Machines Like Me (Paperback)Ian McEwan (author)
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Hot on the heels of his screen adaptations of On Chesil Beach and The Children Act, McEwan turns his incisive authorial eye to the brave new world of artificial intelligence. Rewinding the clock on an alternative eighties Britain McEwan delivers a spry and accomplished novel, set in a place where the Beatles have reformed, Tony Benn has swept into office and radical technology spawns a new generation of artificial humans. A story ripe with questions about consciousness, inevitability and the nature of desire.
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.
Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. 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 of the power to invent things beyond our control.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 277 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm
'Machines Like Me reminds us that McEwan is once-in-a-generation talent, offering readerly pleasure, cerebral incisiveness and an enticing imagination.' - Lara Feigel, Spectator
'[Machines Like Me] is right up there with his very best [novels]. Machines Like Me manages to combine the dark acidity of McEwan's great early stories with the crowd-pleasing readability of his more recent work. A novel this smart oughtn't to be such fun, but it is.' - Alex Preston, The Observer
'...compelling... unforgettably strange... there are many pleasures and many moments of profound disquiet in this book, which reminds you of its author's mastery of the underrated craft of storytelling... [Machines Like Me] is morally complex and very disturbing, animated by a spirit of sinister and intelligent mischief that feels unique to its author.' - Marcel Theroux, The Guardian
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