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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Herb
  • Ferderal Way, WA, USA
  • 02-19-05

Forget the violence - Read this one for the humor

I listened to this before I saw the movie. It's too bad that Will Smith is on the cover. Don't get it wrong, I love Will Smith and never miss any of his movies. He did a great job in the Movie. The problem is giving the movie the title of a great book and then turning the story up-side-down is an injustice.

I have to admit, until I heard a review of the movie on NPR I had never read any of Asimov's Fiction. Yes, he wrote GREAT Non-Fiction. Being a programmer I enjoyed the book. In fact I liked it so much I have listened to it three times and suspect there will be a fourth.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes technical detail with their SciFi Fiction. I am sure you will want to listen to it more than once. Oh, and I would rate this book G for Great for General Audiences.

60 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C
  • 07-02-05

Classic Book, Excellent Narration

The book is a classic and if you haven't read it -- you won't be dissapointed with the picture of the future it paints.

The narration is excellent along with the audio quality.

The only minus -- it bears the image of Will Smith from the movie "I, Robot." The movie has 0.0% to do with the book, is the opposite of it in many ways with its hordes of killer robots. Dr. Asimov must be rolling in his grave.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken
  • Dallas, TX, USA
  • 07-17-04

Great story, but it's NOT the movie

Get this book if you're wanting a great story that explores the concepts of integrating robots into human society. If you're getting this book thinking that you'll get what you see on the silver screen, then pass it by because it has absolutely nothing to do with the movie...well, unless of course you count the robots. Otherwise, this book is written by Isaac Asimov and the movie is written by someone else.

This book takes you through the the concepts of how we could trust robots and how, through their obedience of the three laws, we could rely on them too much. It offers quite a few twists and turns.

I'm glad I finally got to read this book after so many years of just hearing about it.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fredrik
  • yucaipa, CA, USA
  • 06-11-04

Thank you

Thank you so much for publishing this classic, I Robot! I have been waiting the five years of my membership for this to happen! This is the first book I read as a child in elementary school.At that age I naively wrote Asimov a letter offering him $7 for the plans for the robot character. The mench he was, Azimov wrote me back appologizing for the plans not being his to sell. I Robot is the foudation of all science fiction robot behavior published in written or film form. I reccommend this audio rendition highly.

91 of 94 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolute Must Hear

The Godfather of modern Science Fiction writes the Grandfather of all robot stories. Everything before was lacking in depth and everything after "borrowed" from this series. Asimov sets up rules of behavior for robots and a universe with a nearly unbreakable internal logic (only Asimov himself "bends" them with anything like impunity"). Other writers who have ignored the need for the Three Laws of Robotics have given us the Berserkers and the Borg and the like. Also good fiction; thus highlighting Asimov's genius in the first place! Enjoy!

92 of 98 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gerry
  • Prairie Grove, AR, United States
  • 06-13-04

Great read.

The story starts out in the simplest of terms with the basic laws for robots, but quickly turns into complex thought provoking mind teaser. I loved the stories told by the lives of the characters and was sad for the book to end. The story starts simply but spirals up. Must read!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pleasure to listen to

I had never read any of Asimov's books, despite having heard him as my college commencement speaker in the 70's. This book is really a collection of great short stories that is no less current now than when it was written. THis really is a pleasure to listent to. I wholeheartly agree with the other glowing reviews here.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Ruskin, FL, USA
  • 07-26-04

So many writers stand on Asimov's shoulders!!!

That's right! I'm not saying you'll like it, just that if other writers have written more detailed stories, more exciting in your opinion... then I promise you one thing. Before they started WRITING, they READ Asimov. I love every word of this story, I read them first when I was a boy and they had an impact of how I saw the world. For the "bad" reviewers, I suggest you read a few hundred of the books that Asimov wrote and you'll have a better idea what this man was capable of. Great science fiction of course, great mysteries too, and yes! Great non-fiction, like the book that got me through Organic Chemistry. If you have not read Asimov, just pick one. Give it a whirl. I will bet you will glad that you did.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Peace.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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

Classic Old School Science Fiction

This is a collection of short stories revolving around a central character, a robot psychologist who is about to retire. She reminisces to a reporter and the stories represent the events she is telling the reporter about, although as told by a narrator other than the psychologist. All of the stories turn on the Three Rules of Robotics, which I’m sure another review or two have spelled out elsewhere.

This book in the first in the series and although I have not read the others (yet), I can tell you the story in the Will Smith movie is not found in this book or any of the others. Characters, situations, and ideas from this book do appear in that movie, but the idea of a violent robot uprising runs contrary to the theme in this book of robots not generally being able to harm humans. Though, the final story in this book suggests robots may be able to subtly manipulate mankind to their mutual benefit.

The stories are mostly clever and fun. The dialogue, the ways the characters interact, and the underlying “science”, now seem quaint of course. But younger readers will still enjoy this sci-fi classic if they suspend the part of their mind struggling with that and just enjoy the stories themselves.

I recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of vintage sci fi.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I-Robot is entertaining sci-fi

Surprisingly on-target science fiction for the year in which it was published. Keen wit and creative story lines are Assimov. I am sure the movie will take a completely different tact. Enjoyable but not irrestible.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robbie
  • 03-01-09

Excellent stories, shame about the reader

Isaac Asimov's robot stories are among the classics of science-fiction, and are a must-read (or must-listen) for anyone with any interest in SF. "I, Robot" is a compilation of some of the best, from among the earliest to among the latest, strung together with a linking narrative that fits them into their "historic" order -- from the first pet-like robots to the handing over of human government to the all-but-omniscient Machines.

The stories themselves easily rate five stars. Unfortunately, I've had to deduct a star because of this audiobook's reader, who manages to be flat and melodramatic simultaneously. He has little sense of dramatic tension, consistently emphasises the wrong words, and is unable to differentiate characters by giving them different voices. I suggest that prospective buyers listen carefully to the audio sample before making a decision.

Overall, though, I'm happy I bought this one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-20-07

Great book, well read and at a bargain price.

Listening to this audiobook was a true pleasure. The classic sci fi tale of robots and the future of humanity has aged very well and many of the issues it rasies still feel contemporary. The book's structure is pure genius, taking several previously published short stories (some which feature on going characters & some which don't) and stiching them together with original work by means of a journalist conducting reseach. The stories are increasingly epic and complex, each one drawing the listener further into the world of the robots. This is also fascinating for any sci fan as it effectively documents the developement of the genre in the last century, from the simplistic and haunting stories of the pulp fiction anthologies (which make up most of the first half of the book) to the politicay complex novels that writers like Clark, Dick and of course Asimov went on to write.
On the production side the reader does an excellent job representing the different charatcers, both human and robotic!
This is a great production of a great book and at Audible's prices it's a total bargain, especially for subscribers. Get it now!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alina
  • 02-09-17

Sad is finished. I enjoyed it so much!

It is a fantastic book and very well narated. lt made me laugh and everything. I very much enjoyed it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eliza
  • 01-13-17

Interesting study of robotic behavior.

Ok. So. Before reviewing the audiobook I decided to watch the movie. Which, as it turns out has has absolutely nothing to do with the book. It keeps the basic rules of the book but the plot is constructed out of thin air.

I enjoyed the book very much. But is less of a plot driven book then a collection of stories and examples of robotic behavior. This makes for interesting reading as a study but not so much if you are looking for something action packed and super exciting.

Having said that I did listen to the whole thing which, for me, if I get bored, is absolutely impossible.

So I enjoyed it and do recommend it if you love robots and want to learn more about how they can possibly function in and with society.

But if you're looking for a written version of the movie- this is not it at all.

I love the Scott Brick and have listened to a few books that he has narrated. He is, as always, exceptional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • S. Peacock
  • 07-13-18

Disappointing

Having never read much science fiction - Brave New World is the only piece I can remember having read - I had high expectations for this collection of short stories as it is lauded as one of the great pieces of science fiction writing. Well if this is the great stuff I hate to imagine what the bad stuff is like.

Stereotypical, one dimensional characters, an almost identical plot line to every story, predictable characters, plots and behaviours, really quite poorly written. Some of the ideas are interesting and well ahead of their time but most are rooted squarely in the 1950s and 1960s that the stories were mainly written in; this isn't in itself a fault as a writer can only write in the context of his own time but it doesn't help the stories be any more interesting or entertaining.

The stories center around 6 characters, 5 of whom run or work for a global monopoly manufacturer of robots, but who appear to have neither the character, temperament, skills or knowledge to run an egg and spoon race let alone a global corporation. The plot of every story is that a robot has apparently gone wrong and it is up to one of the 6 main characters to understand why; like detective fiction with robots only much less interesting than detective fiction.

I can't say the narrator helps either, every character has an almost identical voice except for a single laughable attempt he makes at a Scots accent for one of them.

I managed to listen all the way to the end, but won't be buying any more Asimov books and had I paid full price for this one I would certainly be returning it for refund.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • R. Sibic
  • 05-24-18

Short stories are hard to keep up with.

Overall interesting but sometimes hard to follow because it lacks an overarching story. Still worth reading as it deals with many interesting well thought consequences of AI.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr D G Key
  • 12-20-17

exceptional and thought provoking

a definition of the three laws of robotics the definition of their history and the testing of their durability

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 04-21-17

a book way ahead of its time

if all you've seen is the film you are missing out on most of the main themes, present in this story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • redfeend
  • 03-21-17

A classic, well narrated.

Scott Brick does the business once again! A well chosen narrator.
I haven't watched the film so can't compare, but based on other adaptations feel the book will surely be superior.
The Three Rules of Robotics create interesting conundrums and as the story unfolds, using the biographical backdrop of robot psychologist Susan, I found myself trying to solve each intellectual puzzle as it arose.

The end of the book is not dramatic, but does leave one wondering, even in 2017, if the computer's tail is wagging the human dog. Robots have not yet taken over the world, but could they?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • isaac
  • 10-25-16

Phenomenal sci fi

A collection of short stories with recurring characters based around Asimov's three laws of robotics. Very thought provoking and enjoyable.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-18

bit boring to be honest

offers some interesting views on humanity and it's ever evolving relationship with technology,but overall the story was quite slow and tedious. very little in the way of plot and character development,just a series of political arguments of for and against the existence and use of robots

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adriana
  • 06-27-18

Entertaining and surprisingly still relevant!

This book was not what I was expecting, I really did enjoy reading it! It felt like an easy read. I thought the way the book was laid out was interesting and enjoyed the dilemmas in each chapter. I was surprised how it did not seem dated at all and still could be relevant nowadays.
If you like sci fi, I recommend this one!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Becca
  • 02-16-17

wonderful

Scott is wonderful and the book is fantasti
I wish audible had the full ollection of Asimov's work

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 01-09-17

One of the best books ever written!

I have listened to this book again and again. it's in my top three books of all time. The narrator and the author are masters at what they do...frankly you just have to listen...its brilliant!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DDD
  • 11-01-16

Audio a little scratchy

Great story, the only complaint being the audio is a little scratchy. Throw away the movie and read the book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 09-22-16

Interesting combination of stories

Not like the I, Robot movie with Will Smith but none the lest some interesting concepts.

It was written in 1950 so expect a fast pace Dan Brown novel but more of a thinkers novel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hercules
  • 05-18-16

Massive Logic Puzzles

Where does I, Robot rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very highly. Near the top for sure.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Susan Calvin - Her mind is fantastic

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Scott Brick is one of my favourite narrators. I purchase books because of him!! In this book he is at his usual awesome standard. He brings the characters to life without over-doing it or under-doing it. You can discern the subtle differences between all of his characters and his female voice isn't ridiculously whispy/airy like most male narrators.

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

I could have, but by its very nature the book is compartmentalised so it is perfect for self-contained bursts of listening pleasure.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. It is one massive collection of logic problems that you are trying to solve as you listen. The robots are governed by the 3 laws as we know...so what logical reason could there be in each scenario for the robots to be acting the way they do. It's fascinating, intriguing and captivating.
I was worried that the book, being over 60 years old, would be dated, but the science fiction is projected ahead of our time still, and is also within the realm of believe-ability.
One other thing, even though Isaac Asimov was obsessed with Robots, he has an innate understanding of human nature too...the book isn't a mechanical exercise. It is as much about people as it is about robots.