A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.
Gr 6 Up- Isaac Asimov's mid-20th century tale artfully combines science fiction and detection. William Dufris performs it in multiple voices and with just enough camp to pull in contemporary listeners by playing to the ironies of the period in which the story was written. A human police detective, Baley, lives in New York City a thousand years hence. He's tapped to help solve a murder in a community where robots are not reviled and ends up with a partner, Daneel, who is a highly sophisticated, humanoid machine. Baley and Daneel don't have an easy time with each other or with those New Yorkers, called Medievalists, who despise robots. The action moves swiftly, yet there is time for Asimov to weave in some engaging and edifying glosses on the Bible as literature-and for Baley to smoke, making this as an adult book of the period. While most of Dufris's voices are successful, his interpretation of Baley's 16-year-old son reduces the latter to sounding like a whiney 8-year-old. Asimov's story is a great way to introduce young readers to a polymath who captured the "American century" through futurism and literate character development.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Canada