For weeks I’ve been earnestly waiting for the release of Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Machines Like Me. McEwan is one of my favourite authors, he has an uncanny ability to be able to build a series of apparently independent scenes which, only when reviewed in the full context of the story, mesh beautifully with the theme of the novel. So when it was announced that he was to release a science-fiction novel I was ecstatic, especially one dealing with artificial intelligence. So, when it arrived I jumped straight in.
In 1935, Mayer, an American journalist of German and Jewish descent, travelled to Germany in an attempt to secure an interview with Hitler. He failed in this task, but what he saw in Germany terrified him enough to know that Hitler wasn’t the person he needed to speak to. Instead, he interviewed ten everyday Germans — a tailor, a cabinet maker, a salesman, a student, a baker, a bill-collector, a teacher, a policeman, and a bank clerk — to decipher how it was that the Nazi movement had swept the country.