I, Robot is compilation of stories about the advances of robotic technology. One of the stories contains the tale of a little girl who is extremely attached to one of the first mobile human-like robots, and she believes him to be human. This is just one of the countless tales held in this book, and you’ll have to read the whole book to hear them all. I found this interesting, because this book was written a long time ago, and it takes place around the current year.
This book is incredibly well written, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. Asimov did an outstanding job predicting how things would be in the future, even though it wasn’t entirely acurate. This book may not be the easiest read, but it is well worth it. I also really liked the writing style with all the short stories.
Summary: I, Robot follows employees of a corporation called U.S Robotics. Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan are the most prominent characters of the book. They are field testers for new robot models, so they find and fix any problems the robots may have in the field of operation. The first segment of the book consists of Powell and Donovan’s field testing, from an ore mine on an asteroid to a high tech space station. In the space station they work with a robot nicknamed Cutie who begins to see himself as superior to humans. Soon thereafter Cutie begins denying the existence of planet earth and takes control of the space station and all robots aboard it. In the mines they work with a robot nicknamed Dave who has control of five robots remotely. The two field testers soon realize that the ore production from the robots was starting to dwindle, and they learn something sinister about Dave. The rest of the book mainly follows Dr. Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist. She deals with everything from a mind reading robot, to a rogue robot hiding amongst normal robots who were all nearly identical, and a mysterious person who is believed to actually be a robot.
Review: I found I, Robot to be an interesting book, with a relatively good storyline written in plain language that most people should have no problem understanding and comprehending. The characters all seem to be easy to relate to. My favorite characters are Donovan and Powell. One of my favorite parts of reading this book was the odd friendship between the two field testers. The story wasn’t good enough to keep me hooked throughout the whole book. I often had urges to put the book down and completely forget about it (which I actually ended up doing a couple times…). I wish I could say the ending offered an amazing and earth shattering conclusion that will make me remember this book for a long time, but frankly that’s just not the case. As previously stated the book isn’t completely terrible, but at the end of the day it fails to leave any lasting mark on me. The events of the story don’t have much power behind them, they had no real impact on me. The scenes that were supposed to create tension weren’t very effective, since the word choice didn’t set a tense atmosphere, it seemed just like the rest of the book. At one point there was supposed to be a hint of romance which, in theory is a great idea but it just seemed awkwardly out of place. After reading I Robot, by Isaac Asimov, I felt that I could have chosen a better book, but I really have no regrets. The story didn’t always keep my interest, but when I was able to read it, I learned the story had some good elements to it. At the end of the day though these few pages of interesting storyline can’t stand up against the failure to create emotional responses.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Recommendedations: Anthem by Ayn Rand, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradburry, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (any book of the series, all of them are great in my opinion.)
Summary: Susan Calvin was the robot psychologist at U.S. Robots, the leading robot manufacturing company in the world. In I, Robot, she presents different moments in robot history when things go wrong but end up right again. Calvin tells of a nursemaid robot, a telepathic robot, a robot politician, and a few others to a boy who simply just asked her to tell. Robots aren’t all they seem to be in the world and if anyone knows that, it’s Susan.
Evaluation: This was a very interesting book, and the format of it was a bit confusing at first, but I eventually got it. The predictions for the future by Asimov were very bold and somewhat climactic. Books like these are very fascinating in the fact that I always wonder if things like this could ever reach that far in our society and technology. In some ways, I really hope so, but in others, I don’t. This book was very enjoyable and highly recommended for people looking for a challenging but fairly quick read.
Rating: 4 stars
• The Road by Cormac McCarthy
• The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
• Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
When most people hear I, Robot they think of ‘that movie with Will Smith in it.’ But I, Robot is far more than that. It’s a collection of creative and well-written short stories explaining different events in robot history. It describes a nursemaid robot, a physic robot, and some other robots. All events take place in the near future and are described by a robot psychologist at the leading robot manufacturing company in the world.
This book is a sci-fi classic. It’s very creative and well written. However, it is a collection of short stories that all revolve around a central theme, so you should be ready to read some stories, not one big novel. It is also the first in a four book series, but can easily stand alone without the others (as far as I know, it has very little if any relation to the others stories, it is setting the readers up for them to help the reader better understand the background of the others). The ending didn’t really feel that satisfying (to me) but that’s this book’s only downside. It is very well written, extremely creative, and made me rush out and get the next in the series the day after I finished it. The good definitely out weighs the bad, which is why I’m giving it a 5/5.
Other Recommendations: The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn (the other books in the series)