We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Wrong Unit Audiobook

The Wrong Unit: A Novel

Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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, best-selling author of Where the Hell is Tesla?, 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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (612 )
5 star
 (405)
4 star
 (160)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.5 (586 )
5 star
 (385)
4 star
 (148)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.6 (587 )
5 star
 (410)
4 star
 (137)
3 star
 (35)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 10-03-16
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 10-03-16 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1073
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    261
    218
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    71
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri 07-31-16
    Cheri 07-31-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3810
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    729
    556
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    202
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 07-22-16
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 07-22-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    568
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    110
    75
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    55
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. A Michigan, USA 08-02-16
    J. A Michigan, USA 08-02-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    11
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fascinatingbooks 07-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    39
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-21-16
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 09-21-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2032
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    638
    344
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    528
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Lazy Book Reviewer Tasmania, Australia 08-04-16
    The Lazy Book Reviewer Tasmania, Australia 08-04-16 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    27
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Original Listen"

    Every now and then a book comes along that completely surprises you with its original plot and riveting narrative. If you have not already guessed it The Wrong Unit was one of these reads.

    Rob Dirks has written a book that combines the right amount of suspense, humor and good ole fashion entertainment. We follow the adventures of Hey You and Waah as they struggle to find a way home to free the Human race from the psychopath main frame Core. Along the way the author looks at what exactly constitutes being a human.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    24
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Wonderful!"
    Would you listen to The Wrong Unit again? Why?

    I usually don't re-listen to books, but I think I might visit this again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I am a huge sci-fi fan, but so much of it is zombie, evil alien, war, rape, narcissistic abuse filled that one has a hard time wishing the humans HAD actually all been wiped out. The possibilities are endless, so why can't we just once have people learn from the mistakes of the past, and build something beautiful? Why all the zombies? Things are bad enough now, that things have to be horrific in the stories.

    This story, was exactly what I needed. It was just so cool, all the characters were unique, and even the "bad guys" were not actually evil, just missing the point, and actually wanted to GET the point. The humans were also able to see "the other side" with enough clarity, that not all of them were the enemy.

    I have no problem with the use of profanity, I actually like it, when it is used in humorous ways, which it was here...but I was very happy that there was no gratuitous torture, or 45 minute sections of brutality.


    What about Rob Dircks’s performance did you like?

    Everything!!! Thank you, Rob! Sometimes it is extra special when an author reads, because he knows what his characters are thinking and feeling, and this makes the experience come to life. Sometimes even professional narrators act out a line, even the the book says "he said, with gentleness", but the actor just screamed the line...so, it doesn't always work. This worked.


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

    There were so many, I listen to a lot of books, and lately, I have to turn them off, because I feel a hopelessness for humanity. This one, actually made me cry for humanity, because we could be so much more. Love, love is missing. Love as an unconditional gift, not ownership of another. Not revenge, only honor.


    Any additional comments?

    I would really like to see the author write something post-apocalyptic where only really cool people survive, artists, inventors, empaths, healers, engineers, and they have no obstacles, because a new light is shining in the sky. All beings no longer have to eat to survive, including animals. The climate is stable, they can communicate with animals and plants and exchange ideas...and build something just wonderful. This doesn't have to be boring, la la land, the characters would have to adapt, they would have to learn to listen to other beings, and come to terms with how blind and deaf humanity was, and come into this new reality not knowing all this, and slowly find each other and discover the newness. That, would be a real treat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KTS Houston 07-06-17
    KTS Houston 07-06-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    31
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a great story!"

    I stumbled upon Rob Dirk's when Audible suggested his book Where the Hell is Tesla. That was so funny, I had to get this book as soon as I knew he had written another. It wasn't disappointing, as are so many second books. In fact it is a great story. It is funny, exciting and heartwarming. It is a story of what it means to be human, and what it means to be a father. It is lighthearted and easy to read or listen to - Dirks is a great narator - and the book is just fun. I can't wait for the next Rob Dirks story.
    Hope it isn't too long a wait.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Nightingale 06-09-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    115
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unconditional love."

    This book surprised me. It is sifi with a twist, or more accurately, a heart. Which is strange to say as one of them doesn't have a heart.

    I loved this book. It made me laugh and brought me to happy tears. Something quite hard to do normally.

    The narration was excellent. The book came alive for me. I never write reviews, this book deserves five stars so I capitulated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mike Murphy
    Switzerland
    1/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Emily
    10/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Jon
    3/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "exelent and highly recommend"

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Browne
    8/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.