I have been trying to listen to this book, but have found the narrator to be an obstacle.His diction is clear, but he seems to have no understanding of what he's reading. Everything is read with the same militaristic inflection, like a drill sergeant reading boot-camp rules.
I think the narrator was perfect for this book. His narrative voice fit the tone and style of the story and his character voices were quite well done. He did a good job with accents and interpreting moods and vocal inflections from the text.
The story was interesting but took quite a long time to get to rolling. At times it seemed as though the authors had been writing separately or would edit the other writer's previously written paragraphs. There were occasions where it felt as though something was thrown in to remind the reader that "hey this is SCIENCE fiction". For example in describing an aspect of a naval ship's defense systems: "...an efficiency proportional to the cube of the incoming velocities..." was like stubbing your aural toe on a long walk.
The human race in this story felt as though they lived in an interstellar British Empire from a century or so past. As you go through the book you learn that there had been rises and falls in the human race and it made the social attitudes (and technological anachronisms) a bit more easy to understand. However, the humans all seemed to be conveniently ignorant, irrational, or simply foolish. Scientists making assumptions and drawing conclusions that made me grit my teeth. Military commanders making choices that no sane person would make. All of which allowed the story to progress of course. It took nearly the entire story for the humans to smarten up and within a very short period of time they figured everything out. The alien race felt overly intelligent. My greatest complaint is that they were able to pick up the human language and communicate without a flaw in a matter of months from a handful of people. The aliens lost their "alien-ness" early on.
In general I liked this story but everything about it seemed very contrived. Almost as if the authors were working on a puzzle; the picture was there they just had to make it all fit together.
I really enjoyed listening to The Mote in God's Eye; the story line still has relevance, and the first encounter scenario was well done. Worth a second listen!
I could not take the narrator's voice and style of reading for more than 10 minutes. My advice; listen carefully to the sample and decide if you can take that tone and style for 20 something hours.
As for the book itself, I can't tell. The narrator was an insurmountable roadblock to enjoying this book.
I read this as a teenager and thought it was great. Now I see - and hear - how repetitious and predictable it is.
[almost]All SciFi, all the time...
If you are into hard sci fi then this book is not for you. If you are into good narration, then this book is definitely not for you. He is terrible. His scottish accent is painful to hear.
Dan Simmons' Hyperion and Endymion blow this book away in my opinion.
Truck driving biker, former submariner in the Navy. Ex-bouncer and night club owner who loves a good read, and enjoys writing and art.
I love a good story, but did not enjoy this. I know it's supposed to be a classic by a master, but I was not impressed. The characters were thin and stereotypical. What should have been an intriguing story on first contact, had no excitement at all. It seemed more like a series of ideas, strung together by the thinnest of threads, than a well thought out story. I kept hoping it would get good, but sadly that did not happen.
I DIDNT READ THE BOOK SO I COULDNT REALLY RATE IT.
THE BOOK BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE SHACK"
I DIDNT READ LTHE BOOK BECAUSE I ORDERED IT IN ERROR
Niven has given us some really good sci-fi stories, but for me, this was not one of them. A little too "juvenile" and superficial, not at all "believable" plot. The "starring" characters are unbelievably inept and dense. I was really disappointed. I felt like I was in the 60's again.
Not at all.
I prefer books read by the author to any professional reader. No matter how bad the author is as a reader.
All of them.
I know the book was nominated for all the awards ,and I've read all the reviews about how great it is. But I just didn't see it.
Some of my favorite science fiction is pretty dated, but I think the problem with this book is the stereotypes --- male (the bread winner) versus female (only interested in marriage and family), military (totally distrusting) versus scientist (totally distrusting), nobility (so worthy and responsible) versus not (jealous of/intimidated by the nobility), even engineers being Scottish (I kid you not!), etc. And some of the character motivations were really hard to understand (more below, but contains spoilers).
It would be fun to explore the alien culture described in this book. I don't feel that it was well explained, and I think the story focused too much on one aspect which was not as well justified as I would have liked.
The narration sometimes used accents and voices, but I still had a lot of trouble telling the characters apart. Part was the story itself, but I think some narrators do a better job of giving the characters more distinction.
I considered stopping time and time again. I listened until the bitter end, but it really wasn't worth it.
--- Spoilers Follow ---
(Mild Spoiler) Early in the book, the single female character is rescued from a prison camp. She initially quite withdrawn but eventually recovers (we're not entirely sure why) and it's never referred to again that I can recall. It's not cited as motivation for later actions.
(Big Spoiler) And don't even get me started on the way that everyone seems to implicitly trust the aliens. Argh. Why???
(Small Spoiler) And how can non-intelligent aliens do more than the smartest humans? Makes no sense to me!
(Ironic Spoiler) It's funny that the book was so sexist and yet simultaneously paid homage to birth control (though proper ladies don't resort to that, of course).