Machines Like Me

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Machines Like Me
First edition
AuthorIan McEwan
Cover artistSuzanne Dean (design) with photographs by Lily Richards
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherJonathan Cape
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages320 pages

Machines Like Me is the 15th novel by the English author Ian McEwan. The novel published in 2019 by Jonathan Cape.

The novel is set in the 1980s in an alternative history timeline in which the UK lost the Falklands War, Alan Turing is still alive, and the Internet, social media, and self-driving cars already exist.[1][2] The story revolves around an android named Adam and its/his relationship with its/his owners, Charlie and Miranda, which involves the formation of a love triangle.


According to review aggregator website Bookmarks, critical reception was mostly positive.[3] Writing for The New York Times, Jeff Giles notes, "It is not the first, or even the 10th, place to start reading McEwan if you've never encountered him before. Yet he's such a masterly writer of prose and provocative thinker of thoughts that even his lesser novels leave marks. "Machines" is a sharp, unsettling read, which—despite its arteries being clogged with research and back story—has a lot on its mind about love, family, jealousy and deceit. Ultimately, it asks a surprisingly mournful question: If we built a machine that could look into our hearts, could we really expect it to like what it sees?"[4] Similarly positive, Ron Charles, for The Washington Post, concludes that McEwan "is not only one of the most elegant writers alive, he is one of the most astute at crafting moral dilemmas within the drama of everyday life. True, contending with an attractive synthetic rival is a problem most of us won't have to deal with anytime soon (sorry, Alexa), but figuring out how to treat each other, how to do some good in the world, how to create a sense of value in our lives, these are problems no robot will ever solve for us."[5] Heller McAlpin, for NPR, concludes by praising how the book "also manages to flesh out—literally and grippingly—questions about what constitutes a person, and the troubling future of humans if the smart machines we create can overtake us."[6]


  1. ^ Giles, Jeff (1 May 2019). "Love, Sex and Robots Collide in a New Ian McEwan Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ Flood, Alison (28 September 2018). "Ian McEwan announces new novel, Machines Like Me". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Machines Like Me". LitHub. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. ^ Giles, Jeff (1 May 2019). "Love, Sex and Robots Collide in a New Ian McEwan Novel (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  5. ^ Charles, Ron. "Review | The robot revolution is coming: Will there be any room left for us?". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  6. ^ "In McEwan's Latest, The 'Machine' Is Too Much Like You". Retrieved 1 February 2021.