Machines Like Me

Paperback, 306 pages

English language

Published April 18, 2019 by Jonathan Cape.


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4 stars (3 reviews)

Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding.

Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans and – with Miranda’s help – he designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever. It isn’t long before a love triangle soon forms and these three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma.

In his subversive new novel, Ian McEwan asks whether a machine can understand the human heart – or whether we are the ones who lack understanding.

11 editions

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4 stars
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rated it

4 stars


  • Fiction, alternative history
  • London (England), fiction
  • Fiction, psychological
  • British and Irish fiction (fictional works by one author)