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Machines Like Me

Narrated by: Billy Howle
Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan. 

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.

©2019 Ian McEwan (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • eek
  • 17-06-2019

amazing, mind bending

fascinating exploration of the human condition, fate and artificial intelligence. masterfully performed. a must listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent, could not stop listening.

I enjoyed every second of this book. Fantastic story. Well read. Kept at a good pace , no time filled mamby pamby.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Peters out

Loved the idea and story setup which kept the reader guessing....but then it just seemed to loose momentum. Bit of a disappointment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story, deep and thought provoking

I really enjoyed the story, however some parts were a bit long winded. However I really did love this book. I really like Billy Howle as the Narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 12-08-2019

ian mcewan does it again.

the novel offers a revisionist history on Britain and technology, with a contemporary commentary on the problems and questions we need to tackle in the age of AI

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  • erik
  • 24-05-2019

Brilliant & Intelligent

This is Ian MacEwan at his best.
I sincerly recommend this book to all Audible listeners

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-2019

What's AI

The what if of AI. Brilliant, engrossing, awesome in its impact and analysis. Most recommended.

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  • holly bird
  • 25-04-2019

Enjoyable but Nothing new

Enjoyed the story but I don't think Ian McEwan said anything new about AI that hadn't been said before. Wonder if he ever watched "Humans" on tv. Thought the narrative wandered a bit, why did he set it in past years, didn't get that.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-2019

Ian McEwan at his best. Thought provoking.

You become so quickly engrossed with and empathetic with the characters, it has so much depth, I will have to listen to it again, after my subconscious and conscious mind have grappled with the implications arising from many of the issues traversed in this brilliant book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Rupert Seymour
  • 23-04-2019

Dreary and Robotic...

Having been a fan of Ian McEwan's for years, and now having heard his latest offering, I have to express disappointment in this work. Perhaps it's the lack lustre reading by Billy Howie or the dullness of the story that made me feel as though I was wasting my time. I have heard good reviews of this work on the wireless, inspiring interviews and a host of cleverness spoken by pundits and McEwan regarding the existential depth of machine intelligence versus us breathing creatures: sorry it's still an uninspiring audiobook.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • alex_mercer80
  • 01-05-2019

A compelling story

The story is cleverly set in the past which adds familiarity, but is based on a future technology that we are yet to know. it is thought provoking
I listened to it at 1.4x speed which actually makes the voice of the reader sound like a stereotypical android. a bit like jude law in AI

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-04-2019

Not his best

I'm an Ian McEwan fan but unfortunately this is by far his worst book, I'd recommend my purple scent, solar, Serena, enduring love, the innocent, black dog, Amsterdam .

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Busy of Devon
  • 04-06-2019

Superb, thought provoking tale from a master at the top of his game again

Billy Howle is a perfect choice for this tale of great imagination and depth. He inhabits the characters masterfully, especially Adam, really evoking their characteristics with strong visuals as one listens. McEwan is at his finest in this tale, which is a well researched blend of reality, imagination and fiction. I wasn’t sure about his rewriting of history but once I’d accepted the idea he did an artful job of making me believe a different version of familiar national events. I have long been a McEwan fan but do not always enjoy his books. This is a contemplative and contemporary classic, albeit set in the 80’s. It could just as easily be set in today’s London. Bravo Maestro!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 03-06-2019

Our world but not as we know it

Ian McEwan is my favourite writer and the standard he sets himself is incredibly high. Easy then to fall short and disappoint the reader? No chance. This is as good, if not better, than anything he's written before. It is fresh, creative, scary and impeccably written. Set in the eighties, it's in a similarly dislocated reality to Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' in that it takes what we think we know and throws it all up in the air. For example, Alan Turing is still alive, Mrs Thatcher is still in power having lost the war in the Falklands, Tony Benn is leader of the opposition and so on. There are many 'Sliding Doors' moments that form the backdrop to the central story of the love triangle between man, woman and robot. I've read a few snide reviews of this book and don't agree with them at all. I found this an entertaining, challenging and exceptionally well written novel that deserves our highest praise. I also think that we should rejoice that McEwen is still delivering the goods and hope that he continues for many years to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Blondie
  • 23-05-2019

One of his best

I loved this superbly written, ever so slightly dystopian vision of the past/future. The philosophical asides are a tad overlong but, with the society he has created thought provoking and challenging to the imagination.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-2019

Intriguing

An interesting concept for the future set in an alternative past. Very enjoyable and food for thought

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David W.
  • 16-05-2019

interesting book with enjoyable counterfactuals

I enjoyed that rather than set it in our near future it is instead set in a counterfactual past giving it an aire of familiarity with characters like Thatcher and Turing setting the backdrop to events.

well written and performed and a perfect length

1 of 1 people found this review helpful