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Publisher's Summary

They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities, and unforeseen risks. For the scientists who invented the earliest robots weren't content that their creations should remain programmed helpers, companions, and semisentient worker-machines. And soon the robots themselves, aware of their own intelligence, power, and humanity, aren't either.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Re-Read Worthy

I've been a fan of Asimov, literally, for decades... ever since I was reading adult-level sci-fi novels waaaaay back in my gradeschool years. I love his novels now, even more. I reread his works again in my 20's & 30's, & I am now re-re-reading them in my 60's. (It is a personal project of mine to read the authors/books one more time that I have so enjoyed throughout my life... interspersed with newer/current authors/books that I find interesting now.) If you are a fan of sci-fi, I strongly recommend this & all other novels by Isaac Asimov. His books were amazing when 1st printed (this one was printed in 1950, I think), & I believe they are just as amazing and CURRENT today!

Namaste... Jade Dragon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The book is still better than the movie

sometimes the book is better than the movie, sometimes it isn't. In this case, I kinda like both. The movie was dramatic and covered the bases for a lot of the book, the book just did a better job of giving you the details and explaining the psychology of the robots.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nothing like the movie

Having Will Smith on the cover of this novel is just ludicrous. The movie i, Robot while a good movie on its own has literally nothing to do with the story of the book. Lovers of Asimov will absolutely love this book as it is written in the same style as the foundation series and is a rich and interesting look at the philosophical, social, and psychological implications of artificial intelligence. Keep in mind if you liked the movie for the study in robotics, you will love this book. If you loved he movie because Will Smith was a badass who fights robots... This is not your book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect book but not the best narration

It was finally time for me to take the time to listen to this masterpiece.
One of the best reads! It's is still hard to believe it dates back to 1950.
However the narration of the book wasn't the best. The narrator didn't make that many efforts to change intonation between characters. As a comparison, The Three body problem audio book is narrated way way better!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Story; Narration. Awful Audio Divisions

Would you try another book from Isaac Asimov and/or Scott Brick?

Yes

What did you like best about this story?

The exploration of the human psyche via the 3 laws of robotics

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

No

Do you think I, Robot needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It has followups, read foundation and the Robots Novels!

Any additional comments?

The audio divisions are horrendous. They are in the middle of one story and skip then to the middle of the next. Have to rely on my own bookmarks to keep track of progress.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Story itself is interesting, its just that the nar

Story itself is good, its just that the narrator doesn't do a good job distinguishing which character is which. All the male characters have the same voice, so it's difficult to tell who is talking at times.

Otherwise, enjoyed the collection of tales. it's classic, golden age sci-fi at it's height. But if you are interested in it, try one with a different narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Jupiter, FL, United States
  • 08-10-15

What if? As man makes machines, who serves whom.

So for starters, remove Will Smith and references to the movie from the cover. While entertaining, I really liked the movie, it is only loosely based on the book. Read I, Robot to explore the many scenarios; ethical, moral, financial, social and political, that occur having robots that serve humanity. But then, what does that service mean. How do you resolve "do no harm to a human or allow harm through inaction", the 1st law of robotics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • thomas
  • charlotte, NC, United States
  • 09-19-14

Written in 1950, Still Relevant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I sure would. I would recommend it especially to readers of Asimov who are interested in his early work, which servers as a precursor to the Robot, Galactic Empire and Robot Series. Good stories, that are a foundation (no pun intended) to later work.

What did you like best about this story?

Susan Calvin is alluded to in the Robot Series often, here we find out how elemental she was in robot development. The psychology angle plays an important part here and in later works. This thread was fascinating, and is woven through all the stories.

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

Scott Brick does his usual fine job. Part of me likes the fact that sometimes he goes a little over the top in his performance. It adds to the Sci Fi Theater element to some of the stories here and in later performances. Well done.

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

I have said it before...Asimov does not translate well to movies. Many of these stores are "thought puzzles" that are based on interior action. Audible is the right delivery method for this materiel, a movie could never compare.

Any additional comments?

There are short stores, hence my 4 star review. This is not to diminish the short story model. But Asimov weaves these basic concepts into later, more complicated and ultimately more satisfying material. These stories are great, and I recommend them to any fan of Asimov or early Sci Fi. But read them as an appetizer to later material, or background information on characters and stores you love in the later works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So Good It Makes You Hate the Movie

Any additional comments?

Incredible book. One of my favorite non-fiction / Sci-Fi stories. The only downside is that it I'm now sickened of the motion picture's interpretation of the source material. I once thought that it was a decent movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Old Papa Asimov

It's hard to review a book that I had so many misconceptions about when I picked it up. I knew it is considered a great piece of sci-fi, but was really shocked by the huge departure that the filmmakers took from Asimov's original vision.

Forget all the action sequences. Forget everything you've seen in contemporary science fiction, because I, Robot is not it. Perhaps that story gets told in later books in the series, but I don't know. But what we have in this book is definitely the beginnings of that modern sci-fi. We don't get gigantic space battles or epic conflicts between man and machine. What we do get is mining on asteroids and Mercury. We get the progression of technology. We get a lot of the basic ideas that later SF authors capitalized on. The saying is that "If I see far, it's because I stand on the shoulders of giants." Well, Asimov is certainly a giant, and it's easy to see why. This book was published in 1950, and the technological ideas in it are incredible. I don't doubt that a lot of scientists and modern roboticists have taken at least some inspiration from this novel. The writing is good, and keeps you moving along despite the fact that there is relatively little conflict within the book.

A few of the characters kind of fell flat for me. A lot of them were smart, but one seemed like he was belligerent the entire time, while another balanced him as the voice of reason. The robo-psychologist got thrown into the middle of it, and she seemed to have next to no emotion at all, except for a certain point. So...yeah. Characters feel a little two-dimensional. But hey, it was the '50s.

This two-dimensionality isn't helped at all by the narration. The performance was so wooden, the narrator could be nicknamed "oak." I'm sure he's not a bad narrator--I enjoyed the book, after all. But there was a distinct lack of emotional range whenever anything happened in the book. Granted, the book doesn't have much emotional dynamism either, but I feel that Scott Brick really missed a chance to help the text feel even more interesting.

Another thing that pulled me out was the date. Apparently, we have the option to study robo-psychology in universities, but I never knew about it. In 1950, the great leaps that technology was taking probably made it seem like a positronic brain was attainable in the late 1970s, but, well... I'm just going to stick to waiting for the flying cars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful