As humans and robots struggle to survive together, and sometimes against each other, on earth and in space, the future of both hangs in the balance. Here human men and women confront robots gone mad, telepathic robots, robot politicians, and vast robotic intelligences that may already secretly control the world. And both are asking the same questions: What is human? And is humanity obsolete?
©1950, 1977 Isaac Asimov; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
I listened to this before I saw the movie. It's too bad that Will Smith is on the cover. Don't get it wrong, I love Will Smith and never miss any of his movies. He did a great job in the Movie. The problem is giving the movie the title of a great book and then turning the story up-side-down is an injustice.
I have to admit, until I heard a review of the movie on NPR I had never read any of Asimov's Fiction. Yes, he wrote GREAT Non-Fiction. Being a programmer I enjoyed the book. In fact I liked it so much I have listened to it three times and suspect there will be a fourth.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes technical detail with their SciFi Fiction. I am sure you will want to listen to it more than once. Oh, and I would rate this book G for Great for General Audiences.
Thank you so much for publishing this classic, I Robot! I have been waiting the five years of my membership for this to happen! This is the first book I read as a child in elementary school.At that age I naively wrote Asimov a letter offering him $7 for the plans for the robot character. The mench he was, Azimov wrote me back appologizing for the plans not being his to sell. I Robot is the foudation of all science fiction robot behavior published in written or film form. I reccommend this audio rendition highly.
I think the original cover would have been better suited, as the movie has very little in common with the book other than the title and some scant homage to the laws of robotics.
This is a classic example of 1950's science writing, though thankfully omitting the sensationalism pervasive in many of the SciFi short stories written in that time period. Considering that it was written when vacuum tubes had not been replaced by transistors, slide rules and paper were used to make calculations, and precision parts were turned out by human eye/hand coordination, the author's vision was still predictive in the ways that matter (although, unfortunately, we still haven't invented the positronic brain). It's amazing to me that the story, 57 years later, still has validity and raises issues that will continue to inspire musing about our future. Those who enjoyed this for what it is should also enjoy "Caves of Steel".
The book is a classic and if you haven't read it -- you won't be dissapointed with the picture of the future it paints.
The narration is excellent along with the audio quality.
The only minus -- it bears the image of Will Smith from the movie "I, Robot." The movie has 0.0% to do with the book, is the opposite of it in many ways with its hordes of killer robots. Dr. Asimov must be rolling in his grave.
That's right! I'm not saying you'll like it, just that if other writers have written more detailed stories, more exciting in your opinion... then I promise you one thing. Before they started WRITING, they READ Asimov. I love every word of this story, I read them first when I was a boy and they had an impact of how I saw the world. For the "bad" reviewers, I suggest you read a few hundred of the books that Asimov wrote and you'll have a better idea what this man was capable of. Great science fiction of course, great mysteries too, and yes! Great non-fiction, like the book that got me through Organic Chemistry. If you have not read Asimov, just pick one. Give it a whirl. I will bet you will glad that you did.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Peace.
The Godfather of modern Science Fiction writes the Grandfather of all robot stories. Everything before was lacking in depth and everything after "borrowed" from this series. Asimov sets up rules of behavior for robots and a universe with a nearly unbreakable internal logic (only Asimov himself "bends" them with anything like impunity"). Other writers who have ignored the need for the Three Laws of Robotics have given us the Berserkers and the Borg and the like. Also good fiction; thus highlighting Asimov's genius in the first place! Enjoy!
Get this book if you're wanting a great story that explores the concepts of integrating robots into human society. If you're getting this book thinking that you'll get what you see on the silver screen, then pass it by because it has absolutely nothing to do with the movie...well, unless of course you count the robots. Otherwise, this book is written by Isaac Asimov and the movie is written by someone else.
This book takes you through the the concepts of how we could trust robots and how, through their obedience of the three laws, we could rely on them too much. It offers quite a few twists and turns.
I'm glad I finally got to read this book after so many years of just hearing about it.
Hello, I am an avid, when I have time, reader and have been with Audible since 2002. I have a vision problem which makes it hard to read books, so the audible format is a God Send!
The story starts out in the simplest of terms with the basic laws for robots, but quickly turns into complex thought provoking mind teaser. I loved the stories told by the lives of the characters and was sad for the book to end. The story starts simply but spirals up. Must read!
This is a great book and a good interpretation on audio.
Some comments have said it is disjointed. Well it would be because it is a collection of short stories rather than a novel. It should be heard as such and is the better for it.
As has been pointed out, there are no weapons and no wars. There is conflict but it is not overt and violent. This is a story written from the point of view of a robopsychologist and is about the psyche of robots. Asimov is not setting out to describe the building of a robot because the enabling technologies either didn't exist or were in their infancy. If you have just seen the movie and think this is more of the same - forget it. This is the original and best.
I had never read any of Asimov's books, despite having heard him as my college commencement speaker in the 70's. This book is really a collection of great short stories that is no less current now than when it was written. THis really is a pleasure to listent to. I wholeheartly agree with the other glowing reviews here.
"Great book, well read and at a bargain price."
Listening to this audiobook was a true pleasure. The classic sci fi tale of robots and the future of humanity has aged very well and many of the issues it rasies still feel contemporary. The book's structure is pure genius, taking several previously published short stories (some which feature on going characters & some which don't) and stiching them together with original work by means of a journalist conducting reseach. The stories are increasingly epic and complex, each one drawing the listener further into the world of the robots. This is also fascinating for any sci fan as it effectively documents the developement of the genre in the last century, from the simplistic and haunting stories of the pulp fiction anthologies (which make up most of the first half of the book) to the politicay complex novels that writers like Clark, Dick and of course Asimov went on to write.
On the production side the reader does an excellent job representing the different charatcers, both human and robotic!
This is a great production of a great book and at Audible's prices it's a total bargain, especially for subscribers. Get it now!
"Excellent stories, shame about the reader"
Isaac Asimov's robot stories are among the classics of science-fiction, and are a must-read (or must-listen) for anyone with any interest in SF. "I, Robot" is a compilation of some of the best, from among the earliest to among the latest, strung together with a linking narrative that fits them into their "historic" order -- from the first pet-like robots to the handing over of human government to the all-but-omniscient Machines.
The stories themselves easily rate five stars. Unfortunately, I've had to deduct a star because of this audiobook's reader, who manages to be flat and melodramatic simultaneously. He has little sense of dramatic tension, consistently emphasises the wrong words, and is unable to differentiate characters by giving them different voices. I suggest that prospective buyers listen carefully to the audio sample before making a decision.
Overall, though, I'm happy I bought this one.
Three simple rules that govern behaviours... and explore the consequences... listen, learn, discuss. Very enjoyable - a set of classic and linked short stories.
"Excellent story - but unexpected....."
Scott Brick is brilliant at reading and putting a futuristic ambience into a story and this one is no exception. If you are expecting a story of the film (starring Will Smith - which has been interpreted admirably in my opinion), be warned - as with classic stories, the book is not the same. Events are in a different order, the characters have different roles, it is not the same. But the story is a good 'un and should be read for its historic science-fiction interpretation, much the same as you would still want to watch Star Trek and yet love Next Generation. It has a great story and a lot of moralising issues, which is typical of Isaac Asminov. Excellent book - I would highly recommend if you like sci-fi (or even if you don't).
"A collection of exercises in logic"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I see it more as a collection of short mystery stories than one whole book. Each chapter poses a problem, which requires working out what the problem is before a solution can be formed. Each time the solution is revealed it always makes sense. The movie version of this book, picks elements from in and around the book and merges them to form a single story that does not feature in the book.
"Really smart story and superbly narrated"
Really great read/listen. I'm sure many people will be happy that the film only takes inspiration from this book, the stroy told here is very different. It's basically a handful of short(ish) stories about the evolution of AI, each focussing on a specific time and problem encountered, linked together with an overriding story. Each of the four or five "flashbacks", for want of a better word, is really smart and introduces some excellent concepts.
Scott Brick's narration is excellent, demonstrating why he's won awards for narration. His "attempt" at a Scottish accent was a particular highlight.
"Thank You Mr Richardson"
Mr Richardson was my form tutor when I was eleven years of age and during what my school called "form period" he would read this book aloud to the class.
I have loved this book since then. A collection of short stories tracing the rise of robotics from the viewpoint of Dr Susan Calvin as she leaves her post to retire this may seem dated from the dates in the book but the concepts are still cutting edge.
Read reasonably the stories shine through on their own merit and stand the test of time. I would recommend this book to younger readers(9-15) as an introduction to the science fiction genre. Older readers may well enjoy this too!
If you have never read it then you should, this is, after all, a classic from a truly great author.
If only we had "The Rest Of The Robots" too!
"A great SF series of stories"
Lots of different robot stories all in some way connected in sequence, with mysteries to solve, usually explained (without giving the plots away) by the laws of robotics. Great to dip into. Enjoyable entertainment. A good introduction to some aspects of science fiction.
Great stories, immaculately read. A rare combination!
This is a really great story, and narrated about as well as I could imagine!
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