Big ideas, excellent characters, physics based
The descriptions of the sheer size of the structure. Something this big is hard to grasp, but Niven does a great job conveying just how huge the ring world really is.
I read the book many years ago and loved it then, listening to the book was like reading it again for the first time. Parker does an excellent job.
I read this book quite a few years ago. It's remarkable how long ago this book was written, and just how many thoughtful predictions were made. We'll have to wait quite a few years to see if they all bear out. You'd be cheating yourself if you didn't give this a chance.
The high concepts were interesting but the author tried too hard to be unique. His efforts to be unlike any other story made it tedious. Overall the story was just a random assemblage of vaguely related stories that really went nowhere.
When this book was over I felt like it was not complete. This is definitely a first book, not a standalone. Now if only I cared enough to read another one.
If you like Sci-Fi you need to listen to this book as it is one of the seminal and defining works of Science Fiction.
First off let me tell you what books I have enjoyed. Ice Limit, Lost Fleet Series, Old Mans War, Wheel of Time series, Dark Tower Series, Thunder Head, Enders Series, Most of Jack Campbells books, Armor, Spin, Lost Gate, Well of Assention, Durma Key, From a Buick 8, most of the Sci-Fi from Lincon Child and D. Preston and some 100 others...
Now if you enjoyed any of the above you will HATE THIS BOOK. One sided characters, horrible narration, and things happen in the book that need further explanation that leave you saying Huh? When I say one sided I mean paper thin people who act like they are 10 years old.
Still wondering why I picked up this book. Although, it is a sci-fi classic, worth listening to once, perhaps, but I would've preferred to read it on paper, as I would have gone much faster. There wasn't really anything to really take the slower time to listen to the narration, I read this kind of books in diagonal and find it quite enough. (The abridged version must be even worse though.) By the end, you're left entertaining some thoughts about whether it is indeed possible to control or influence chance (there was a nice movie about this, "Intacto", with Max von Sydow, which treated this idea with better zest I though). But otherwise, it's a good reading, entertaining, but won't leave any indelible marks on your reader's psyche. I've almost forgotten it.
Most people will either love or hate this book. Don't look for a great amount of action here. Listening to the book, it felt like I was watching an old Star Trek show. Lots of plodding along, semi-interesting technical ideas, and a lot of implausability. Not bad but not great either.
I think the review title says it all. Monotonous non-event after non-event made me give up after 6 hours of mind-numbing boredom. Perhaps the last 5 hours were a complete change, but I can't be bothered to find out.
I wanted to relive some of the thrills I had from reading sci-fi as a kid. Either I've lost the taste, or this is just unusually bad. Granted, the concept is a good one, but I would have had as much enjoyment from about 20-pages of summary description of the ring, the theories behind its construction, the description of the current state of humanity and its alien fellow travelers. The writing, though, is just terribly clunky. No one speaks in human sentences expressing human thoughts (especially the humans.) It's just when Mr. Niven seems to feel the need to put in some writing like a regular writer might (when he isn't inserting technical descriptions, e.g.) that the whole thing goes into cringe-inducing awkwardness. If this is an award-winning book, it's no wonder that science fiction is valued the way it is in the general literary world. Getting to the concepts is not worth wading through the prose.