Sara's Reviews > I, Robot

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
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's review
Mar 30, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010, adult-fiction, classics, sci-fi-fantasy
Recommended to Sara by: Eric
Read from March 29 to April 02, 2010

3.5 stars. There were things I really liked in this book, but overall it didn't completely blow me away. Set in the future, a reporter is interviewing Dr. Susan Calvin, who's been instrumental in the development of robots, and she tells stories to him, reminiscing about various incidents where robots have acted in ways that surprised humans. Her narration ties everything together, but the book is really a collection of short stories about robots, some with the same characters in them, others nearly stand-alone tales.

The vision of a future where humans have invented robots to serve them while obeying three laws (a robot can't harm a human or let them come to harm, a robot must obey a human, and a robot must protect its own existence so long as this doesn't conflict with laws one and two) is well done. The author does an excellent job imagining scenarios where robots act in unexpected ways despite these laws and how humans respond; some of the responses are incredibly clever.

While I really enjoyed the stories in this book overall, I felt like parts lagged and lacked excitement, instead focusing on philosophical aspects. There were great parts that inspired deep thinking, and although some of the debates in this book will likely stick with me for a long time, the book was not as engrossing as it could have been, had the characters been equally as alive as the decisions they debated.

As a side note, this book is in no way the same as the movie of the same name, even though they both feature robots that adhere to the three laws and some of the character names are the same. Both the movie and the book are good, just in very different ways.

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