If you love science fiction, love tales of the future and high technology, love originality, and love a well crafted plausible and fantastical plot, read this. I’m unsure how this author eluded me for so long.
Literate (extremely, in the best possible way), Mr. Simmons' education, intelligence, and love lf literature shine through.
*Thank you, Mr. Simmons, for making a nod to the Canterbury Tales, and for loving poetry--you write this book with the voices of The Cannon, fading from so many, close to your heart.*
One of my all-time favorite SF series. It has stood the time since publication, and since my first reading, extremely well. I loved the pace of hearing these books again, read aloud--read well enough that I wasn't bothered by it, and the main narrator is excellent.
[Possible caveat: if you're offended by (What euphemism should I use? Mr. Carlin? Any ideas?) rough language, there is one character that uses it consistently, but it fits in with his character's history, and also has a nice ironic edge to it, considering the character's profession. Mr. Simmons did not use it because he's too lazy to think of something else.]
These books inspire that "sense of wonder" I find too infrequently at my age and upon my more mature palate. (Ah, Mr. Seldon, you've grown old since I was 12.)
Too few SF fans have discovered these, and they will not fail to delight. Wins my highest award for audio book most likely to distract me from whatever else I'm doing and set me dreaming.
Buy some hard copies and give them to your SF-reading friends. Or an Audible if they've read it before.
Let's get my biases out there now: HYPERION is my favorite book of all time, and I have read it several times since its first publication, therefore I had high expectations for this audiobook.
I was mostly pleased by the book. They used multiple readers, always a plus when you are dealing with so many characters. There was only one weak link among them: the woman who takes the part of Brawne Lamia. Her interpretation was a bit too arch for how I pictured the character, and the attempt to recreate the British accent of John Keats fell very short of the mark, enough so to be distracting, rather than drawing me into the character.
This audio interpretation did change my feelings about the book to a not-inconsiderable degree. In the past, my favorite tale from the novel was "The Detective's Tale" due to its hard-science/cyberpunk genre and the fact that I love mysteries, but when read aloud, the impact of "The Scholar's Tale" and the tragedy, agony, and heartbreak of Saul as he watches his daughter's inevitable fate play out before him really threw a curveball at me. "The Detective's Tale" is now an intellectually challenging story, certainly great science fiction and not without its emotionally effective bits, but "The Scholar's Tale," a section of the book I always plodded through, is now the emotional center of the entire book and had me in tears through most of the latter part. If you have children of your own, especially a daughter, you will find yourself in agony, but in a good way, if there is such a thing.
Kudos to those who chose to make a multiple-reader Frontiers title out of this book. It deserves nothing but the best, and it almost gets it.
I average three books a week, but as I cannot afford to purchase that many books I frequently re-read those I already have. If you are here looking for reviews, I typically only review those books I feel particularly strongly about or have some insight that hasn't yet been posted in a review.
Many reviews talk about how terrible the end of this book is, and it is extremely abrupt, however it might as well end with "To be continued" because the second book picks up immediately where the first ends. If you get this book (and enjoy it), just be aware that you will be buying two books, not one.
Book 2 does a VERY good job of wrapping up the plot, so much so that books 3 & 4 are essentially a different series set in the same universe. A few characters transition the gap, but the story is much different and (in my opinion) does not add much, if anything, to the work as a whole.
From a story-telling perspective books 1 & 2 are near perfect. however books 3 & 4 have technical issues that make the story less believable. Part of the problem is that some "retconning" ("Retroactive Continuity") takes place, and though there is plot-justifiable reasoning and mechanics behind it, it feels cheap. Also the author develops a bad habit of appearing to ignore huge plot holes (things you would think the characters would mention) only to explain them off-handedly a quarter of the book later. I think they were intended as "mysteries to be solved" but since we the reader "eye-witnessed" the facts suddenly brought into question, the only conclusion we can draw is that the author/narrator outright lied to us, which doesn't work as a story-telling device (deceptive narration is fine, but saying "that apple I gave you earlier was actually an orange" is just a retcon, even if it the retcon itself does fit into the plot). In the end it works, but there are long periods of time where you will just be left hanging.
I would recommend books 1 & 2 to anyone that likes a good story, not just Sci-Fi fans, and more-so to anyone that knows how to appreciate a story for the way it is told; 3 & 4 I would only recommend to more casual readers.
You will love this book or hate it. It is a bit like cured shark, you will either spit it out or learn to love it. If you like this book then this is just the start of an audio adventure that is about 100 hours!
I read this book on a friend's recommendation, and I'm glad I did. I haven't read a great deal of science fiction, and much of what I have read was unimpressive. This book makes me think I may have been reading the wrong stuff. It's smart, well-written and gripping. Definitely worth hearing.
I really tried to be open minded on this book. It certainly had a lot of great reviews, but the series of short stories format tends to wander without driving the overall plot line. One of the characters has a sailor's mouth...some heavy FOUL LANGUAGE. That pretty much did me iin. There are so many alternatives to stooping to high school F-bombs every other word. Oh well, I'm sure there was a compelling reason for using that language as profusely as the author did in this book. Gave up about 2./3 of the way through. i will definitely read EVERY review of a book before wasting my money in the future.
I downloaded this book based on the high ranking and the number of reviews.
The story is slow moving and does not get better in the end.
After finishing the book, my only thought was it was the big waste time...
I read this book many years ago, and was looking forward to rediscovering it as a listening experience, but the performances of the narrators are stunningly wooden, awful and distracting. The individual sub-stories when told by a single narrator are OK -- but when more than one narrator is part of the tale they're just laughably forced and frustrating to listen to. Never before have I been so turned off by an audiobook.
Never, never, never again. The ensemble narrating this story effectively ruined the book for me. It's as if each actor was a nervous high school student standing at a try-out for the school play - no nuance, no depth in the performance, just wooden, graceless reading. Worse, when these performances are combined (I suspect the parts were read in isolation from eachother) there's no cohesion. It's sad because you can tell they put some time, effort and money into the production - but whoever was running the show was unable to evoke good performances, and completely tone-deaf to the forced nature of the whole piece.
A very boring person
That he is a published writer and so many others, who are surely better are not.
maybe, the narrator was okay, not great, but he was probably bored out of his mind, so I give him a pass.
All of them