Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun (Alfred A. Knopf)

Hardcover, 304 pages

English language

Published by Alfred A. Knopf.


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3 stars (7 reviews)

The story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

2 editions


3 stars

Read this mostly as a bedtime read, which it was good for - pretty easy and not too creepy (although slightly unsettling at times). It nodded to a few things that piqued my interest (AI, eco-sabotage, transhumanism?) But didn't really flesh out any of them, they were mostly just a vibe/backdrop for the story of the characters, which was fine. Ive really enjoyed some books that explore human-robot interactions - marge piercey's body of glass comes to mind - but this didn't quite do it for me in terms of making my brain stretch around those questions of how we relate to machines. Which I don't think was the point of the book, I think the point was to build the world up from the perceptions of the narrator (an android) and that part was done quite well.

Overall a totally fine read and well-written but just didn't scratch anything …

Review of 'Klara and the Sun' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I happened to also be reading a Yuval Harari book where he observes that robots and AI in fiction are often just stand-ins for human characters, and that is definitely the case here. Klara's being "artificial" serves to point out ways that people may or may not be artificial, and allows some fresh perspectives on other human characters. It works if you can accept the starting point.

Dystopia through the eyes of an android

5 stars

Content warning death, toxic relationships, fascism, white supremacy, general creepiness

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4 stars
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3 stars
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3 stars