I found this an enjoyable listen over all, however the writing style is quaint, highly embellished and somewhat stilted to 21st century ears. In fact, I can't believe people actually spoke like that in the 30's. The narrator does an excellent job of interpreting it, reflecting the formal tone but embellishing with good characterisation. The formality of the narrator's tone took some getting used to it, but once I realised it reflected the writing style, I appreciated it far more.
The science is quite outdated - pre-space travel and pre-nuclear trying to imagine both. It must have been thrilling when it was written and while even to layman's ears is obviously wrong, it doesn't detract from the story and the search for a suitable casement for the nuclear reactor adds to the tension. A novel set in the 21st century would be very different, but probably wouldn't have the same drama as technology would be at hand to overcome many of the obstacles. The 1930's, however, provides a far more challenging and thus interesting setting.
I'm looking forward to the sequel.
The author made me feel like this could really happen
The battle with the outsiders at the compound
The flooding of New York
The description of the Bronson bodies- terrible & beautiful
The characters were interesting and believable, it really made me think of what mankind would do with the opportunity to completely start over.
Harry Turtledove fan
Yes. Kinda old fashioned and real good performance.
When they launch the rocket to kill the attackers
Yes. deeply touching.
Not every good novel is been written in our lifetime, obviously. Here is one of the most enjoyable science fiction novels ever written, and it was written in the early 1930s! Other reviewers have mentioned that its science is bad and that it is a bit too "Buck Rogers" or "Flash Gordon." Regardless, allowing for when it was written, this wonderful book shines through with a remarkable, enduring story that is full of suspense and adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which also benefits from an excellent narration by Peter Ganim. The story is the thing - even in an age when readers and viewers demand cutting edge science and technology even from their fiction. This story, though dated, excels. It is, without a doubt, one of the best end-of-the-world novels ever written.
Not a complete waste of time in that I enjoy end of the world stories, but I had several "eye roll" moments and head shaking through out the book due to the sexism, racism and classism that were treated and presented as normal.
I might, if they like end of the world type books. I would warn them of the sexism, racism and classism to prepare them and then let them decide for themselves.
I thought Ganim did a great job, not too overly dramatic, but with enough inflection to impart emotions. He read women without the annoying nasal voice that many readers use for women.
Maybe, if they updated the science and cut out the sexist, racist and class prejudice. Actually, they have made updated movies on this theme, and I did enjoy them.
I really found the blatant sexism, racism and classism annoying. Our main character hero, Tony, feels entitled to OWN his love interest, and thinks/talks/behaves really angry and jealous when he can't have her as he is due. Tony (and therefore our authors) describe this love interest, Eve, as possessing an intellect "as good as a man's" unlike other women. At least she had a mind and used it (at the behest and direction of her father, of course) but it was more than I expected from a book pulished so long ago. Our hero Tony also has a "Jap" servant (actually called a Jap servant) named Keto who speaks in pidgin english, brings him coffee, answers the phone, all as directed of course, and gets ordered around and is described as being unable to comprehend what is going on, relying on Tony to fill in everything for him. And, Tony, is described as having a bearing of the class, wealth and breeding of all the high class generations behind him.
I had great difficulty relating to the people and culture because of this. I had mixed feelings ranging from annoyance to distaste to anger, and kept trying to remind myself of when this book was written. But, when it wasn't written, wasn't a sufficiant excuse for me to ignore and not care about the portrayals of women and non-white people, and I'm finding it difficult to accept that other readers can just ignore it.
This book, written prior to World War II, presents a quite dated look at the end of the world. A pair of runaway planets are on a collision course with earth. The world is doomed--but humanity might have a chance to survive, if the best and brightest minds in the scientific world can succeed in building a spaceship to take a few lucky pioneers to resettle on one of the approaching planets.
Without question, this book was ahead of its time in a number of respects. The description of space travel, for example, is remarkable, given that the book was written more than a decade before the earliest high-atmosphere rocket launches. Likewise, the use of atomic energy in the book predates the actual use of fission power by a number of years. The apocalyptic genre is similarly prescient; nowadays, this kind of book is everywhere, but in the 1930s, prior to the doom-and-gloom days of the Cold War, the end of the world was not something too many people were writing about.
The writing quality, narrative style, and characterizations all betray the book's age. One glaring example of this is the main character, who is horribly sexist, bordering on misogynistic, and this is portrayed as perfectly normal and acceptable. This is doubtless a fairly accurate depiction of society's view of women at the time, but it's distracting nonetheless. I found myself rolling my eyes at least once a chapter.
The almost monotonous reading does not help matters. Peter Ganim is at his best when speaking in the accented voices of scientists from South Africa and France, but most of the time his reading is less than compelling.
The story itself is pretty good, particularly the imaginative natural-disaster scenarios that play out as the planets approach earth. As "modern" society descends into chaos, only the strongest and smartest survive, and the authors did a good job of showing what that might look like.
When Worlds Collide is a worth listening to if you enjoy science fiction, particularly early science fiction. It's not exactly on a level with Ray Bradbury, but it's a good story and will hold your interest. Recommended without much enthusiasm, but recommended nevertheless.
Avid scifi fan since I was a kid.
I love this novel. but I have to say that Peter Ganim's narration was just horrible. He reads it in an overly dramatic style that turns a great story into a corny piece of junk.
I recommend reading the book and skipping the audio version. Same with the sequel "After worlds Collide"
the world's fastest fat man
I like stories which have a lot of 'what ifs' stories which make me wonder what would I do, how would I feel if that was happen
The ending is great and makes it difficult for me to decide to buy the follow up story. I don't want to ruin it for myself!
He certainly did a good job reading it, the style and the wording in the book must have made it difficult at times for him. Peter Ganim is not my favorite narrator but that does not mean he is terrible!
It certainly resparked my interest in the genre of the book again. But no emotional response to make me laugh out loud or cry.
It was interesting listening to a book written so many years ago in regards to space travel and commentary on future life and culture
remove, burn, stomp up and down upon the silly little love story.
no. the narrator sounded a bit like scott brick. monotone and serious. but somehow not as engaging. (inasmuch as one can be engaging when speaking in a monotone)
Some very old and unfashionable attitudes come in bold face in this little adventure.
Written in 1932, the protagonist's Japanese manservant is repeatedly referred to as ''the little jap''.
At one point a great leader ''wept like a woman'' explains the narrator in a vaguely disgusted tone.
When you consider that this book is 80 years old, it's surprisingly good. The descriptions of what might be like after a close encounter with a wandering planet, are imaginative and well thought out. But I wouldn't listen a second time. If you can get it in the bargain bin, yeah, give 'er a spin.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
What a Concept!!
THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING UP IN SCIENCE.
Scientists spot two rogue planets in the outer solar system, heading toward Earth. The planets are going to enter our orbit. One planet is earth like and the other is a massive giant. The giant will hit and destroy our moon and eight months later hit and destroy Earth. At first the general public does not believe it, but they will soon find out.
GIVE ME 5 CENTS FOR A CUP OF COFFEE.
Written in the early thirties this is very dated. It is also written in that style. The first couple of chapters are like, Hey we know something really important, but let's build up the suspense first, then we will tell you and not until then. Their are like two parts of the book. The science part I love, which is rogue planets, frozen atmospheres, apocalyptic events, etc...
The Other Part
What was annoying was the main character Tony. He is a big cry baby and super melodramatic. He whines to his girlfriend constantly. His girlfriend of three years, who gives him a kiss once a year at Christmas. He is way into her, but she don't seem to be too much in to him. At one point he is upset cause their are more men then women going to colonize another planet and he may have to share her. He is very upset about that. Later they have a battle and several men die and now there are more women then men and he may have to procreate with several women. That is alright by him.
I gave the story three stars because of the melodrama, but the concept of the story makes it worth listening to. I also want to listen to After Worlds Collide, when they explore the new planet.