Totally uninteresting characters. Pointless narrative. Some say this is more about the science than the characters. However, I find a story lacking without characters that are interesting or at least doing something interesting. I was so un-enthralled with the story that I frequently found myself not paying attention. But I listened to the end to find out what happened and Spoiler Alert?? nothing happened. The only reason I did not return the book is because I did listen to the end.
As to the narrator, again quite uninteresting. Unlike better narrators, his characters all spoke in so nearly the same voice that it was difficult at times to determine who was speaking. But not the worst narrator, by far, so gave him a middling three stars.
The pacing was great. Solid science.
The Ringworld itself took on an aspect of character, mysterious and consistent.
Exploration of the Ring World, the logic and dimensions of the thing made is surprisingly viable.
"We were never alone..."
Good science fiction, interesting characters that consistently reflect an evolved societies world view. Exploration and trial. A perfect example of the heroic journey without the heavy handed tropes of typical "space opera" or contemporary fiction.
"I'll be a story in your head, but that's OK. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? The Doctor
First, I love Tom Parker/Grover Gardner reading anything! He brings such life into anything he reads. His different voices for the characters, is distinguishable, but not oddly so. I find some narrators try to make the voices so different that it is distracting or seems like they are trying too hard. Especially when attempting different genders. Parker/Gardner lulls me into the story like no other.
Despite my 3 stars I actually liked the story of Ringworld. Audible should break down rating into “story” and “characters”. The story I enjoyed. A little adventure in space… What could be better?
I should always consider the publication year when I read books (or never consider anything by B V Larson). Sometimes, not frequently, I run into what I like to call the “Madmen” phenomena: Stories set, or written in a time where women who are just there to be pretty and have “relations” with the men. This story was a bit like that.
Poor pitiful Teela too unadventurous to have ever left her world, falls in “love” , and like a puppy, follows a man across the universe. Then her naiveté puts her in danger constantly (you know, because she is a silly women) and her over-dramatic behavior has her crying all the time (SUCK IT UP), and her feeling are hurt constantly. What this!.... she falls in “love” again in a mere week! Silly women and their unformed brains, unable to be in anyway alone or independent! We should use them as chattel! At the end did she grow as a person?...NOPE! She again decides to follow a random man on his adventure. I would have just as soon left her out.
Everyone else I liked… Louis was a little “madmen” for having a 20 year old girl-friend. Plus I would have thought he would have better taste than the insipid, whinny little Teela. Nessus and Speaker where interesting counterpoints to each other. I enjoyed their argument quite a lot.
All in all, not a bad read.
Such a memorable book but I almost gave up. I started this audio book several times and had a hard time "grabbing hold" of what was going on. Maybe it was a little "too sci-fi" for me or maybe Tom Parker just wasn't dynamic enough to help me picture it, but it was really hard to keep names, places, and all the future technologies sorted in my mind.
I persevered and was glad I did. The scale of the story is epic and I couldn't believe that when it was over, I immediately considered continuing with Niven's next book in the timeline.
It's that strange book that you can really enjoy but is still hard to recommend. Listen to the sample and if you don't think you can spend 11 hours with Parker, get the paperback.
I'm not sure if it's the story or the performance, but I don't care what happens to these characters. Listening to the book is a way to pass the time, nothing more.
Tom Parker seems to pause for a second (or even two) between sentences. I like the story, and Tom's voice, but the pauses started driving me nutty.
Thankfully, Audible allows books to be returned so try giving it a read. Maybe it's just me.
I'd read the print version of this years ago, but found the audio a completely new and enthralling experience. Outstanding narrator and plot with great twists.
Professor of American and World History at a community college. Enjoys hard science fiction, space fantasy and space opera, fantasy, and historical narratives. Heck, I'll read anything once!
I have read to destruction at least three copies of Ringworld over the decades. It's one of the books on my "yearly treat" list--once a year, I re-read it for the sheer pleasure of it. Now, I have a copy I can't ruin as I read it!
The audio version has all the perks of the print version--excellent story, fascinating characters, a narrative that set a very high bar for most science fiction that followed--plus the twin virtues of being able to listen to it whenever I want (reading a book while driving is NEVER a good idea, but listening ...) AND the copy is indestructible.
I'll keep my printed copies safe for now and, instead, add this to my yearly listening playlist!
I continue to be impressed at the various characters Larry Niven manages to weave together, along with all the back-story of the Known Space series. The very fact of the Ringworld itself is one of the most memorable moments in the book--an artifact that can frighten even the mighty puppeteers!
Oddly enough, it's his enunciation and pronunciation that I am happiest with. Reading the words puts certain tones and audible-cues into your head, including the occasional mispronunciation. Parker's various characterizations are excellent (especially for Speaker and Nessus) as is his ability to pronounce names like Harloprillalar without stumbling!
I've read this book in a single afternoon many times. I actually enjoyed the slower pace brought about by listening to it. The trouble with re-reading a book you're familiar with is that you might skip past phrases, sentences, or even whole pages of "boring" material to get to the good stuff. Parker's rendition, combined with the simple length of audio vs. printed media, stretches out the book. It's not long, by modern standards, but as an audiobook it's riveting stuff!
The sequel is high on my list of Things To Purchase With My Next Credit. Of course, that list is LONG. :)
Yes. It is a classic piece. Fairly original concepts, most of the characters well developed. The several alien civilizations are well elaborated and fairly interesting. The plot is moving well.
The prison cell.
I was able to hear the difference between the characters as Tom was reading their lines.
No. But I finished it in 5 days.
The female characters are to a certain degree too shallow.
Fans of Ringworld will enjoy this audio production. For those that are not already aware of Ringworld - be prepared for an interesting world with aliens, a quest, and a discussion of politics and human nature that will leave you wondering not just about the characters on the future of them - but yourself. This is a book that anyone who reads Sci-Fi must read - and its only the beginning in a series of Ringworld books!