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Machines Like Me

A Novel
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New from Ian McEwan, Booker Prize-winner and international best-selling author of Atonement and The Children Act

Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. 

In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda's assistance, he co-designs Adam's personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong, and clever - a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. 

Ian McEwan's subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: What makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns against the power to invent things beyond our control.

©2019 Ian McEwan (P)2019 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, poorly cast!

I am fascinated by the subject matter of this book and by how the story is evolving but I am really frustrated by the performance.

To start with the reader sounds considerably older than the protagonist, who is a romantic character, in love with the woman who he shares Adom with and who would, most probably, be about her age. It's no wonder, based on the character of his voice, that he questions her affection for him.

The central theme of this story, aside from the character of Adam, is about the romantic relationship between the two main characters, but I find the reader's voice almost inhuman; and who knows, maybe he'll turn out to be another Adam.

His voice is forced, sterile, hard, colorless, cold, unemotional, and clinical in nature. He'd be a better choice for reading technical manuals, or a travel logs, not as the voice of a romantic character.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing novel by my favorite author

I discovered Ian McEwen last year and absolutely love his prose. Characters literally fly off the page and there is a lot of suspense while raising existential questions. Loved this book and will probably read it again which is rare for me. You can’t go wrong with this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One, distracting fault to an otherwise excellent book.

While Steven Crossley is a wonderful narrator, he’s simply too old for this character, who is in his early 30s (a fact which is mentioned several times throughout the story). His voice sounds naturally like that of a much older man. I found this really distracting, which is a shame because otherwise this was the best book I’ve read this year.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Source of Anxiety

I was unable to finish this book. While I have enjoyed all the previous McEwan books that I had read, this one began to generate anxiety as the lines between the robot (Adam) and the human (Charlie) began to blur.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Take on an Old Concept

Artificial life has been the subject of countless books but as always Ian McEwan puts a unique spin on his view of our life with machines. Interesting choice to set it in an alternative 1980s period rather than a futuristic setting that could quickly date the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Really? I thought Lon Chaney was dead!

Great story ruined by totally inappropriate narrator. This guy sounds like Lon Chaney. I keep waiting for him to start singing The Monster Mash. No way is this guy a believable 30 something. He sounds like melodramatic grandpa. Totally ruined the experience for me.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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not mcewens best

It was an interesting story and provocative in some of the subjects that raised. The narrator was too old sounding for the narrator of the book which caused regular disconnection in me as a listener

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Disappointing

Ian spends a lot of words with little result. I spent most of this book listening at 1.5X normal speed hoping to get to something interesting. Alas, I finished the book before the really interesting stuff happened. I suspect that part of my disinterest was the result of setting the book in the 1980's. For anyone old enough to have lived then cell phones, autonomous electronic cars, and fast personal computers didn't exist. His made up world was a constant distraction from his story of Adam. what a shame, Adam had so much potential and died so young.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not terribly imaginative

There's not much in the way of insight, humour, joy or imagination, I.e. all the things I look for in a book. And when the narrator does a female voice, he's annoying.

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Great Narrator! Brilliant Story!

The narration made this book even better! I don't understand the detractors at all. Smart, clever ideas and writing by the author. I enjoyed this book very much.