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Machines Like Me
Machines Like Me: A Novel | Ian McEwan
The new novel from the master storyteller is his best in years and brilliantly McEwan, a moving love story and a mystery, yet, for all its gripping plotline one of the most ethically and morally layered novels written for our times. Set in 1980s London, the story revolves around Charlie: young and reckless, and in love with his upstairs neighbour, the enchanting Miranda whose hidden, murky past hangs between them. He has spent his inheritance on the acquisition of one of twenty-four highly developed robotic humans--named Adam or Eve--developed by Alan Turing after his success on the Enigma codebreaking machine, central to the Allies WWII victory. As London is consumed by the huge protests over England and Argentina's Falklands War and Margaret Thatcher's jingoistic ambitions, Charlie courts Miranda, and his Adam finds himself central to their affair. Great novelist that he is, McEwan pulls us into the question of what it means to love, what it means to be human in our fast-changing times, and how precarious a construct is the world we live in and think we know.
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Smrloomis
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Pickpick

Fascinating and worth the read I think. Didn‘t love the political interludes but was engrossed otherwise. Highly recommended if this seems like your thing.

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Onioons
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Pickpick

So it took 608 minutes yesterday & 45 minutes this morning, but I couldn't put this down. Really interesting listen with a bunch of unexpected topics like open access, colonialism, robotics, social politics. All the time with a core cast of four characters keeping the story relatable. Dont understand the low ratings, I really enjoyed this.

Aaronlisa I gave the book a 3.5 star rating and although I couldn‘t put it down, the ending felt far too rushed for me. I felt that the author tried to do too much in too short of a book. But it is still a book that I think about. 2y
Onioons @Aaronlisa yes, that's fair. I think I'm used to dystopian novels that are caught up in their own "epicness" & this felt more grounded somehow. But I see how the ending was a bit too steep of a departure. I get the point he was trying to make but it was quite an academic point now that I think about it & advances the plot much more than the characters. As you say, it's one I'll remember. 2y
24 likes2 comments
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EadieB
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Panpan

1980‘s London. Charlie is in love with his neighbor Miranda. He purchases a robotic human named Adam. Charlie courts Miranda and Adam finds himself central to their affair. I didn‘t care too much for this book especially when Miranda started having sex with Adam. That was too much for me so this became my least favorite McEwan book. Can not recommend this one!

#MachinesLikeMe #IanMcEwan #authoramonth

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GerardtheBookworm
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Pickpick

Ian McEwan never writes in the same genre and always examines the human experience. Set an alternative 1980's England, the protagonist is a slacker who purchases a synthetic android named Adam and shares him with his would-be girlfriend. A love triangle ensues as well as character flaws that make this novel more about the dependence on technology, the importance of human interaction, and the traits that define us people.

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AJackets
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"Before us sat the ultimate plaything, the dream of ages, the triumph of humanism - or its angel of death."

Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! 3y
3 likes1 comment
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KarenUK
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#RedRoseSeptember
Man, woman, synthetic human..... sounds like a pretty #bizarrelovetriangle to me!
Not read this yet, but hope to soon. I‘ve yet to be disappointed by McEwan, so I‘m #cautiouslyoptimistic 😊🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

Cinfhen It was a BIG bail for me 💁🏼‍♀️ 3y
arlenefinnigan The cover of that really creeps me out. 3y
KarenUK @cinfhen Uh oh! 🤦‍♀️ 3y
Cinfhen It may have been a timing thing😐hubs was in the hospital and my concentration level was smaller than a gnat 3y
Mdargusch That cover! 3y
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Aaronlisa
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Mehso-so

I read this Sept 2-6 and gave it 3.5 ⭐️. I was somewhat disappointed with this story. I think McEwan tries to do too much with this alternate history with robots in the 1980s in too short a book. Also Charlie, Adam and Miranda just aren‘t interesting characters to follow. The book raises a valid question about AI but falls a bit flat.

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TrishB
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#human or machine? #ayupaugust
Not read yet, but want to read despite reviews 🤷‍♀️

Cathythoughts Great pick for prompt 👍🏻 3y
squirrelbrain Great choice! 👍😁 3y
Cinfhen Clever pick!!!! Curious to hear your thoughts once u read this one 3y
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Pruzy It was fine! Just not McEwan‘s best 3y
TrishB @Cinfhen @Pruzy I‘ll definitely get to it! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm Good pick! Curious about this despite the many not-so-good reviews, because I love McEwan. 3y
TrishB @erzascarletbookgasm I think like most books with very mixed reviews we just have to dive in and make our minds up! 3y
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Emilymdxn
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Mehso-so

Bits I liked - Miranda and Adam mainly - but let down by the narrator who didn‘t have much to offer in the way of originality, beautiful writing or interesting food for thought. I‘m not sure why the main character was needed in the story about Miranda and Adam other than to make sure there was a man there. McEwan‘s style seems to get more and more ‘look at me doing important literature‘ and sounds less and less natural to my mind

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scowler1
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Mehso-so

Not my favorite from McEwan I'll admit, but quite brilliant. Alternative history? Science fiction? Who cares? He was accused of genre snobbery after a recent interview but every author has the right to be snobbish about their own work. They write the books and we get to tell them what it's all about!

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charl08
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The power of the child's brain - through play.

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charl08
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This is a very odd book.

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charl08

Androids and alternative histories - intriguing start.

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Busha1984
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Mehso-so

⭐⭐✨
Not quite what I was expecting. I enjoyed the actual storyline involving Charlie, Miranda, and Adam but there was a lot history, politics, and, what I found to be, "filler" that, in my opinion, took away from the story. I skimmed a lot of the "fluff" just to finish the book faster.

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Kazzie
Pickpick

Weird, troubling at times. Accurate description of AI challenges. Good discussion points

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Peaslady
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Bailedbailed

Oh how disappointing! I've loved many of McEwan's books, adore speculative fiction and was excited for his take on AI, but I only made it halfway. It was BORING. Writing a sci-fi novel is harder than he thought (he's shunned the genre but really, it's about robots?!). He spends too much time explaining his alternative reality via clumsy dialogue or the narrator's voice. He's so caught up with how clever he's being he forgot to tell a good story.

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Pogue
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#bookclubpick I liked this much better than I thought I would and I cannot wait for the book club discussion on this book. It still leaves me with an unanswered question but that might be the point.

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Eyejaybee
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Pickpick

This is the fiftieth book I have read in 2019. An intriguing mix of science fiction and alternative history it tells of Charlie Friend‘s experiences when he buys Adam, a highly elaborate lifelike Android. Set in a very different 1982 in which Britain has just lost the Falklands War. See my Goodreads review at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42086795. #ianmcewan #machineslikeme #books #bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #bookish #fiction #dauntbooks

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ClairesReads
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Panpan

Wtf Ian?! Ultimately, this novel fails on a number of fronts. I agree with the criticism I've read that the treatment of sexual assault is fundamentally problematic. Beyond this, I found the characters essentially unbelievable in many places- equally too flat, and too unrealistically detailed. The tone was off, the plot veered wildly between disparate events and ideas, it still managed to feel dull most of the time I was reading it.

Cinfhen This was meant to be our MAY bookclub pick but WE ALL agreed to bail....no one could get through it!!!!!! 3y
MrsMalaprop Oh no! I read and liked a lot of his earlier stuff. Seems his more recent work is off the mark?! 3y
kamoorephoto I can‘t get past the cover to read this book. Creepy. 3y
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Emilymdxn Seems pretty par for the course with Ian McEwan recently 😞 I used to like him so much when I was younger! I got this one from the library as I want to be able to join in with the conversation about it but I‘m glad I didn‘t pay for it 3y
ClairesReads @Cinfhen haha! Glad you were all on the same page- the second half was quite absurd. 3y
ClairesReads @MrsMalaprop I‘ve enjoyed almost all of his books, even recent ones (Nutshell) but honestly this was too much 3y
ClairesReads @kamoorephoto it‘s a bit intense hey 3y
ClairesReads @Emilymdxn I borrowed this and I am glad of that too. I‘m glad I read it, so I can be informed in my opinion, and it wasn‘t a real trial to read or anything...it just was a bit off. 3y
Cinfhen In 5 years we‘ve never unanimously bailed on a book!!! 3y
ClairesReads @Cinfhen that‘s quite a feat of agreement in any book group! 3y
Cinfhen Hahaha....true 3y
mklong So I guess it really is a “colossal hodgepodge of balderdash” then 😂 @Redheadrambles (edited) 3y
Redheadrambles @mklong so nice to get some backup on this from Claire ( and I am sure yourself- should you decide to venture in :) 3y
mklong @Redheadrambles I believe it‘s safe to say that you and Claire have successfully discouraged me from venturing in. 3y
chapter_fifty2017 Once l read the blurb on the back with a banal love triangle 😒 l dropped it 😏 3y
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AntoinetteBuchanan
Mehso-so

Ian McEwan can't write badly but I did not enjoy this book. I could cope with the moral philosophy, although I didn't actually agree with him much, and I could cope with the alternate reality and may have enjoyed an exploration of the inevitability of history, but neither was served by being in the same book. Or maybe they would have been but not this book. I left me cold and unsatisfied.

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AntoinetteBuchanan
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Having a work day where I spend time in the car between meetings so am starting this variously reviewed new title from Ian McEwan

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Clare_Riley
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Mehso-so

I tried to like this. The main characters though - why on earth would you spend Qc,000 on an android, then ignore it? What a waste of money and potential adventure/ pleasure! The main characters were pretty unlikeable, which isn‘t usually a problem for me, but they really grated on me. The alternative British history was interesting (Britain lose the Falklands war, and Alan Turing doesn‘t commit suicide), but I nearly gave up reading this,

Penny_LiteraryHoarders I have to say that this cover is one of the most unappealing ones I've ever seen and put me off from reading it. I see that I'm okay with judging the book by the cover! 😛 3y
Clare_Riley @Penny_LiteraryHoarders I think you‘d be safe to, yes!😂 3y
Freespirit I have loved some of his books..this one doesn't appeal...nor does the cover I agree @Penny_LiteraryHoarders 3y
20 likes3 comments
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ClairesReads
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Time to see wtf my old mate Ian is up to 😬 #readharder2019 an alternate history novel

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Eyejaybee
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Redheadrambles
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

It pains me to pan this one because McEwan is one of my favourite authors but this is a colossal hodgepodge of balderdash unfortunately. The least of its problems is the engorged robot shenanigans much more irksome to me was the poorly handled “moral dilemma” and the absolutely appalling characterisation.
Obviously, this one rankled me !

Redheadrambles #readharder2019 - Alternate history 3y
Redwritinghood Not surprised by this based on your updates! (edited) 3y
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood yep - it is somehow much more disappointing when I usually love this author 3y
23 likes3 comments
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Pruzy
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Mehso-so

I don't usually read books naked (without the dust cover), but the artwork on the Canadian edition of the hardcover is hideous! Looks like a softcore erotica. Unfortunately, the novel itself is not one of McEwan's best. Full of rants and plots that are better handled in his other novels, this book is about an alternate 1980s in which a man buys a Blade Runner-level robot who inserts himself into the lives of the main character and his girlfriend.

merelybookish Now I want to see the cover! 😆 3y
Pruzy @merelybookish Google it and tell me what you think 3y
batsy It's a pretty awful cover 🙈 3y
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Pruzy @batsy Thank you for feeling my pain! I was reading it on a plane so taking the cover off before my trip was a smart choice 3y
Cinfhen I must investigate 3y
Cinfhen I started this book and I‘m not liking it at all 😬 3y
Cinfhen Is your cover the same as mine?? I didn‘t get that erotica vibe at all🤷‍♀️ 3y
Pruzy @Cinfhen I dunno, the cheezy 80s computer graphics looking guy and the fact he isn't wearing any clothes is kinda odd. I guess also supposed to be channelling the fact he is an "Adam", but still a bad design! 3y
58 likes8 comments
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Cinfhen
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#BookMail May‘s IRL bookclub choice 🎉McEwan generally leads to good discussions so I‘m looking forward to his newest novel 🤓

Cinfhen And I haven‘t forgotten @TrishB it‘s already marked for you ❤️ 3y
Heideschrampf Such a creepy cover! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm Look forward to your thoughts on this. 3y
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TrishB 👍🏻 I think it looks really good, hope it‘s not disappointing. 3y
Pruzy @Heideschrampf Yeah, who in the art department OKed that one? 3y
Cinfhen It‘s really a super creepy cover @Pruzy @Heideschrampf but it‘s pretty magnetic IRL. The AI looks human yet machine at the same time. The back cover has its female counterpart ~ also creepy AF. (edited) 3y
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Zelma
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Bailedbailed

I couldn‘t do it. I‘m suspecting that Ian McEwan and I no longer get along. I absolutely loved a couple of his earlier books but the more recent ones feel cold and pretentious and lack the depth that I expect and want. This has such an interesting premise but gets bogged down by one character‘s secret past and is just boring on top of everything. Moving on.

Vinjii Atonement is one of my favourite books. Oh well. I guess things do change. 3y
mrozzz Hmmm I really wanted to read this one but I also kind of want to skip it 😅 3y
Pruzy This book reminded me of a worse version of Enduring Love 3y
42 likes3 comments
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perfectlywinged
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This is exactly what you expect when Ian McEwan writes about a robot: A British guy buys an A.I. Robot and muses about love and moral dilemmas. Not my favorite by him but still interesting.

Pruzy Agreed, too much pointless navel gazing 3y
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Eyejaybee
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KarenUK
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It‘s always exciting when #newbookday includes a shiny new one from one of your favorite authors! 💕

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Excited about this one! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm Look forward to your thoughts! 3y
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Cinfhen
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Ooops I did it again....#ImpulseBuy The tagged book is for bookclub and the other two were #BlameItOnLitsy 🤭

TrishB Really interested in the tagged one! I have some gift vouchers..... (edited) 3y
Cinfhen If you want to wait until after bookclub I‘ll send it to u @TrishB 3y
TrishB @Cinfhen too kind as always! I‘m not in any rush, be interested to see what you think! 3y
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Just finished an ARC of Ian McEwan‘s new book, coming out in April. Set in an alternate 1980s London, Alan Turing is still alive and his work has enabled great leaps in science. The newest arrival in AI is the creation of the first synthetic humans available to the public. A man and his girlfriend buy one and we see how it comes to have control over their lives. Fascinating in the questions it poses and the potential for complications. 3 stars

zsuzsanna_reads Sounds intriguing! 4y
HeatherBookNerd @zsuzsanna_reads it is a very cool premise. It‘s not my favorite of his, but a solid read for sure. 4y
Pruzy @HeatherBookNerd Agreed, definitely far from his best 3y
42 likes3 stack adds3 comments