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The Automatic Detective | [A. Lee Martinez]

The Automatic Detective

Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just cant catch a break.
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Publisher's Summary

Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can't catch a break.

When Mack's neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire's founders - not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.

©2008 A. Lee Martinez (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Martinez tickles the funny bone in this delightful, fast-paced mishmash of SF and hard-boiled detective story.... Eccentric characters, all of whom are clever twists on stereotypes, populate a smart, rocket-fast read with a clever, twisty plot that comes to a satisfying conclusion." (Publishers Weekly)

“This combination sci-fi/hard-boiled detective story is a hoot….Narrator Marc Vietor approaches the story with a classic noir tone that is hilarious.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (555 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (450 )
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Story
4.4 (448 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    ginette montreal, QC, Canada 03-16-12
    ginette montreal, QC, Canada 03-16-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    Performance
    Story
    "ok, so it's a bit corny."

    So, it's a bit corny. It also fun and entertaining. A very traditional gumshoe in the style of Robert Parker done sci-fi. I loved every minute of it even when it was over the top. I love Gomez the ape and the BloB at the end, awesome. When you are ready to park your credibility meter at the door try this one on. Laugh a little....

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-03-13
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    212
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fun Sam Spade-Like Reading"
    Where does The Automatic Detective rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    For sheer '40s style entertainment, right up there with Heinlein.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The entire ambiance and style it was written in, and read perfectly.


    Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

    The lead character...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Definitel made me laugh...lots of humanity in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended for an easy romp through a good sci-fi story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed G United States 01-24-13
    Ed G United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable"

    I really enjoyed this story. Who wouldn't enjoy a story about a sophont robot with a mutant police officer who produces reports on a typewriter? The style is so "world of the future" circa 1950 that at one point I actually checked the publication date.

    Definitely worth a credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa LA CROSSE, WI, United States 11-29-12
    Lisa LA CROSSE, WI, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2011

    I have always loved to read. Discovering audible has been great for a multitasker! Sorry for any misspells on reviews!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A surprise"

    I had bought this book on sale, did not seem my type of book but WOW it was great. It has humour, action, mystery and just a hint of romance. What I enjoyed most was the veiwpoint of being a machine which the narrator was able to bring voice to so well. I really hope that there will be more books they would be an auto buy for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hawkwood Boston, MA USA 05-21-12
    Hawkwood Boston, MA USA 05-21-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amusing Dashiell Hammett Parody"

    The Automatic Detective first strikes one as a very amusing Dashiell Hammett parody - that is, the author of Sam Spade detective stories. Changing the subject to a robot in a future city as grubby as D.H.'s L.A. is well done, and fun. But one becomes attached to Max, and the story becomes engrossing and, at the end, exciting.

    It is never bound for a Sci Fi classic, but it is entertaining, and I'd recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Stansbury 05-07-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very fun summer read!"
    Would you listen to The Automatic Detective again? Why?

    No, I don't have time to re-read a book.


    Would you recommend The Automatic Detective to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, Anyone who likes a hardboiled detective with a twist would enjoy this.


    What does Marc Vietor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Um... a wonderful voice that enhances the mood of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brendanstallard lilburn, GA, United States 06-27-11
    brendanstallard lilburn, GA, United States 06-27-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Excellent Surprise"

    This was lovely, and a real surprise. It is by turns, funny, arch and wise and I enjoyed every moment of it. I am fond of Robot stories and this is one, but it is very human in the way it tells its tale.

    The narrator, whom I first heard as the AI in www.wake does a first class job of reading this. I tend to prefer female voices, but Vietor fits this material perfectly. The narration doesn't get in the way of the story.

    A real audible masterpiece. The writer paints super pictures and I was completely captivated.


    brendan

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Adams Armada, MI 09-28-13
    Robert Adams Armada, MI 09-28-13 Member Since 2009

    RantEng

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    "Please, Please, Please write another!"

    1930's Hard core detective story with space aliens and mutants. Oh, and the Dick is a robot. What more could you ask for?

    This book was so much fun and refreshingly different, that I now own all A. Lee Martinez titles. Automatic Detective is still my favorite by Martinez. Mack Megaton could be the next Mickey Spillane. He deserves a sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rafael Santa Fe, NM, United States 09-16-13
    Rafael Santa Fe, NM, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very fun, and well read."
    What made the experience of listening to The Automatic Detective the most enjoyable?

    The reader brought the characters to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a fun, comic twist on the noir genre (and a send up of science fiction at the same time).


    Have you listened to any of Marc Vietor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Extreme, perhaps not. But I definitely laughed.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niels J. Rasmussen Edmonton, Alberta Canada 06-21-13
    Niels J. Rasmussen Edmonton, Alberta Canada 06-21-13 Member Since 2012

    Dr. Nils Rasmussen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Mix of Genres With Great Narration..."
    Any additional comments?

    As a fan of both classic detective fiction as well as sci-fi, this novel was right up my alley. But the creative mix of genres wasn't just the book's main attraction. The Automatic Detective managed to hold my attention from the very first few sentences. Had it been a physical book, I definitely would not have been able to put it down. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something new and refreshing from the literary world.

    9.2 / 10

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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