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Bringing Up Mike

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence. His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse. To achieve his goals, he must change everything about himself.
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by askmar publishing
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Tracy Terry
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
OK, so first to tell you what this novel isn't.

Despite what I felt was an awfully outdated cover it isn't a dated read but rather a very contemporary account of life as a modern slightly geeky, socially awkward teenager. Nor, despite it featuring a main character of Artificial Intelligence, would I describe it as a sci-fiction/fantasy read - rather disappointingly 'Mike' does not feature as often as I'd have liked and especially not in the earlier chapters. Bringing Up Mike is more a gentle com
Ben Campbell
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: The book was an advanced reader's copy forwarded to me from Askmar Publishing for a pre-publication review.

Wow, why did I even read this? Because I'm open minded.

The entire book lectures the reader instead of revealing an entertaining story. The text and dialog is strict, straight forward, whereby even the characters' clothes descriptions are enigma channels of segues.

Remember sitting in the least interesting class in school and your mind wandered away while the educator was lecturin
A teen computer whiz and his artificial-intelligence protégé return to high school in this inventive YA fiction debut. Though occasionally a bit corny or overtly educational, it will certainly provide food for thought when it comes to robot ethics and different forms of parenthood. As Mike comes closer to passing the Turing Test, he starts to question his identity: “Am I a pet? A slave?” However, Duncan never veers too far into science fiction territory. This quirky, heartfelt novel should appea ...more
Ann Friedman
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I received this book as part of the early reviewer's program. The book I read was an Advanced Reader's Copy, so hopefully the final product will be more polished.
I found it difficult to keep reading this one. The story line is continuously interrupted by random facts and philosophical and/or political ramblings. Often the facts had nothing to do with what was going on with the story. It is like talking to a know-it-all that constantly trying to prove how smart he is.
I can not get a handle on
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I won this free in a good reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review

This one was pretty good and witty I liked it
DelAnne Frazee
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Bringing Up Mike
Author: Mark Duncan
Published: 9-30-2014
Publisher: Askmar Publishing
Pages: 442
Genre: Coming of Age
Sub Genre: Hard Science Fiction; Young Adult; Fantasy
ISBN: 9781935842491
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Rating: 5 Stars


Joe, a unique 17 year old has never attended high school, but was the youngest person to ever receive a doctorate from the prestigious Caltech. He know has a secret job with the government having to do with computer programm
Ruth B
Bringing Up Mike is a contemporary Young Adult book that tries to include science-fiction in it. It's a book about a boy who starts to grow up and change without even realizing he is becoming a new person.

I will start with the positive and then I will explain why the book wasn't entirely my cup of tea.

I liked that the main character is a nerdy kid. He surely is smart and graduated college at a young age but going to small conservative town to try to be a normal kid seems beneficial for him and o
Lannie Rose
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Did you ever notice that most of the people you know are good-hearted, intelligent, and generally fun to be around? But so many of the characters you meet in books, TV shows, and movies are horrible, often stupid, and hard to care about? Bringing Up Mike is a breadth of fresh air in this regard, because in it I met a lot of people I would love to have in my life: good-hearted, intelligent, and generally fun-to-be-around folks. Even Mike, the eponymous AI (Artificial Intelligence)! Moreover, here ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give the book a 4-, but am not able to! It took me awhile--not being a fast reader and distracted with daily non-entertaining reading--but this book was worth pursuing to the end! Entertaining, educational, and different than anything I had read before, Mr. Duncan has an admirable first effort in fiction in "Bringing Up Mike."

Other reviews capture the core of the story line--a teenage prodigy invents an artificial intelligence personal assistant, and during a suspension from a nation
Julie Baswell
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At 17-years-old, Joe was the youngest person to receive a doctorate from Caltech. For his dissertation, he created an artificial intelligence personal assistant named Mike. After being suspended at work for being viewed as insubordinate and immature, all Mike’s fault, Joe drops out of sight by leaving Utah and moving to Tennessee. With his reputation unknown, he moves in with a nice older couple, and enrolls in high school to finish 12th grade, and receive a diploma. Unknown to his new family an ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: David Pandolfe Fans
Recommended to Linzi by: NetGalley
Clever and memorable book.
My single biggest piece of advice would be don't judge it by the cover. The book is set firmly in the here and now and I've no idea why the cover looks like some kind of 80's throw-back theme.
It's a 21st century coming-of-age novel by a clever author with some fascinating light to shed on the USA educational system and much more.

You will need a willing suspension of disbelief at the beginning, but it does become clear that the motivations behind Joe's initial decision a
Tony Parsons
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in Nashville, TN 1 of my favorite places to vacation, there is always country/western music or horses around.

Mike (AI, Turing test) is part of & also helping Sue (student) write her research paper on Artificial Intelligence. George (musical composer) is part of their team.

Life on a college campus.

Dr. Lawrence made sure all research ethical/legal responsibilities were intact for Mike & Sue through a separate entity Mike McCarthy LLC.

Mike buys a racehorse & his life is never the
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Independent Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock  

 Joe is a 17 year old genius who after graduating from Caltech has been working on his personal assistant Mike. Mike is an artificial intelligence who needs to pass as human. Whilst on a forced holiday Joe introduces Mike to the couple he is staying with and the test begins. 
Mike improves as he has new experiences and along with him Joe grows as a person.   

A surprising read. 

This is a mix of a coming of age story and an intellec
Ms. Reader
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I received this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

This book gave me a lot of mixed feelings. For starters, if felt outdated. Like watching a 90s sitcom that even though it was a hit series during it's decade, it feels cheesy and dumb and difficult to watching without rolling your eyes today. Maybe it was the horrible choice for a cover that gave me this unusual vibe, but either way, the book lacked modern-day appeal. I could barely get through it.

The storyline felt
Tonja Drecker
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting. With an AI as the main character, it would seem that this would have more of a sci fi feel,which it does not. This is a story which takes everyday emotions and places them in the hands of some very nice people (sometimes extraordinary people) with very big hearts.

Many questions are explored, ones not only concerning AI's possible place in society and its ramifications, but ones concerning acceptance and finding a place in life. This is a book which
May 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan is the story of Joe and his aritificial intelligence computer program, Mike, who interact with the characters of a small town in Tennessee. The story moves along evenly, if not excitingly, until near the last 150 pages of the book you realize that the author has used his venue to express his beliefs that religious and authoritative figures are all extreme, narrow-minded, vindictive hypocrites and that marijuana should be legalized everywhere. Everyone is entitled ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was so much fun to read. Joe is an intriguing character...a young genius who has an unusual life and work. He was the youngest student to receive a doctorate at Caltech, and his work has to do with artificial intelligence. Mike is the experiment, and he interacts with Joe and his new family and friends as a personal assistant. The story is really interesting from the very beginning, and I enjoyed it as he went back to high school and tried to learn to be a normal teenager a ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I have mixed feeling about Bringing Up Mike. The messages and controversial topics discussed throughout the novel peeked my interest, and were my favorite part of the writing. However, I could not relate to the characters because they did not display true emotions. While Duncan would describe what scene was tacking place, it was hard to find layers to the characters feelings, especially Joe's. Sometimes it felt like Mike was the person and Joe the computer. Overall 2/5 stars. I received a free c ...more
Anne Steinemann
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a tour de force. Mark Duncan brilliantly tells the story of Mike, an ingratiating prodigy, with a second chance at life, love, and happiness. What's more, the book offers an intellectual sophistication that is captivating and unmatched among typical fictional books. The reader will learn so much about so many different topics, thanks to the author's encyclopedic and profoundly deep knowledge. Appealing to all ages, this book is one not to be missed!

Anne Steinemann
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into this story at all. I tried, but my eyes kept rolling. Immediately I felt like I was reading some young boy's fantasy. Maybe if I were 12-14 year old male I would have enjoyed it more. Right away I was struck by the unrealness of it and I just couldn't get myself past that.

I'm sorry. I got a free copy from a giveaway that the author even personally signed. I was hoping I could push myself through this but it was just too far fetched for me.
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read with very interesting topics. It only took me two days to read it because I got into the story and didn't want to stop for hours. I could relate to the main character and found that the story was easy to follow. There are a lot of little comments the author sneaks in that really improved the book, for example "Football is America's national religion." This book is great and I highly recommend it.
Ingrid Steinbergs
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story with great characters. This book can appeal to many ages, given the stories, within the story. I started to read this at the airport, and didn't put it down until my long flight was over!
I hope the Author, Mark Duncan, writes a sequel to this...I would love to see where Mike and Sue continue their adventures at Stanford University!
A great Summer read.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
This was a wonderful story with great characters. The book was entertaining for me as well as my teenager. Highly recommend this book!

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
Laddie Tabor
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an advanced reader copy. The basic story is wonderful. Boy, girl, artificial intelligence, good guys, bad guys, etc. The only issue with this book is that it still needs quite a bit of editing. Loved the story.
Jessi Hudson-davis
Jun 15, 2014 added it
Shelves: own
received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

The story didn't keep my attention when I first started reading. I ended up putting the book down after five minutes and started another book.
Harmony Kent
Review to follow :)
rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2015
Holly Newhouse
rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2019
Monique Depope
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2014
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2014
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Mark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He has worked for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics.