Few writers are beyond compare, but Ian McEwan is undoubtedly one of them. Over the last forty years, he has asserted himself as the premier living British author. He has won almost every major literary prize – including the Man Booker – and his novels have inspired multiple Oscar winning blockbusters. These books, such as Atonement, The Children Act, On Chesil Beach, and Saturday to name but a few, have defined the phrase ‘modern classic’, and they are both widely loved and highly acclaimed. McEwan has come to represent the height of our national literature on the world stage.
In Machines Like Me, McEwan invites the reader into an alternative reality: Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In this world, two lovers – Charlie and Miranda – will be tested beyond their understanding. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever, and a love triangle soon forms. This subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: what makes us human – our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? It is a provocative and thrilling tale, and it is our pleasure to launch it in St Andrews