I figured out that if you listen to this whole four book series you are looking at about 96 hours of audio. If that sounds daunting, it is, but when every loose end is neatly tied up at the end of this last book it is worth it. This is an epic of science fiction storytelling and the narration is awesome.
...it might be worth your credit. I spent a lot of time thinking "this is an awesome idea" but the implementation is lacking. Specifically (and possibly spoiler-ish) I got the impression that if I were writing the same story, I wouldn't have represented the Internet in such a linear, geometric, symbolic way -- lines and boxes. Albeit I don't know what he's got planned for the next books, I think Sawyer could have added a whole other level of abstraction (engaging the creative imaginative parts of the mind, for example) to the way the protagonists interpreted things -- visually -- and it would have added something, otherwise ineffable, to the story.
I enjoyed it despite the flat, emotion-less characters. The ideas and the story itself are very enjoyable.
I read this book a couple years ago. Maybe it was because I hadn't read the first two in the series -- though the novel is supposed to stand on its own -- but I never really followed the story, despite pressing though the dead-tree version. Had I not so thoroughly enjoyed books one and two I may never have revisited this incredible story. I'm glad I did. And the narration gives it a depth that brings the story to life.
I was driving down the highway when I listened to the last couple hours of this book. I had fully intended to give the story a break and listen to something else in between. But I had the third book, Endymion, ready on my iPod and the conclusion to this one, the second of the series, was so gripping I couldn't help but keep going.
I was a little disappointed about the change of storytelling format, particularly after book one, but quickly got over it. It doesn't really stand on its own though, so read Hyperion first.
A lot to think about, though I might need to buy a paper copy to check out some of the references. Although admittedly, listening to these ideas made me a little depressed...
A quick listen, I got through the whole thing on a short road-trip. The narration suits the mood very well, the readers gruff voice bringing Neville to life and building the suspense of the story. I've never seen the movie (as some others have mentioned) but I've heard this original story has a much more interesting philosophical twist at the end and makes for a much darker and more interesting conclusion.
A fast-paced story with an interesting premise, the Neanderthal Parallax (set largely in Canada... Huzzah!) is an easy and engaging read. The narrator of the audio version brings the characters to life well, and the hours pass quickly. My choice to give it four stars is only in comparison to the first book in the series, but all three are definitely recommended.
...I thought I'd try something different for a change. I saw the movie more than a decade ago and it has stuck with me and the book is amazing. The audiobook version is superbly done, the narrator brings each character to life with perfection. This is one of the best recordings I've listened to in a long time. Highly recommended.
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