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Book Club: Machines Like Me

  • City Labor Club 16 Petrie Plaza Canberra, ACT, 2601 Australia (map)

The book for this meeting will be Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan.

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. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever - a love triangle soon forms.

These three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma. Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: what makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns of the power to invent things beyond our control.

Hope to see you there!

If the library or local bookshop doesn't have it, the paperback is available from Book Depository (no postage, but order soon so it arrives with time to spare to read it):

For those with the library audiobook app Borrow Box, the title is unfortunately on loan until 3 October, but it is available on Audible Australia:

The Kindle version is on Amazon Australia: