I held in there until the end but was disappointed. The whole premise of the book was intriguing. However, the characters were underdeveloped so no one personality stood out or felt relatable. The biggest problem was the narrator. The performance was robotic and made it extremely hard to stay focused on the story.
The story here is great. As usual, with Clarke, the narrative is mostly concerned with the mechanics of the sci fi theme and the characters are, while realistic, a bit under-plotted. There aren't any big changes in attitudes. No big arcs of developmemt spent on the characters themselves. What the details are spent on is the politics of the humans in macro scale and the intricacies of what the explorers encounter and have to deal with inside and outside the strange vessel dubbed Rama. And while some say the characters are so thin that they are barely placeholders they worked very well for me as the listener.
What didn't work however was the voice-acting. This narrator seem to be reading the text for the first time. Having no idea how to place the intonations on words and even managing to change wildly the pronunciations of acronyms and the likes. So before the story really picked up at the second third of the book I wondered several times if I could make it through it all without quitting. I am glad I didn't but I don't think the intent was to make it such a chire for me to ignore all of these distractions the narrator put into the reading of the texts.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
I read this in high school, over 20 years ago, and it was above average then, although I remember enjoying Rama II better. I thought I'd listen to it again, and the story is now just okay. The narrator can do an okay Aussie accent, but other than that, he's not that good. He reads the non conversation parts in almost a clipped robotic voice. It's almost as if each word was recorded separately, and then strung together. After a while, it starts to grate on your nerves. The more you think about it, the more it bothers you, simply because you know there are many better narrators out there. Listen to the full preview before you buy. you may decide it's not for you.
A wonderful classic of science fiction ruined by an intolerable narrator; awkward pauses, droning, deep monotone and painfully slow pace. It beggars belief that a producer actually listened to this and thought it was acceptable work. Unbelievable. There's a much better version on youtube. I want a refund.
The narrator... or the director/producer if they suggested the narrator read the book like a semi catatonic William Shatner. Why do so many narrators insist on reading SciFi books like a robot or computer? Really?
Haven't finished the book yet but am so disturbed by the narration that I had to write the review before finishing.
Robert J. Sawyer's pronunciation of Rama bugged the $h1+ out of me otherwise his introduction was satisfying. Peter Ganim on the other hand narrated the book like a semi catatonic William Shatner. I am finding it hard to get past his computer/robot narration.
I really want to love this book. I purchased it because it is a classic. The story holds up but I am struggling to get past the narration so far.
Cook, Steelworker, Sailor in Viet Nam. Retired after 4 decades as an RN. Share a birthday with Mark Twain and his love of "spinnin' a yarn"
Action and suspense and all out of this world. Early in Arthur Clarke's life someone must have pulled off the "do not remove" tag from the mattress of his brain. Really how do you create other worlds so completely. This is a classic so listen to please
I wanted to like this book. It is, after all, an Arthur C. Clark story. As the narration began, I was filled with a sense of dread. Not due to the story, it was a good theme, but due to the narrator's boring, monotonic voice. I kept hoping that it would improve. I continued to listen, trying very hard to concentrate enough to get past the horrible reading but, once I found myself rewinding the story just so I could make sense of the noises coming out of my headphones, I knew I was defeated. I would forgive a boring, professorial tone but, this was much much worse. I at times wondered if it was not trying, badly, to imitate a bad 1980's sythetiser computer card. I even restarted the book, hoping that there was some explanation I missed as to the reason for the poor intonation and lack of any emotion in the reading. Perhaps this was supposed to be a computer or alien narrating in first person? But no, no such excuse.
On the positive side, now I'm going to have to buy the book (vs audio book) so I can actually enjoy this story.