A kind of "holocaust lit", this story has humor, character, and imagination. It has a scope of history. It is NOT preachy, though some characters are "orthodox" in their beliefs, though at the same time, they are likable and symapathetic. The author invites the reader to think deeply about the meaning of life, what one does with one's life. Are there any "absolute" answers to these questions? How much does one's point of view influence one's answers to these questions, one's ideas and choices - Am I a novice? An abbot? A poet? A king? A scientist? An inventor? An artist? A warrior? You do not have to be Episcopalian or Catholic to get some of the references... However, I think being Episcopalian gave me a foundation of understanding for some of the theological notions. Having taken some basic Latin in High School, gave me a sense for the beauty, and some of the meaning, when the characters intoned in Latin. This could make an amazing film in the hands of the right screenwriter and director. Like Nevil Shute's "On the Beach", this book will probably call to me again, to examine these eternal questions.
A thought-provoking exploration of mankind's hubris and his struggles to overcome it. Through well-developed, 3-dimensional characters that space nearly 2,000 years, the author tells a story of the rise and fall of man, who seems unable to break free from the endless cycle of rebirth and doom he created for himself. An interesting look at spiritualism and man's love-hate relationship with God. The author lightens the overall sense of tragedy and what some may see as purposeless struggle with well-placed humor and ultimately with the hope that indeed man can learn to overcome self-destruction and find innocence again. The narrator does an excellent job and definitely enhanced the experience of this book for me. I recommend this book to anyone who loved "Earth Abides" and "Childhood's End."
I tried, I really did. I think it might be a better book to read. I did not like the narrator, but usually I can get over that. it was just dull.
I've had this book on my shelves for ages... decades... I love Latin (spent many years studying it) and had the best intentions to read the story. never had time... finally the audiobook gave me the chance.
if you don't know Latin, some of the untranslated phrases can be lost: much easier to ascertain the cognates when read. The performance was good, as was the Latin pronunciation. The dramatic singing could have been professionally done or left as recited. B+ book.
One of my favorite sf books 35 years ago. I found the story came across somewhat disjointed as an audiobook. Perhaps my tastes have changed but I did find transitions in the audiobook to be disorienting.
No, they are both great and worth reading/listening to. This is a different and highly pleasurable experience, particularly since the narration is fantastic.
Any number of Heinlein's books would do, or the original Frank Herbert Dune books (not the trash spewed by his son). I love science fiction; it is my favorite genre, but let's face it, there is so much trash, which can often be fun and entertaining, but is not great literature. This IS great literature and the proof is in the pudding. This book was written in the early 60's. I read it probably over 40 years ago. It is as good today as when I first read it, and I suspect someone reading it a 100 years from now will feel the same way about it.
I have come to the conclusion that audio books depend heavily on the narrator to bring out the heart of the book. Not all narrators can do this and not all are compatible with the book they are reading/performing. Mr. Weiner is a perfect fit for this book. He brings it to life and I so much enjoyed listening to him do so.
It took me back in time in my own life. If there are any drawbacks to young readers listening to this audio book, it is that they do not have a feel for the atmosphere and background of the era when the book was written. Not that I believe this will detract from their enjoyment of it, but it will be a different experience for them, which is how it should be.
Confusing story. I missed that the book time shifts 600 years into the future - twice. I understood that the story moved ahead, but 600 years!? I think part of the confusion is the narrator's limited character voices, so it sounds like the exact same people in the different eras. After reading reviews on Goodreads I understood and liked the book much more.
This is not the best way to read this classic of science fiction, I think.