Speak: A Novel
Speak, Louisa Hall’s portentous novel, offers a riveting commentary on artificial intelligence. With lyrical writing, Hall explores five fictional accounts of people’s lives that have shaped the history of A.I. over a few centuries. Stephen Chinn is in a correctional institution for creating an illegal, exceptionally lifelike doll. Gaby White is paralyzed from separation from her banned babybot. Karl Dettman’s creation of MARY leads to his crumbling marriage. Alan Turing is writing letters to his best friend’s mother, describing his pursuit of a thinking machine. On a ship to America, Mary Bradford is concerned about her beloved dog and strained marriage.
The lives portrayed in Speak are frustratingly unconnected throughout most of the book; however there is a similarity that weaves through every account: humans harbor a strong desire for love and friendship and will look for acceptance anywhere to escape their loneliness.
Hall offers only a few vague details of the future 2040 America; however, she does not spare any details on the thoughts and feelings of each of her beautifully imagined characters whose voices are powerful and captivating. Though the novel lacks action and suspense, Speak does pose a number of provocative questions. Those interested in the subject will enjoy Hall’s stimulating perspective.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|