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Ian McEwan’s new novel confronts the machine

The British author's latest novel is full of ideas but lacks a flesh and blood centre

By Chris Moss   June 2019

Ian McEwan's novel imagines a relationship between a man and his robot Image: PA

When Charlie Friend blows his inheritance on a first generation humanoid robot, he is unsure of his motives. Curious about computer science, he’s also bone idle and lacks direction. Perhaps the lab-produced “intellectual sparring partner, friend and factotum” will provide one. Too slow to get one of 13 Eves, he picks up an Adam—a handsome, muscular, “fairly well endowed” android not unlike a highly polished version of himself.

Ian McEwan’s latest novel finds its author…

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