Review Round Up: Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Ian McEwan’s latest novel.

The Observer: “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.” “Machines Like Me is a quirky, humorous and somewhat odd novel. It’s on the speculative spectrum of fiction. Think cyber meets steampunk.”

The Guardian: “The novel is morally complex and very disturbing, animated by a spirit of sinister and intelligent mischief that feels unique to its author.”

The Spectator: ” Machines Like Me reminds us that McEwan is a once-in-a-generation talent, offering readerly pleasure, cerebral incisiveness and an enticing imagination.”

The Independent: ***** “In Machines Like Me, McEwan is grappling, still, with the novel qua novel. He marries a gripping plot, handled with rarefied skill and dexterity, to a deep excavation of the narrowing gap between the canny and the uncanny, leaving the reader pleasurably dizzied, and marvelling at human existence.”

Irish Times: “There is a sense that the themes of morality and AI that McEwan delves in have been addressed before in much more stimulating ways in recent literary fiction, Iain Reid’s brilliantly disturbing Foe comes to mind. However, the novel still asks a few provocative questions regarding the future of AI, and consequently, of humanity.”

iNews: “Machines Like Me is crammed with subversive ideas, as well as scenarios that don’t quite stack up. There is much fun to be had from a 1982 in which the Beatles are still recording and Tony Benn is prime minister – but why, in a world of driverless cars and Adam, did Britain lose the Falklands War, when military technology is always in advance of civilian?”

Evening Standard: “So, Machines Like Me is a clever, densely worked but sporadically irritating read, throughout which you hear McEwan whispering in your ear. All the various themes are duly brought together in a way that is perhaps too neat but which is also satisfying.”

The Telegraph: *** “McEwan is a gifted enough craftsman for the novels to feel like real novels, not veiled essays.”

The Financial Times: “As so often in McEwan’s recent work, the reader is spoilt by his technical mastery, if never quite moved by it.”

The Times: “Intelligence enthrals Ian McEwan. No novelist explores and employs it more keenly.”

Herald Scotland: “The novel shares Charlie’s problem: there’s nothing to it. It appears to consider profound questions, but does little more than note their importance. The differences between our world and McEwan’s are, ultimately, surplus to the requirements of a story that is merely about a man-child growing up and a love triangle. The ‘ideas’ are just window-dressing.”

Machines Like Me is available to buy now.

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