I really liked this, and it goes well with thoughts of an open society, complementing work by Cory Doctorow, and continuing on the tangent of cultural progress seen in Make, Boing Boing, and slashDot.
In an almost Dr. Who style, Hamilton extends the evolution of human kind to the point where they are no longer human. The book is excellent in its imagination, scope and technological expanse. In his style he develops in several plot lines and brings them together in a beautifully knotted world. His eventual references to the Common Wealth series is tasteful, and is a well done way to show the change in scope of the two series. The narrator is a pleasant voice and does an excellent job of conveying the story. The abrupt ending of the book, as well, smacks of a Dr. Who plot line, leaving the reader/listener with mental blue-balls.. but that is just a testament to how enticing the story is!
Since starting this book the world has taken on new forms. My Canadian/British background, spanish friends, building architecture at city hall, current world events, and scientific studies, all have taken on new meaning. Contrasted to a culture that has a memory of six months, this wonderful summary of world events changes the focus of ones attention. This book should be required reading for every person. The long legacy of human history is inspiring. Our daily lives become less of a burden when it is plain to see that even the greatest of people, from the pope, to kings, thinkers, and emperors are, in the end, no more then a line of text.
In terms of the length of the book, which is notable (and has allowed me to accumulate two more credits on my account) you really need to have a daily routine where you can listen for an hour or so. I take my dogs for a walk at night time, and find the slow progress of human history perfect accompaniment. The sound quality is not spectacular, but the voice is smooth, and well paced; but this all helps to allow the mind to create its own colour.
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