Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I, Robot

Okay, so I finally finished Asimov's crappy story collection "I, Robot". And since you guys are all agog to hear my views on it, here it goes.

To be honest, the story collection was not that horrible, it just didn't have the same grip that keeps me hooked to Heinlein's work. To start with I had thought it to be a novel and since it had the same title and Will Smith's photo on the cover with the words "Now a Will Smith starrer movie...", I had assumed, with sufficient evidence, that it would be the same story as the movie. "I, Robot" the movie I had loved. Well, both assumptions proved wrong. It was a story collection and not a novel, I hate it when that happens. And it had nothing whatsoever in common with the movie other than the title and Will Smith's face on the cover. I really hate it when that happens. Other than that also, none of the stories justify the title, at all!

Moving on from the title and movie, the stories themselves are okay, just okay. I place Asimov as a contemporary of Heinlein and expect about the same quality if not that astonishing mind-whirling magic from him. I was bitterly disappointed.

To talk about the content of the stories, the narration device is weak and makes you wonder if it would lose anything at all if the narration device was neatly cut out of the picture. The answer is no, it would not miss anything. The stories themselves are not much more than simple puzzles all based around, you guessed it, robots. Asimov keeps harping on the Three Laws of Robotics so much that it becomes annoying.

The last story "The evitable conflict" sucks the most, and I seriously wondered if it would lose any real content if 80% of the story was removed! It wouldn't. The story will still make as much sense.

After I picked up "I, Robot" in the library, and before going to the check out counter, I went to the help desk and asked the lady to search for any other Heinlein books in the library system. She searched and I found that I have read all of the Heinlein books that are available in this or any other libraries in the state. Great. The lady helpfully pointed me to a book that tells you which other authors write like a particular author.

"Oh, I know that!", I said with more than a little smugness in my face, and held up I, Robot, "This guy writes like him!". After reading "I, Robot" I will have to say, "I stand corrected!".

Don't read it unless you are a big fan of Asimov and like anything he writes.

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