➵ Machines Like Me Author Ian McEwan – Turboville.co.uk

Machines Like Me I am at a bit of a loss here with Ian s intentions, my initial reaction is what a colossal hodgepodge of balderdash but it is possible I missed something. Machines Like Me is a dumpster fire passing as a novel.It s supposed to be alternate history set in a variation of 1980s England, apparently to let McEwan have his fun renaming Tolstoy novels and point out that Thatcher was not a great pm duh and is also supposed to be about what happens when we build robots you mean humans can create something that has repercussions Jeepers, good thing I d forgotten about things like, say, the development of nuclear weapons.What it actually is well, you do have your broadly sketched landscape and your broadly sketched idea but that s it It s as if McEwan was so enchanted by his discovery of alternate history and of science fiction fun fact, he didn t discover either, nor does he know how to write them that he forgot to tell a story Oh, it s supposed to be about humanity how we define it, how we live with it, and so on but in the end, Machines Like Me reads like someone had all the ingredients The New Novel From The Master Storyteller Is His Best In Years And Brilliantly McEwan, A Moving Love Story And A Mystery, Yet, For All Its Gripping Plotline One Of The Most Ethically And Morally Layered Novels Written For Our Times.Set In 1980s London, The Story Revolves Around Charlie Young And Reckless, And In Love With His Upstairs Neighbour, The Enchanting Miranda Whose Hidden, Murky Past Hangs Between Them He Has Spent His Inheritance On The Acquisition Of One Of Twenty Four Highly Developed Robotic Humans Named Adam Or Eve Developed By Alan Turing After His Success On The Enigma Codebreaking Machine, Central To The Allies WWII Victory As London Is Consumed By The Huge Protests Over England And Argentina S Falklands War And Margaret Thatcher S Jingoistic Ambitions, Charlie Courts Miranda, And His Adam Finds Himself Central To Their Affair Great Novelist That He Is, McEwan Pulls Us Into The Question Of What It Means To Love, What It Means To Be Human In Our Fast Changing Times, And How Precarious A Construct Is The World We Live In And Think We Know. Charlie Friend is a lazy day trader in London who vacillates between bouts of grandiosity and worthlessness The ultimate early adopter, Charlie uses a recent inheritance to buy the first truly viable manufactured human with plausible intelligence and looks, believable motion and shifts of expression The robot s name is Adam, which suggests what the creators must think of themselves He it is one of 25 androids sold around the world in a variety of ethnicities, 12 male and 13 female versions Adam s affect may be slightly odd he doesn t blink quite right , but to the casual observer, he s a handsome, muscular man fairly well endowed, Charlie admits while hastening to add, Adam was not a sex toy But sex is certainly central to this carefully constructed comedy of terrors As the novel opens, Charlie is wooing Miranda, a somewhat unresponsive younger woman who lives in his apartment building He hopes that they can program Adam s personality together, as a kind of bonding experience He would be like our child, Charlie says What we were separately would be merged in him Miranda would be drawn into Charlie Friend, who lives in a small apartment in London, is a 32 year old technology buff who studied anthropology Charlie never quite made it in the working world, so he tries to make a few bucks by day trading, which isn t very lucrative for him The year is 1982, and Charlie is living in an alternative history world For instance, Britain loses the Falklands War John F Kennedy isn t assassinated Jimmy Carter is a two term President John Lennon isn t killed the Beatles get back together self driving electric cars are common, and Alan Turing s homosexuality doesn t lead to his demise Instead, Turing is a well respected scientist who s advanced AI to the point where intelligent humanoid robots are available Thus 13 Eves and 12 Adams of various races and ethnicities come on the market Charlie receives an inheritance at the same time the robots go on sale, and not being brilliant with money the day trader spends his entire 86,000 on an Adam The robot, who looks like a swarthy, attractive human male, is unwrapped and powered up, and Charlie consults the 470 page online handbook to learn how to assign personality traits and so on As it happens, Ch At points in my reading of Machines Like Me, I toyed with the idea that Ian McEwan was experimenting with a daring novelistic conceit Could it be true that he was deliberately constructing a lame and lackluster plot involving two of the most unengaging characters I have encountered in fiction in order to insinuate that human beings are overrated as narrative subjects and it wouldn t be much of a loss if we were all replaced by robots Unfortunately, I think I m wrong about this hidden agenda, although it s true that McEwan s wistful, haiku spouting android Adam is the most interesting figure in the novel by some distance His roommates, or owners, Charlie and Miranda, signally fail to come off the page for me Charlie is a thirty something, directionless dreamer, with a ragbag of intellectual interests anthropology, quantum physics, robotics , which McEwan uses as hooks on which to trail extensive info dumps from his research for the novel Miranda is a wispy, twenty something oblique object of desire, whose Shakespearean name allows McEwan to tap into resonances about brave new worlds and uncomfortable relations with enslaved sprites That is pretty much your lot in terms of 2.75 Though there are robots, this doesn t feel like science fiction it feels like Ian McEwan as usual explosive secrets, twisty relationships, lies and concealment leading to crises, and so on It s thoroughly readable, as you d expect from this author I easily pushed through it in less than a week, alongside other books, to return it to the library in time but it won t stand out for me not among this year s releases, not in McEwan s oeuvre, and not in literary explorations of artificial intelligence.Part of the problem is that the narrator, a thirtysomething stock trader named Charlie Friend, is incredibly dull so robotic, in fact, that he s once mistaken for Adam, the AI he bought for 86,000 with his inheritance from his mother In some ways Adam shows emotion and personality he devours Shakespeare, declares that he s fallen in love with Miranda Charlie s girlfriend, who lives in the apartment upstairs from theirs , and writes haikus reflecting on human nature A number of his fellow Adams and Eves have fallen prey to existentialist despair And yet he is, in Charlie s words, no than an ambulant laptop, with a charging point at his navel and a kill switch on Ian McEwan might be completely right to conclude in this novel that we, humans, are irrational beings and that the superior intelligence of future synthetic humans does not allow that we can ever co exist in a meaningful manner Contrary to humans, machines, however perfectly construed, cannot understand and master an ability to conveniently lie and hold grudges amongst a lot of other irrational peculiarities , which was relevant in the daily co existence with the humans and the synthetic human in this story Synthetic humans will always be straightforward in their behaviour and only obey to the ideal rules as programmed Fascinating and relevant when you think about the development of artificial intelligence in the near future, when synthetic companions are bound to be introduced into our lives Although the idea for this novel is quite interesting, I regret to say that the story was not very appealing for me Another negative was Greetings Let me introduce myself My name is Adam I live in North Clapham, London.My good friend, author Ian McEwan wrote a novel about me Readers say it s a richly entertaining story I m rather proud of it myself.The novel includes interesting history facts about famous people, lovable characters MEI m the STAR , my special friends Charlie and Miranda, a little boy named Mark, and a bunch of other knuckleheads It s considered a science fiction book..I mean, I suppose I m to blame being a synthetic human and all but it s possible some readers won t consider Ian McEwan s book science fiction at all It s possible to consider this book being a BIOGRAPHY.I m really not narcissistic at all but I admit to joyful feelings being THE STAR Yep.a book all about ME.mostly about me.including my best friends makes me feel happy and don t try to convince me that machines don t have feelings I should begin by telling you a little about myself but don t expect me to tell you too much My friend, Ian will fill you in serving you the whole enchilada Sides will be included mystery lovethe state of the United Kingdomissues When Ian McEwan gets it right boy does he get it right But when he gets it wrong he gets it very very wrong see Solar, Sweet Tooth etc Machines Like Me is very very wrong It s not good In fact, it s bad Really bad His handling of sexual assault and rape is problematic AF He makes androids boring the only good bit is when Charlie is mistaken for the droid , he writes haiku, he drones on and on about Turing Every big idea he grapples with has been grappled with before in f


About the Author: Ian McEwan

First Love, Last Rites the Whitbread Novel Award 1987 and the Prix F mina Etranger 1993 for


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