Note: I am a little wary to give my views on this book as I believe every book has its own reader. I am afraid, I was not meant for this book. But I do want my fellow Bookworms to know about it and they can take a call whether it should be picked up or not. I would love to discuss this book with anyone who liked it and see if I missed something 😊
This book is about Adam, a humanoid, who has been purchased by Charlie. Charlie is a drifter in life who is happy making some money on a day-to-day basis by trading. Being a fan of Artificial Intelligence and Technology, Charlie uses a recent inheritance to buy Adam, who is also one among the first few truly viable humanoids.
Charlie shares him with Miranda who lives in his building and is his romantic interest. Charlie hopes that by programming Adam’s personality together he can create a bond between Miranda and himself. Adam is so near human that he gets fooled by his own feelings. He is convinced of his love for Miranda which suddenly starts due to an intimate evening spent with her. What this means and how it plays out in their lives forms the basis of the book.
There is no question that Ian McEwan is an amazing writer. His books always have a dark edge to them. He likes to question behavior and consequences. In this book he makes the reader think about how humans are irrational, impulsive and subjective vs. machines made up of logic, rationales and absolutes. The story is different but the book wasn’t something I enjoyed.
It started a little bizarrely for me. The intimacy between Adam, the humanoid and Miranda seemed forced. It was an important part of the book and it set a precedent for the rest of the story, but it came out of nowhere and didn’t fit well, put there just to get the rest of the story going.
There was also an extensive amount of extra information. Now most good/great writers do deviate from the scene to bring in some background, research, context yes. But this felt like all his research had been jammed into the book. It broke the flow for me. It was set in an alternate history. I did question the need to do that.. But maybe I missed something
I would give this book a miss. My fellow Ian McEwan fans might read it because well he wrote it. But I was quite disappointed. I am curious to know if anyone else read this and what they thought of it. 😅
This was my first book by this author. It is slow, yet well written. There is lot of discussion of the local mileu and settings in an alternative history. The android Adam feels all too human by the end and there is lot of discussion on the his relationships and strivings with other characters. The author has woven science, technology, psychology anthropology, literary and historical concepts into the narrative that were appealing to me.