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I, Robot

Narrated by: William Hope
Series: Robots, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Summary

Isaac Asimov’s Robot series - from the iconic collection I, Robot to four classic novels - contains some of the most influential works in the history of science fiction. Establishing and testing the Three Laws of Robotics, they continue to shape the understanding and design of artificial intelligence to this day.

What happens when a robot begins to question its creators? What would be the consequences of creating a robot with a sense of humour? Or the ability to lie? How do we truly tell the difference between man and machine?

In I, Robot, Asimov sets out the Three Laws of Robotics - designed to protect humans from their robotic creations - and pushes them to their limits and beyond.

Following genius robopsychologist Dr. Susan Calvin and engineers Powell and Donovan, these short stories helped to transform artificial intelligence from a dream into a science and changed perceptions of robots for ever.

©2019 Isaac Asimov (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age...It will never be known how many practising scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov." (Carl Sagan)

"Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction." (Daily Telegraph)

"An exciting science thriller...." (New York Times)

What listeners say about I, Robot

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Dire

Dire reading of great science works. Huge shame. Love Asimov but Hope's narration grates beyond belief, particularly when 'doing' voices

2 people found this helpful

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Most annoying narrator I’ve ever had the misfortune to listen to.

Totally takes me out of the story. Absolutely no need for the over exaggeration of the voices, I’m not a child that needs exuberant narration to maintain focus. It doesn’t suit the nature of the story nor it’s philosophical implications. The way he narrates child characters makes my teeth itch. Never let this low-grade drama student anywhere near a story of this magnitude again.

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Asimov’s Robots

I ROBOT is a series of short stories written about robots and centring around Asimov’s “Three Rules of Robotics”. The tales were written over a ten year period beginning in 1940. The quality varies but generally improves as the series develops. When Asimov collected the pieces into a single volume, he created a rather artificial link by presenting them as a reminiscence of Susan Calvin who appears in each. The first story, “Robbie” appeared in the September, 1940 issue of “Super Science Stories” under the title, “Strange Playfellow”. Supposedly set in the future, it presents a society of the thirties with futuristic gadgets thrown in. It is definitely the weakest piece in the collection. The Powell and Donovan stories are better. They are essentially puzzle pieces working on the interplay of the Three Laws. Don’t look for much in the way of characterisation. Both Powell and Donovan are obvious stereotypes. Susan Calvin is the star of the book. She is Asimov’s nod to feminism and while she is no more than an observer in “Robbie” and sometimes seems a blue-stocking stereotype she does grow and develop as a personality. The final story is quite unusual. It seems less a story than a sociological meditation. I’m not sure that it works, but others will certainly differ, William Hope’s narration is varied and flexible for male characters. Unfortunately he is not as successful for Susan Calvin. The. Tone he adopts for her is nasal, grating and quite unpleasant. Considering Susan’s importance in many of the tales and all of the interludes, this was a case for having both a male and female narrator.

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wonderful book, terrible reading

A classic book, but the god awful reading made it completely unbearable. Completely unnatural intonation and lots of strange grating character voices that all sort of merge into one tortuous voice. A real shame, this caliber of literature deserves a higher quality reading.

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Don't think this is like the film, it's better.

Yes, of course is dated which makes it even more interesting. The collection of short stories is set in the early 21st century with global political upheaval, a divide Europe, with a politically and economically emergent Asia. By 2008 it had talking devices. by anyone's reckoning, that's not a bad guess. The dialogue is bizarrely confrontational for much of the time not particularly helped by the delivery from William Hope. So only a 4/5 overall.

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Classic sci fi has lost some of its lustre

I had not read Asimov since I was at school in the 1970s and wanted a bit of escapism from the real life Black Mirror episode that we are living in at the moment (April 2020). I, Robot is the most famous of his works and is a collection of short stories with an over arcing theme of telling the story of the history of robotics and the famous three laws of robotics. Listening to this now with 21st century ears it does not have quite the same impact as it did. Maybe this is a result of the sci fi genre developing at such a rate in recent decades that, although classic, this now sounds a little quaint.

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Brilliant despite being dated

Even though Asimov's ideas about Computers, Communications and Atomic Power appear naive to us now, these stories are still powerful and relevant today.

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Asimov is a visionary

Asimov is a master of science fiction writing and this is one of his greatest works

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great vison of the future from the past

amazing how could the author foresee things that will happen in the far future. I do believe that many of what is in the book will come true

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Classic title from a classic author.

I, Robot is Isaac Asimov's exploration of a future defined by robots and machine intelligences. Entertaining, intelligent and human throughout, the story is well-read by the narrator.

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  • Jorge
  • 11-07-20

Excellent

an excellent collection of stories to any science fiction lovers out there. a must in the genre

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  • James
  • 02-03-20

Excellent!

I waited far too long to listen to this book it really is a masterpiece. Asimov writes with considerable for thought as his plots are intricate and well thought out