This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan

Bringing Up Mike

by Mark Duncan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
721,627,150 (4)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 4 of 4
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have mixed feeling about Bringing Up Mike. The messages and controversial topics discussed throughout the novel peeked my interest, and were my favorite part of the writing. However, I could not relate to the characters because they did not display true emotions. While Duncan would describe what scene was tacking place, it was hard to find layers to the characters feelings, especially Joe's. Sometimes it felt like Mike was the person and Joe the computer. Overall 2/5 stars. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  1110cg | May 26, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The formatting of the paperback book is horrible. It looks VERY unprofessional: inconsistency about whether there should be dots between each scene break or not, but much worse: there is a line break in between every paragraph. (Cringes.)

The dialogue is very wooden; none of the characters have their own distinctive voice. Also, it would have benefited from more dialogue tags, because after the tenth line of no reminder which characters are discussing a social issue, it's very hard to remember who's questioning and who's answering. (Nobody's ever disagreeing about anything.)

I like that the author tries to bring a frank perspective to things, but he utterly fails to work in all the social issues he wants to talk about properly. Conversations jump from one topic to another, logical without emotion, and his characters all speak the same way. Neither the AI nor the main character nor the romantic interest girl have any personality. They just sort of flatly parrot what the author wants them to say.

I really saw no sense of plot in this book. There was *maybe* enough plot to fill a ten-page short story, but it would have to be a lot less jumpy. Worse yet, with no personality, it read like a bunch of preachy essays (all of which have definite opinions, and don't just discuss the issue: they make bold assertions about black and white, and then expect you, the reader, to believe the author's opinions with absolute authority).

The pop culture references were very forced. I got most of them, but they really stood out in a bad way.

I'm not really sure what the back of the book has to do with anything. "To achieve his goals, he must change everything about himself." Um . . . really? I didn't see any character change. Ever. At all. Oh, yes, and that brings us to . . .

. . . the villain. Who is a one-dimensional moron, and yet treated like he is a real threat. Of course, he's only in the plot occasionally. You know, as sort of a token attempt to pretend a real plot exists.

I will say that there were many punctuation errors, but I presume those will be fixed in the final product. (I received a free Advance Readers' Copy.)

The author had me solidly at two stars because of book's formatting, but it could have risen above that, had it engaged even my intellectual curiosity. (I'm a very smart person. So are all the people in my family. I *like* intellectual debates and stimulating conversations and rebellious teenage geniuses. I found Sophie's World, which is basically a philosophy textbook with a bit of character interaction and plot on top of it, fascinating.)

This may be a case of an author getting published too early. This work really isn't bad: for the first draft of an author's first book. The problem is, it's not publication-worthy. It needs solid workshopping with a writers' group, and probably to have the author write three or four other books before he tries to publish anything.

Shame on the publisher for formatting this book so badly (looks like it was done with Microsoft Word, not any sort of desktop publishing program -- Scribus would improve it tremendously, and that's free). Also, shame on the publisher for publishing this book as-is, when it clearly needed more work.

My advice to the author is: join a writers' group. A bunch of beginning writers can help each other out a whole lot, and make your next book way better. As you grow together, your advice to each other will be better and better, too.

This book needs a good, solid rewrite. Most first-time authors' books do. If the editor will not give you the advice you need, go elsewhere. The same goes for treating your print book's formatting with basic courtesy. The book has potential. It failed to live up to it, but it could have been a lot better than it is. Keep working on your craft, and I imagine you can have some really good stories to tell in the near future.
  EmilyMarthaSorensen | Oct 26, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. What happens when a child prodigy (PhD at 16) realizes he’s missed out on a lot of life and needs to give an extended Turing Test to his AI program? Bringing Up Mike.

The story moves well as Joe packs up and heads to Tennessee and the start of both his experiment and a year of high school. The writing is clean and clear; characters have distinct voices. Philosophical discussions on the nature of good, bad, friendship, love, etc. are sprinkled throughout the book as Mike, the AI, learns more about the world. Meanwhile, Joe navigates through high school, rescuing an abused horse, and realizing.

At times things are too pat. Just when something is needed, it turns up. Situations resolve neatly. When asked, every character seems to have the answer to the specific question. The author balances explanation and action well in this book. The pace is steady and I found myself interested page after page.

Mark Duncan does a strong job in setting the scene and carrying the main character through a year of high school.

I look forward to reading more by this author. ( )
  ggprof | Jul 11, 2014 |
Did you ever notice that most of the people you know are good-hearted, intelligent, and generally fun to be around? But so many of the characters you meet in books, TV shows, and movies are horrible, often stupid, and hard to care about? Bringing Up Mike is a breadth of fresh air in this regard, because in it I met a lot of people I would love to have in my life: good-hearted, intelligent, and generally fun-to-be-around folks. Even Mike, the eponymous AI (Artificial Intelligence)! Moreover, here you won't find murders, drugs, or high-speed chases -- unless you include horse races -- just nice, ordinary and extraordinary people helping each other deal with the ups and downs of life. Mostly ups, by the way; this is no tear-jerker. Instead, this coming-of-ager had me rooting for all of the major characters all the way, enjoying my visit into their lives, and learning much interesting stuff about race horses, music, and so much more. And don't be put off by Mike being an AI. This is no science-fiction novel. It is a very human story, and Mike is just another character, and not really even the main character. Mike is also coming of age, as implied by the book's title, but he does NOT go wild and try to take over the world. Bring Up Mike brings up some provocative questions about the place of AI "persons" in our near future, while immersing us in a slice in the life of a very clever young man and the new friends he meets in and around a Tennessee race-horse farm. You'all come back soon, ya hear! I'd be glad to spend some more time with you! ( )
  elainerhodes | Jun 9, 2014 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Joe rode his bicycle along Beef Hollow Road.
That's what the sword said. Nobody asked if I wanted to be forged.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Mark Duncan's book Bringing Up Mike was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4)
2 1
4 1
5 2

askmar publishing

2 editions of this book were published by askmar publishing.

Editions: 193584248X, 1935842498

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 131,744,942 books! | Top bar: Always visible