I confess to being slightly confused and ambivalent about Ian McEwan’s “Machines Like Me”. It seemed to vary between being good, and not so; between generating empathy for its characters, and then nothing at all. The only constant perhaps was my distaste for the android / synthetic human, Adam.
But perhaps that was the point.
And then I was thrown by the alternative reality I was reading about [spoiler alert!]. The one in which Alan Turing did not die, Tony Benn became PM, the UK lost the Falklands War… It was clearly a mechanism to confirm I was reading about a different version of our current present – but at times it seemed more of a distraction than anything else…
Most of all, perhaps, I was thrown by yet another perspective on McEwan output. “Machines Like Me” was also nothing like “Chesil Beach” and while, for me, better than “Amsterdam”, it’s somehow difficult to see them as all coming out of the same ‘stable’.