Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy. 

"Hey you.” 

Heyoo. That's my name, I suppose. It's easier for the humans to remember than 413s98-itr8. I guess I've gotten used to it. 

Rob Dircks, author of Where the Hell is Tesla? and Don’t Touch the Blue Stuff!, has a "unit" with a problem: how to deliver his package, out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to guide him. Oh, and with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. It's a science fiction tale of technology gone haywire, unlikely heroes, and the nature of humanity. (Woah. That last part sounds deep. Don't worry, it's not.) 

©2016 Rob Dircks (P)2016 Rob Dircks

Critic Reviews

“★★★★★ Dircks has delivered a fantastic novel that is charming, thoughtful, both heart wrenching and heart warming, thought-provoking, and ultimately just hilarious.” (AudiobookReviewer.com)

"Rob Dircks manages to bridge the tricky divide between science-fiction and humor so effortlessly that a comparison to Vonnegut is not a hyperbolic stretch.” (Ruth Sinanian, Literature Reviewer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    700
  • 4 Stars
    268
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    711
  • 4 Stars
    227
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    667
  • 4 Stars
    251
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Futuristic journey without a single misstep

It’s the mark of a master storyteller to be able to take an old story and make it new again, and that’s exactly what Rob Dircks has done in “The Wrong Unit.” Countless scifi writers have undertaken the story of “when AIs go bad” (think Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey for just one example). Here, Dircks takes on that trope, adds a father-son bonding sub-plot and a hero journey (or two) on the side, and makes it all feel new again.

One way the book distinguishes itself is by telling the story from the point of view of the “evil” AI. The viewpoint character is a robotic unit named Heyoo (derived from the way it is addressed by its human charges as “Hey You”), one of thousands of robots that serve and protect humanity under the direction of a misguided AI. Like any really good villain, the robots can rationalize their behavior and truly believe what they are doing is for humanity’s benefit. As a reader, watching everything through Heyoo’s point-of-view, I found myself laughing at his misapprehensions while rooting for him to figure out the error of his ways.

Laughter is another way this book differentiates itself. As with his first book, “Where the Hell is Tesla?” (which I also highly recommend), humor is a big reason why Dircks’ writing stands head and shoulders above the rest of the scifi field. From tiny touches, like having Heyoo journal his life via “introspection recordings” to plays on programming nightmares like circular references, scarcely a page goes by without a snicker, if not a laugh-out-loud moment.

Good as all that is, what really makes this a 5-star novel is the way the reader grows to love the characters. “Heart-warming” sounds so cliché, but it is 100% applicable. Heyoo is more human, more caring and more lovable than the protagonists of many a scifi thriller. Yes, I even got verklempt a couple of times.

With the assured hand of a master, Dircks has constructed a perfect little novel. I could easily see this made into a movie, it was that good. And to get the full experience, I highly recommend you listen to the audio version of the book. It is read by the author himself, and he does a fantastic job, including singing, making this my favorite scifi audio book of 2016.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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

The kind of science fiction book I search for!

What did you love best about The Wrong Unit?

This is not the depressing apocalyptic vision of the future I usually avoid, yet it does show a future that has gone terribly awry. Heyoo, a mechanized human helper, is sent on a journey he is not prepared for. He is sent on a mission, but he is the Wrong Unit, lacking the programming to complete his mission. Yet he has the ability to learn, to grow, and eventually to become what he needs to be to help Wa, his human charge.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Heyoo, his development and spirit made him lovable.

Which character – as performed by Rob Dircks – was your favorite?

I was given the audio copy of this book for an honest review. Some of the writing was almost poetic in its beauty. I have to say that Rob Dircks performance as narrator added so much to my enjoyment of the book, it would be hard for me to imagine this heart warming adventure in any other "voice". Every one of his characters were distinct and interesting. It should get an award for the narration alone. This book has everything, heart, vision, philosophy, romance, excitement, depth and yes, because it is a Rob Dircks novel, wacky fun. You will love this book!

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

Yes, but I can't say what it is because I don't want to include any spoilers.

Any additional comments?

What a great experience this book was! And I do mean experience. The book had funny, wacky and zany elements, but underneath that was a depth of feeling and maturity that really touched my heart. I had read and listened to Where The Hell Is Tesla? and loved it, so I was excited to hear that Rob Dircks had written and narrated another book.

This is the kind of science fiction book I search for. It had lovable interesting characters, a wonderful plot, and thought provoking story line. What is human? What is love? What is freedom? Can a robot experience the empty nest syndrome?

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

The "Right" Wrong Unit!


Wow! What a hilarious, heart-warming, and though provoking story! Set in the future, where technology and programs rule humanity, the "wrong" unit was selected to deliver humanities last hope to gain their freedom. This fast paced story follows the journey of the "wrong" unit, and it's human companion, who it's raised since an infant, to an unknown destination. Their journey was filled with many laughs, and heart-warming moments watching the unit known as Heyoo learn to care for the human he named Wah.

I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review, and have to say Rob's a talented, and versatile author/narrator whose even got a great singing voice! He did an amazing job in both creating and narrating this story. I'm definitely recommending this one to my friends, and will be on the lookout for future books written or even narrated by Rob. Kudos, on a well written and narrated story! The Wrong Unit was very entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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

Touching and unique sci-fi

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

Yes, this was an interesting story that takes place a long time after robot have conquered humanity, and is told from the perspective of a robot. This has tons of good humor and adventure.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that the machines in the book were not evil, like they are in most stories about robots taking over.

What about Rob Dircks’s performance did you like?

I am usually nervous about having an author narrate their own works, but Rob did great job! He has good voices, and good pacing.

Any additional comments?

this book was given to me in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Wrong Unit, Right Relationships

If you like to read about all manner of complex relationships (primarily father and son in this case) that work even in a technology-ruled, uncertain world, this is your book. This realistic sci-fi comes with everything imaginable and believable, and all the stuff that makes for good adventure. It is packed with fun and action and arcs all about. With guts and gusto, the cast of likable characters use credible, relevant dialogue to drive the story, flex the tension, and thicken the plot. The pace never lets up and never lets loose your attention.

Oh, and about the narration— it is a top notch, near flawless performance by the author. There is one glitch in the book's Chapter 15 (Audible rubric reads Chapter 16) at the 6:30 mark where “…the trampoline…” is repeated twice. Even with that editing mishap, listening to Dircks' narration was one of those increasingly rare experiences from which I walked away thinking, wow, what a perfect fit for this story.

Based on my enjoyment level and other things considered, I rated every available category option 4.5 and rounded up. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it would be nice and add an add layer of fairness if Audible included "Editing" or "Production" as a category.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

For all the dads

As a dad, I really connected with this book. It is always really special when the author reads... And is good at it. Excellent character development and thanks for getting to the point.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Howard
  • Cumberland, MD, United States
  • 07-22-16

Rob Dircks knocks another outta the ball park

Its far far into the future and a belovant computer had control over the entire earth, especially easy after reducing the entire human population to fit in New Jersey, of all places. Caring for the human population are mechanized servants all connected the supposedly belovant 'Core' a super- supercomputer designed to protect and care for humans. Of course, because of overpopulation and over industrialization, the only way to say humanity is to eliminate most of it, so billions of humans are eradicated, except for those protected (or is it imprisoned) in New Jersey. An unauthorized infant is born and handed over to a servant droid and sent on mission that they do not understand or have knowledge. Will this infant survive? Will he make the rebellion possible and free the humans from the over controlling Core system? It's a fun journey as HeyU takes care of Wa without ever knowing their purpose or destination. The Wrong Unit is humorous and heartwarming. I found it fun. Rob Dircks may just convince me to consider other author/narrators. He is not only innovative in his storytelling, but also has a great sense of humor that easily translates into his books. Well done, sir; well done.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. A
  • Michigan, USA
  • 08-02-16

The Wrong Unit, is a thrilling, heartfelt,and fun!

I just loved this book! Thank you so much Rob for letting me review this audio book. I haven't enjoyed an audio book this much in a long time. I fell in love with Heyoo, he is awesome and i want him to be my very best friend. This book is part Sci Fi, part dystopian, part humor, part thriller, and just a heartwarming read.

Just a quick summary, this book is set in the future where computers, CORE, have taken over society and have humans bound to a sanctuary. Obviously the humans aren't going to go down without a fight, so they pick a Servile Unit to deliver a "package" to save humanity. However, things quickly go wrong when they pick the wrong unit, or did they????

Just a great book, Rob Dircks, does an amazing job narrating this book, I love the added singing!!!! Seriously a 5 star performance, and now I must read your other book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Comedic romp in a dystopic future

Rob Dircks' The Wrong Unit is an engaging and humorous tale of a future where artificial intelligence has assumed responsibility for oversight of mankind. Humans live in a technology free zone except for their machine overlords in a sort of pastoral pseudo-utopia, but there is dissension in the ranks. An untainted human infant in placed in the care of a robot Servile unit to find and awaken the "iceman" to lead a rebellion against the machines. In a ironic twist of fate the "wrong" servile unit is selected and a long, strange journey unfolds.

The sci-fi elements are varied consisting of artificial intelligence controlling a benign dictatorship that is mostly parental in nature with humans as children that never grow up. There are cryopreservation and teleportation devices. Aided by the servile unit, the infant grows into a Neo like character in a "matrix-lite" environment, although he comes into the real world bathed in his own feces, rather than from swallowing a pill. Along the way, while the action is non-stop, so is the humorous banter on all sides and funny situations, with a generous helping of belly laughs thrown in for good measure.

The narration is quite well done, especially given the need for timing and inflection to convey the proper delivery for the comedic elements to shine through.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Wonderful story of what it means to be human

While this is a completely different sci-fi story than "...Tesla", it is still an exploration into the introspection and growth that takes place on the long journey back home. The tale delves beautifully into what it means to be human and also to be a parent- the urge to protect at all cost, then the realization that freedom to choose how to live is more important than protection. A very enjoyable listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 01-03-17

Original, feel-good science fiction

Despite the fact that this is a post-apocalyptic story in which the few remaining humans are kept in captivity, this is a feel-good Science Fiction novel.

The lightness in tone comes mainly from the innocence and empathy of the main character, Heyou, a Servile Unit (an A.I. in a humanish body) whose purpose is the care and feeding of humans in their compound.

Heyou, the Wrong Unit of the title, is picked up by mistake and thrust into an epic quest to save humanity.

This involves a very long walk with a very small child. As Heyou trudges across the planet his empathy for humans and his own sense of identity grows with each challenge that he overcomes. Eventually, he has to face the biggest challenge of all, freeing humanity by bringing down Core, the A.I. who made him.

Rob Dircks is both author and narrator of this novel and he does both jobs with a deft touch and a nuanced understanding of dialogue and interior monologues.

This book is packed with clever ideas and finds new twists on the A.I. – menace-to-humanity trope but its strength comes from the gradual growth of Heyou into a fully rounded person.

Pick this one up if you want a light, fast, upbeat read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 10-16-16

The Wrong Unit

This book was brilliant. I love this author, both as a writer and a narrator. He narrates this book so brilliantly. A minor complaint about the narration is that it is somewhat difficult to tell in Arches's chapters that its not being told from Heyoo's perspective because its the same narrator using the same voice. This is only minor as it is easy to understand once the chapter begins.
The story is awesome, if at some points slightly unnecessary, though it does lack some characterisation. In the last quarter of the book, many characters are introduced. I didn't feel that enough time was given to these people in order for me to establish a like or dislike of them. If something happened to them, I just couldn't remember who they were and shrugged it off.
Overall, it was a very good book, with some minor issues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon Browne
  • 08-16-16

Surprised by how much I loved this!

Was dubious when I downloaded but enjoyed every single minute of this book. A really richly conceived world. Really well performed. Just download it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 03-27-17

exelent and highly recommend

absolutely loved this book.
I liked it so much I finished It in one sitting.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bernadette Johnstone
  • 02-23-17

Enjoyable easy listening

A sweet read with some of the charm of his first book - not as gripping but still enjoyable characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful