Forget Margaret Thatcher's victory in the Falkland Islands' War and even Alan Turing's untimely death, this is an alternative 1980s London where it is not a case of the robots are coming but that the robots have arrived. When Charlie Friend purchases a synthetic human and persuades his girlfriend Miranda to help programme Adam's personality parameters, the stage is set for a love triangle with a difference.
With a nod to a future with artificial intelligence, this is a thought-provoking and entertaining story vibrating with ethical quandaries and moral choices as it examines the age-old question: what makes us human?
Definitely a Top Ten read for us. His anticipation of what A.I. means for our future is quite extraordinary!
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this.
Overall our group felt the characters in this book were unlikeable and in some cases disturbing. However the story generated a great deal of discussion about the consequences of decisions people make, and what out future might be like!
Only one person actually finished the book - no-one enjoyed any aspect of it at all. Way too 'wordy' and descriptive.
A multi layered story which matures on subsequent readings. Two of us had read this work previously and felt more had been gained from the intricacies and depth of the writing. Some read and enjoyed the basic storyline and skipped over the 'extra padding' but, well into our discussion, realised there were more implications in bringing androids to our way of life than was expected. This led to wanting a reread! (3 cheers for the library). Interesting and vibrant discussion at our meeting. Another winner.
Not everyone got around to reading the book this month. However, those of us who did found it intriguing, with a great premise. The ethics of AI and what constitutes 'life' made for a lively discussion.
Generally this book was very much enjoyed by the group. One member disliked McEwan's manipulation of historical fact. It was an exploration of human nature and social issues. He is a most accomplished author.
This book did create quite a lot of discussion but overall it wasn't a title the group enjoyed. For many it wasn't a genre they connected with although they do like to be challenged in this area. There was mention that the mix of fact and fiction was a challenge and knowing which was which. The word 'frustrating' summed up the general view of the group.
Most of us appreciate Ian McEwen's writing style but often don't like the places he takes us - this was no exception. Great discussion took place on the many themes within the narrative.
Very interesting debate stemmed from this wonderful book.
Everyone thought it an excellent book. Well developed plot. Disturbing and provoking. Some thought it the best Ian McEwan book. Lots of good discussion on Artificial Intelligence and the world's future.
Not attempted by some. Enjoyed by the majority. Many preferred other McEwan titles.
Loved it. Great subject matter and brilliant writing. Although one of our members found his writing a bit "arrogant".
Some of the group were wary of the subject matter so did not read this book, but those that did rated it highly.
The group struggled with the alternative history timeline and found the book a difficult read. Eight of our nine members had not ever read an Ian McEwan book. The one member who loved the book would rate it a 5. We had a lively discussion though.
We found this book challenging, but we thought the discussion notes were fantastic.
I personally loved the book, but the group was divided down the middle. Loads of discussion, so I would call it a big success (as it's what you want out of book group).
Some of the group found this novel very bleak, but it generated a lengthy discussion.
Challenging at times. Thought provoking and a little disconcerting. Great discussion. We worry about A.I. in the future.
Most members felt it was one of the best books we have had, with most people scoring it 8-9 out of 10, with one 7.5. A general comment was that it was not a book we would individually choose, and it raised some very diverse and interesting topics.
Positive: Highly engrossing and thought provoking. Revision to history was well done. Very well-written. Negative: A little slow to start for some members.
Reactions varied but good discussion especially about A.I, and the pros and cons of human morality and robot morality.
Great story telling and writing were appreciated, and promoted a lot of discussion. Thought provoking moral issues.
Mixed reactions - either loved it, or didn't relate at all!