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Machines Like Me

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I am a big fan of Ian McEwan and don't believe he has written a bad novel and in some cases like Amsterdam - On Chesil Beach - Nutshell and Atonement they are great novels. I was slightly put off by the cover of his new book Machines Like Me but once I was in to the story I realised its appropriateness and how clever the title was.

This is a book challenging us on many levels. It is set in Britain in 1982 but puts an alternative spin on history out of the Thatcher and Falklands era taking us to a world of AI where robots and advanced computers rule our lives and androids compete for the emotional love interest of human partners. Well known figures like Alan Turing are part of the story giving it all credibility.

But actually this book is also about the power of novels - “The imagination,” he says, “fleeter than history, than technological advance, had already rehearsed this future in books"

He is also clever in presenting the challenges mankind will face is a world of AI and robots and what we will do with our free time.

Not really science fiction it is tightly written contemporary prose and will inevitably polarize some people, However if you are a McEwan fan I doubt you will be disappointed and will be an ideal book to discuss at your next book club meet. I felt I needed to discuss with someone the moment I finished it.

David

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