A great hard sci-fi novel. Probably Clarke's best. Clarke really makes the discovery and exploration of an alien spacecraft very believable by applying his scientific knowledge to the very readable prose.
The narration, however, is a huge drawback. I've listened to dozens of audiobooks and I've never been so turned off by a narrator as I was while listening to this book. The reading is very halted and and distracting. Very weird accents at the end of sentences, almost like English is second language to the narrator and he never quite figured out the correct inflections to use.
Skip this audiobook and pick up the the real book.
I've been wanting to read this book for ages and was so glad to see it finally come out on audible. The story was good and interesting, but it was very hard to continue to listen to it because the reader was so horrible. Slow and monotone to the point I wondered if it was a machine reading the story.
Please Audible Frontiers, do not ever use this reader again. You did a great disservice to an award winning classic. It should have been 5 stars.
Like others who have reviewed this book, I had read this book decades ago (in print of course). Listening to it again now was a real joy. I had forgotten so much of the story!
But unlike others I had no problem with the narrator. I don't understand. Did we listen to the same book? Peter Ganim was fine. I'm worried that some will pass on the book based on bad narrator reviews, which in my opinion are off the mark. I would have no qualms listening to another book read by him.
After listening to this great story I'm just imagining what a great blockbuster movie this could be.... Think of the special effects that could be done with today's technology - and in 3-D too!
Aside from watching 2001, this is my first Arthur C Clarke. Very interesting story. His writing style isn't remarkable, but the setting of the story is. And the story's resolution was refreshing. I'm not disappointed with this one. I think my next few audio books are going to be Arthur Clarke's.
Some people have complained about Peter Ganim's voice. I thought it was a little distracting too when I first heard him in one of the Dune books, but I think after listening for a while the quirks of his style don't stand out so much. Now I find his voice quite pleasant to listen to.
The only reason I gave it two stars and not one is because it was written 30 yrs ago. Narrator was one of the worst I've listened to. Maybe he was the reason it was so bad? Laughable accents and horrible flow. Book itself was "eh". There was just nothing there - booooring story and non-characters. How could this book possibly win the above-mentioned awards?? Maybe it was the only sci fi book written that year?? :)
I'm impressed, it held my attention, to the point I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Which is good considering I get bored very easily. I liked the way the book progressed right along, it never really stopped and dwelled into a single subject.
This should have been a five star audio book. It is one of Clarke's finest works and will live on for generations to come.
But the cadence of the narration and technical quality is so poor I came back to the web site to see if it was a computer generated voice. The recording reminds me of the voice on the automated NOAA weather radio stations. I suspect this recording is compressed to the point that it adds a machine like quality to what we hear.
It should be at the very least re-encoded with less compression loss if not completely re-recorded from scratch.
The book is interesting, though I would say overrated. The narration is just about the worst I have heard - in the narrator's attempt at perfect enunciation, he has produced a very choppy, often monotone reading that is often difficult to listen to.
After the discovery of a strange object, Rama, making its way through the solar system, the crew of Endeavour are ordered to dock and explore it. The crew encounter a number suprises as they make their way through Rama's massive interior. The story is largely a mystery: What is Rama? Why is it here? Is it alive? What is its purpose? Over time, some of these questions are answered, but many more are created in their place. Despite being written nearly fourty years ago, Rendezvous With Rama is a timeless tale and I highly recommend it.
Clarke renders the world of Rama with remarkable ease. He gracefully handles the complexities of movement in a cylindrical world in which the terms "up" and "down" have no distinct meaning. While Clarke isn't known for his strong characterization, that is only because his human characters are merely observers. Rama itself is the main character here. Even so, Clarke shares bits and pieces of the lives of Endeavour's crew as they explore Rama with just enough detail to make them likable but not so much as to create a strong attachment.
I have never really liked Clarke's narration-heavy writing style. He spends most of his time in third person omniscient viewpoint, bouncing from character to character at will with long passages of narration in between. Despite this, the story remains strong and the style becomes less noticable with time.
The audio narration is, in a word, terrible. The narrator handles dialogue quite well but the narrative sections are choppy and monotone. Some Audible listeners may feel that this suits Clarke's writing style, but I disagree. The staccato of the narrator's reading can be so difficult to follow that it made me feel almost sea-sick. At the best of times, I found myself drifting off thinking about other things. He wholly failed to engage me in the story and it is a tragedy that this is the only available audibook version of Rendeavous With Rama.
Having read this fascinating SciFi novel three times in the past 30 years (Ramans do everything in threes, right?), I ordered the Audible reading out of curiosity and to refresh some very fond memories of this intriguing book (even though I am not much into SF generally).
The performer, Peter Gamin, does - in my opinion - not the bad job that other reviewers critized. He starts somewhat monotonous and his style takes some getting used to, but his clear and precise reading of the amazing world opening up in that cylinder from Outer Space was overall quite enjoyable. Just remember that this is not a novel heavy on character development (as mentioned in the prologue), and you'll be quite happy with the audio version.
I really enjoyed being back inside Rama once again, and the audio version of Arthur C. Clarke's classic helped in rediscovering new shades in the story which seems as fresh today as when it was first published 35 years ago.