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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 (614 )
5 star
 (261)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (503 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (501 )
5 star
 (285)
4 star
 (160)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    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
    24
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    7
    ratings
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    51
    9
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    2
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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
    46
    ratings
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    110
    78
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    Performance
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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
  •  
    Randy Ellijay, GA, United States 12-21-12
    Randy Ellijay, GA, United States 12-21-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good story"
    Where does The Automatic Detective rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    the story was good a little dated. Old Sci-Fi


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Good list of characters, interesting characters


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Some good action


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

    no moving


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie wimberly, TX, United States 09-03-12
    Stephanie wimberly, TX, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2009

    I am a farrier and audiobooks really help time go by working alone. Audible makes it so much easier than using CD's!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Not what I was expecting."
    Where does The Automatic Detective rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Probably in the bottom half, it was ok but I wouldn't listen to it a second time, I think. I can hardly remember it now.


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

    The reader was very good, I have to admit. I had not heard anything by him before.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Oceanside, CA, United States 07-23-12
    Cheryl Oceanside, CA, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    73
    3
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    "film noir feel"
    Would you listen to The Automatic Detective again? Why?

    Definitely. It's like a favorite movie that you watch over and over because there are always things you miss the first time through. The narration was excellent. It was delivered in the emotionless voice of a mechanical Joe Friday with a film noir flavor. Mac has a job to do and he's not going to let anything get between him and the completion of his mission.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mack Megaton. He's just a bot trying to find his friends and trying to get by as unobtrusively as possible for a 7 foot wmd.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    speedr3436 07-11-12
    speedr3436 07-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    498
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    "Very enjoyable story!"

    Mack Megaton is a very cool robot. Great story about morals. Mack battles with his conscience and bad guys at the same time. As I said, this is a very enjoyable story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Shifreen New York, NY United States 12-27-11
    F. Shifreen New York, NY United States 12-27-11 Member Since 2015

    Transendit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "This book was disappointing"

    I am shocked at the numerous reviews of this audible book. I love sci-fi
    detective stories, comedy and mixed genres, but this chimera did not
    have the success that I hoped for when i bought it. The writing is not funny,
    story did not make sense, I did not enjoy it and believe the author did not pull it off.
    The narrator was good, but when the story and writing are so bad nothing
    can help it

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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