There is no performance, It's like he was a text to speech program. He would be fine for a technical journal but not for a novel. I sped up the reading (on an iPod) and this actually made it better because the pauses between words had a smaller impact and reading felt more fluid even with the distorted tone.
I'm not sure I can finish the book as it is. I hope they release a new reading of this novel with Scott Brick. He did a great job on the previous Foundation novels.
I would change the reader! He could have been a computer for all i know. He was very mechanical in his delivery, adding almost no emotion or inflection to help the story. Some of his pauses for paragraph or sentence structures were non existent which made it harder to follow and caused it to flow awkwardly.
Common acronyms like SETI can be read and as a word and don't need to be read out S-E-T-I each time.
The story itself was an interesting take on interstellar commerce with no physical contact.
The story was not very well thought through. Too many things left unexplained that leave it hollow. It felt like a teenagers fantasy dream where the story was predestined and things were left hanging to get to the story points.
Decent performance for a poor story
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