The premise/mystery about the monument makers was the most intriguing part. I was hoping he was going to play off that more, but instead the focus of the story just became the cheap thrill of whether or not they would make it off the planet in time. I'd expect something that mundane to be maybe a climactic end to a chapter, but not the main focus of the book.
The narratation was terribly annoying. He has a nice voice, but feels the need to draw out every final vowel in each sentence to sound dramatic. Yikes. Make sure you listen to the sample to be sure you can put up with this before buying it.
No. The story could have easily been told in 6 hours, but was instead drawn out into 27 long hours. The way the story was told would be similar to sitting down and telling somebody every last detail of everything you did today, including how you had to look for your car keys in your bag, how many voice mails you had (with a review in detail of each, one by one), who you passed on hall on the way to your office, which stairs you took to go visit a colleague, etc., etc., then telling them what you do at the end of the day tomorrow, when about 80% of it is the same as what you did today. Repeat for 27 hours. Yes, I get that this method of storytelling is a relevant metaphor, but it does not merit taking so many hours upon hours to relay this.
The story itself, while being an interesting topic, lacked a solid punch at the end. The big discovery the protagonist makes seems rather obvious and uncreative. The ending was a little too sugar-sweet and happy. Definitely not one of the more interesting reads I've had here. It sure beat "14" at least, but that's not saying much!
I will say that the narrator was excellent.
I was banking on the fact that this was being advertised as a popular item on Audible, but was sadly disappointed. The character development was was shallow and the storyline boring. It was not until the very end that some interesting things finally started to happen, and it suddenly went from painfully mundane to ridiculously far-fetched.
Ironically, the reader (whom I love) also read Tim Ferris' Four-Hour Workweek, and I kept thinking back to one line where he talks about NOT wasting your time reading a crappy book just so you can feel a sense of accomplishment in having completed it. I should have taken his advice on this one.
I do think it might be suitable as an adolescent "my first sci-fi" book kind of novel (though I think there was a fair amount of profanity and some sexual content). But it lacks sufficient intellectual flavor for the average adult to sink his or her teeth into.
Interesting premise, but the plot and dialog were so simple that if it weren't for all the sexual allusions, I would have thought that the book was written for middle school kids. The plot seemed to follow a very cookie-cutter-style flow, and the conclusion wrapped up as happy-ever-after as a Brady Bunch episode. Too sexual for kids, too uninteresting for adults.
This book combines excellent character development, a fantastic premise, an interesting story and excellent hard modern science for an amazing read. I downloaded it just three days ago and have already listened to it twice. I also loved that there are a few open ideas/questions as the end for the reader to ponder, instead presenting an answer to every last question/unknown presented in the story. I also found the narrator to be easy to listen to, with an unaffected voice that also distinguished well among different characters. I've been waiting to hear some good SciFi about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and this certainly fulfills my expectations with a work that is fun and exciting.
The premise is excellent, as would be expected from Clarke. The fact that unlike Clarke's classics, this was written in much more rencent times, he includes a slew of current scientific ideas that will tickle the imaginations of hard sci-fi fans. I was disappointed, however, by the reader. He does not seem capable of varying his voice enough to create separate voices for each character. He instead tries to rely upon his poor foreign accents, assigning a horrendously stereotypical regional or foreign accent to each character. Some of them are so aweful (like his hideous attempts at US regional accents) that it really detracted from the wonderful writing of the book. I guess I've been spoiled by Lloyd James (amazingly talented narrator of a number of superb Heinlein books available here -- check them out!!).
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