Get a free audiobook

Machines Like Me

A Novel
Written by: Ian McEwan
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

New from Ian McEwan, Booker Prize-winner and international best-selling author of Atonement and The Children Act

Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. 

In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda's assistance, he co-designs Adam's personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong, and clever - a love triangle soon forms. These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. 

Ian McEwan's subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: What makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns against the power to invent things beyond our control.

©2019 Ian McEwan (P)2019 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Justice vs morality?

I like Ian McEwan, and this book was very good. I almost think it tried to tackle too many issues at once though... artificial intelligence, justice vs truth, what is humanity at it’s core? What is vengence worth? Sometimes it felt like the narrator was reading a laundry list of things which are different in Mr McEwan’s altered reality world... the narrator ‘s voice could get a bit grating. I didn’t relate that well to the main character, though maybe that was the point? Aimless, drifting without much ambition or commitment to anything... kind of creepy, actually. Overall very good, makes for great discussion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fails in execution

I was drawn to this book by the premise of an engaging narrative about AI gone wrong in an alternative history. What I got was kind of lazy and mostly boring account that depicted unlikable characters. The plot was not terrible but, again, failed in believability at times. Finally, the narration, while competent, didn't match the character's voice in age or composure limiting the credibility of the story further.

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

I don't know - I am not sure how to rate

I couldn't stop listening, and I thought I was enjoying it, but I am not sure. The revisionist history was distracting and not really relevant. I am not sure why the author decided to put all the work and detail into changing history.

The presence of the android / robot (I don't think I am spoiling anything) is very interesting and has some great story lines. Humans interaction with robots and the quandary of not fully understanding where life begins and ends is fascinating.

Overall, I guess it was better than okay, but not great.

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

Just OK

I was really intrigued by the ideas behind this one. I had heard a CBC interview with the author and as this subject matter was outside my norms I ordered the audio version.
I just found the characters did not develop for me plus the story seemed not to flow. I liked the audio reading and would still recommend you try it.
I might well choose another of his books to get a deeper sense for his writing.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 2019-05-25

Very disappointed.

While I usually look forward to any McEwan book, this one left me completely unmoved. I have long been interested in AI and the possibilities of creation of artificial beings with human-like but far more capable Brains and/or spirits, but I don’t feel McEwan had any real feel for the topic. At least he didn’t communicate it to me.

While his writing was as good as expected, I felt the book rambled at great length between relationships, robots, British politics et al with no real purpose but to fill pages. Sorry, but not an enjoyable experience.

50 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • H. Edwards
  • 2019-04-29

One, distracting fault to an otherwise excellent book.

While Steven Crossley is a wonderful narrator, he’s simply too old for this character, who is in his early 30s (a fact which is mentioned several times throughout the story). His voice sounds naturally like that of a much older man. I found this really distracting, which is a shame because otherwise this was the best book I’ve read this year.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jerry
  • 2019-05-16

Not terribly imaginative

There's not much in the way of insight, humour, joy or imagination, I.e. all the things I look for in a book. And when the narrator does a female voice, he's annoying.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-04-26

Great story, poorly cast!

I am fascinated by the subject matter of this book and by how the story is evolving but I am really frustrated by the performance.

To start with the reader sounds considerably older than the protagonist, who is a romantic character, in love with the woman who he shares Adom with and who would, most probably, be about her age. It's no wonder, based on the character of his voice, that he questions her affection for him.

The central theme of this story, aside from the character of Adam, is about the romantic relationship between the two main characters, but I find the reader's voice almost inhuman; and who knows, maybe he'll turn out to be another Adam.

His voice is forced, sterile, hard, colorless, cold, unemotional, and clinical in nature. He'd be a better choice for reading technical manuals, or a travel logs, not as the voice of a romantic character.

37 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharey
  • 2019-05-13

Great Narrator! Brilliant Story!

The narration made this book even better! I don't understand the detractors at all. Smart, clever ideas and writing by the author. I enjoyed this book very much.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • las vegan
  • 2019-05-01

Really? I thought Lon Chaney was dead!

Great story ruined by totally inappropriate narrator. This guy sounds like Lon Chaney. I keep waiting for him to start singing The Monster Mash. No way is this guy a believable 30 something. He sounds like melodramatic grandpa. Totally ruined the experience for me.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Henry
  • 2019-05-16

Disappointing

Ian spends a lot of words with little result. I spent most of this book listening at 1.5X normal speed hoping to get to something interesting. Alas, I finished the book before the really interesting stuff happened. I suspect that part of my disinterest was the result of setting the book in the 1980's. For anyone old enough to have lived then cell phones, autonomous electronic cars, and fast personal computers didn't exist. His made up world was a constant distraction from his story of Adam. what a shame, Adam had so much potential and died so young.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Juzifruit
  • 2019-06-16

A great disappointment after Nutshell

This should have been a short, very short, story. Or, perhaps a trivia game about factoids.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy A. Dye
  • 2019-05-01

Amazing novel by my favorite author

I discovered Ian McEwen last year and absolutely love his prose. Characters literally fly off the page and there is a lot of suspense while raising existential questions. Loved this book and will probably read it again which is rare for me. You can’t go wrong with this book.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CCP
  • 2019-05-13

thoughtful, dramatic, funny, tragic.

a wonderful story set in our recent future past. characters you come to want as friends.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful