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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 (692 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (577 )
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Story
4.4 (573 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James Audubon, NJ, United States 06-04-15
    James Audubon, NJ, United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A lot of fun"

    I consider myself an A Lee Martinez fan. I have all of his audio books, except one. This is my second favorite, behind "A Nameless Witch".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anders Skov Denmark 01-23-15
    Anders Skov Denmark 01-23-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A another fun from Martinez"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is a good read and and the premise of the story is very entertaining.And because it is a book written by Lee Martinez


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mack Megaton of course.


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

    Again Mack Megaton


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No, it's just good entertainment.


    Any additional comments?

    The very variable personalities appearing in the book is brilliantly described .And a job well done by Marc Vietor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Burch 09-02-14
    K. Burch 09-02-14

    Speculative fiction is my genre. Narrative voice (the voice the author wrote the tale in) is very important to me. I love good dialogue.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get to the point, Martinez!"
    What would have made The Automatic Detective better?

    This is my third attempt at an A. Lee Martinez book, and I can never get past the first third of them. I don't know if any of his books actually have a plot, because he founders so much in the beginning that I can't figure out what the point is, get bored, and stop reading/listening to them.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm on a noir/neo-noir kick right now, so I might go with the follow up novel to When Gravity Fails. That, or another Elmore Leonard novel that's narrated by Muller. Those are great!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS, United States 03-16-14
    Dennis SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Martinez does it again."

    Over the top stereotypes are something this author does exceedingly well. Narrator was well chosen. Characters are fun. Story puts together a forties feel with a science fiction spin. Great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon 07-04-13
    Shannon 07-04-13
    ratings
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    49
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    Story
    "Great fun!"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure what I expected from the review, but I was pleasantly surprised as I listened. I'm a hardcore science fiction fan and long-time aficionado of the gritty detective mysteries of old. Martinez combined the two in a way I really enjoyed and Mr. Vietor brought it to life wonderfully. The end sounded like it could be the beginning of a series. I'll be watching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 04-28-13
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 04-28-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my type of story"
    Would you try another book from A. Lee Martinez and/or Marc Vietor?

    Maybe. I suspect not. This Science fantasy book was not my type of book . It was written in the American detective style but using robots and type writers,.. whatever. I did not enjoy this story, it did not work for me.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Waste of my time.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noell SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-06-13
    Noell SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2010

    Fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mysteries, and poetry- just a few of my favorite genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Automatic Like and Recommendation *some spoilers*"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I happen to be a fan of film noir and an even bigger fan of steampunk, so to have the two genres combined is absolutely wonderful. Several of my friends also like steampunk and sci-fi so I would definitely recommend this to them. I must admit, Martinez can either be a hit or a miss (didn't care for his story, Monster) but this is an absolute hit. The only thing I think the story needed was a little more character development on some of the characters, like the young Holt -who only appeared in a few scenes yet was at the center of everything. Other than that, this is absolutely one of my favorite "reads" of the year.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Mac Megaton as the cold yet somewhat sensitive "detective" as well as his friend/ sometimes roommate Young the Gorilla. They were just a wonderful pairing and they brought a sense of humor to the story. Luchea Napier was an equally intriguing character as the automatic girl genius turned playgirl who secretly still dabbles in science in her spare time. I kept thinking that she was going to turn out to be the femme fatale of the story, but Martinez didn't follow that cliche so bravo for him and his ability to create fresh and appealing characters.


    What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

    I found it a bit comical whenever he tried doing a female character, but he did a fantastic job and really brought out Mac's cynical nature.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Automatic Detective: A Heart of Gold with Arms of Steel.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in sci-fi, film noir, steampunk or a combination of all of the above- then this is the book for you. This honestly has a little bit of everything- monsters, mayhem, romance, technology- it's just an all around fun and engrossing listen. Really hoping he makes a sequel sometime soon. Even though the threat of an alien invasion/immigration has been neutralized, there are always the problems and villains of tomorrow. Plus, I would like to see Mac and Luchea's relationship go somewhere somehow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elsie Berlin, MA, United States 03-04-13
    Elsie Berlin, MA, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Nicely done."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this story to anyone that enjoys light hearted sci-fi.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Automatic Detective?

    I don't like to name specifics - that can be a spoiler. In general the fusion of the old-timey detective and the robot Mac was well done.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I am a sucker for a happy ending. This book ended well.


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

    It's hard to listen to a book all in one sitting, or standing or even moving around...I don't listen to any book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator did a fab job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Alexandria, VA, United States 02-26-13
    Jon Alexandria, VA, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great and fun listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Automatic Detective the most enjoyable?

    a very fun story bringing together some of the best parts of classic noir detective fiction and golden age science fiction with a modern cultural perspective


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-24-12
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2009

    My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average"

    This was just a regular somewhat futurist story. Nothing exceptional, in fact the author seems not up on technology.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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