shocked by the huge departure that the filmmakers took from Asimov's original vision.
Forget all the action sequences. Forget everything you've seen in contemporary science fiction, because I, Robot is not it. Perhaps that story gets told in later books in the series, but I don't know. But what we have in this book is definitely the beginnings of that modern sci-fi. We don't get gigantic space battles or epic conflicts between man and machine. What we do get is mining on asteroids and Mercury. We get the progression of technology. We get a lot of the basic ideas that later SF authors capitalized on. The saying is that "If I see far, it's because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Well, Asimov is certainly a giant, and it's easy to see why. This book was published in 1950, and the technological ideas in it are incredible. I don't doubt that a lot of scientists and modern roboticists have taken at least some inspiration from this novel. The writing is good, and keeps you moving along despite the fact that there is relatively little conflict within the book.
A few of the characters kind of fell flat for me. A lot of them were smart, but one seemed like he was belligerent the entire time, while another balanced him as the voice of reason. The robo-psychologist got thrown into the middle of it, and she seemed to have next to no emotion at all, except for a certain point. So...yeah. Characters feel a little two-dimensional. But hey, it was the '50s.
This two-dimensionality isn't helped at all by the narration. The performance was so wooden, the narrator could be nicknamed "oak." I'm sure he's not a bad narrator--I enjoyed the book, after all. But there was a distinct lack of emotional range whenever anything happened in the book. Granted, the book doesn't have much emotional dynamism either, but I feel that Scott Brick really missed a chance to help the text feel even more interesting.
Another thing that pulled me out was the date. Apparently, we have the option to study robo-psychology in universities, but I never knew about it. In 1950, the great leaps that technology was taking probably made it seem like a positronic brain was attainable in the late 1970s, but, well... I'm just going to stick to waiting for the flying cars.
I have been married to the same wonderful wife for over 27 years and have two adult children, out of the house, that are married, working, and doing well.
Yes, for me personally, even though the ideas about robots are old, I found it interesting to think about.
Yes, if they like thinking about different ideas.
The part that I like the best is when the robots became independent of man and why and how.
Yes, gave me something to think about.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
I am revisiting the Robot-Empire-Foundation Series(s) many years after last reading them. Asimov's writing style, while far from offensive by today's standards, does reflect the years in which these stories where penned. For that oh-so minor fault, I gave the story four stars. I believe Scott Brick's performance is a hands-down five stars. He doesn't demonstrate the range of voices in this work that I've heard from some narrators, but I really enjoyed his accents. Over-all, I loved it and can't wait to hear the rest of the series. I have a feeling that I'm going to miss Brick, like some other reviewers, on those rare parts of the series where he isn't in charge of the mic.
I actually saw the movie before I listened to the book, and while there are some intersections between the movie and the book, they are basically completely different. That said, I like both. The book basically a series of vignettes that show technological progress and its societal implications, through the eyes of a robo-psychologist who watched their development. It comes together a bit in the end.
It's definitely not a thriller like the movie, but it was very interesting and also very thought provoking about technology and human nature.
I loved this audiobook and here is why. First the content itself is remarkable. The themes chosen by Asimov are right on target and are more relevant today than at anytime since the publication of this novel.
As a roboticist myself, my impression of Asimov's 3 laws has radically changed over the last 2 decades. When I first studied robots, I thought anything like the 3 laws and the idea of positronic brains where a far fetched fantasy. Now, the study of robot ethics, emotions, and personality are very serious topics as we learn to build robots that interact closely with humans.
Asimo builds his book using the 3 laws as axioms or postulates and then explores the ramification of those postulates. This is exactly what mathematicians do. In essence Asimov has translated the mathematical thought process into a wonderful novel. But he also uses these postulates to probe the basic nature of human beings.
Now, after 20 years of working with robots, I can state that that Asimov's vision was breathtaking.
Second, I loved the narration. I admit that it took a couple of stories to have my ear tuned to the speakers voice, but by the end of this audiobook, I found myself craving for more.
This audiobook is a "must have" for anyone who loves humanity or robots.