You never know what you'll get with a McEwan novel, and this one does not fail to surprise. McEwan explores artificial intelligence (AI) in this novel set in alternative 1982 Britain where Alan Turing was able to achieve much more than he was allowed to in real life. So this Britain is hyper-computerized, and individuals can purchase an remarkably life-like AI companions, which is what are protagonist, Charlie, 32, a work at home day trader, chooses to spend his saving on. Weirdness ensues. A quick and entertaining and mildly disturbing read. -- Kathleen
New from Ian McEwan, Booker Prize winner and international bestselling author of Atonement and The Children Act
Machines Like Me takes place 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 synthetic humans and--with Miranda's help--he designs Adam's personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn't long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.
In his subversive new novel, Ian McEwan asks whether a machine can understand the human heart--or whether we are the ones who lack understanding.