Barely. The story is a classic, but woof, is the narration a problem.
The narrator provided a stilted almost automated reading of the text, without any meaning and randomly emphasizing words and changing pace mid-paragraph. The character voices were awful. The Australian captain sounded like a member of the Concords reading the book, misunderstanding the import of the text and the other characters were just terrible. It really detracted from the book.
I'd like to start by saying that, while I've read one of the latter books in this series, this was my first time with this book.
Wow! What a ride this book was. What I love about Arthur C Clarke is that his books are more than just a story. They're a narrated tour of the future he's envisioned. His ability to describe in amazing detail what the reader is "seeing" is nothing short of amazing, and this book, describing man's encounter with a strange alien vessel as it passes through our solar system, is no exception.
A lot of folks have down talked the narrator for this Audiobook, and I think that's a bit unfair. While it took a little bit to get used to, I found the narrative to be very well spoken, clear, and the emotional conveyance to be about perfect for a science-heavy sci-fi adventure.
All in all, this was an enjoyable experience, and one that I'll probably listen to again!
The imaginative nature of the principle plot devices (namely, Rama and the discoveries within) set solidly within a universe governed by natural law.The modest liberties Clarke takes with physics serve to advance the plot and are well-framed as gaps in our understanding rather than sci-fi space magic.
Clarke's characters are two-dimensional, static and carved out precisely to fit the needs of the story. A reader may struggle to find anyone to identify with and tire of how every person behaves essentially perfectly in service to the golden path of the story, never clouding it with any personal motivation or drive.
Distracting, relentless over-annunciation.
Not really. The narrator reads as if he was told that, upon swallowing a single consonant, his entire hometown would be put to death. It makes listening for any length of time difficult and monotonous, and helps further underscore the lack of human connection in the story.
A more animated, emotional reader who put some feeling into his words.
Only the book not the audio, reasons stated above.
The book was great when I read it back in college. I just didn't like the reading of it.
I read this about a year after reading childhood's end. As someone who is under 40, its a little difficult simply because so many films have borrowed so many ideas from Arthur C. Clarke's works. But I still found this a very enjoyable book, much like Childhood's End. There was never a dull moment in it and I was 100% satisfied. Wasn't crazy about the narrator, but it wasn't bothersome- I just played it at x2 or 1.5 speed and it was fine.