I would have given five stars, but an abrdiged version would be worthwhile and the narrator's over emphasised Bostonian accent is annoying at times. Also the author's style of describing himself in the third person is annoying, but I seemed to get used to by about a third of the way through. That said: Absolutely mind bending in breadth and insight. An absolutely defining work of non fiction literature for the last 300 years. It is leading me on to so many areas. If you like science and you find the early chapters boring, cut to the third part of the book. His take on the effect of the scientific revolution of the 1800s and it's impact on human civilisation and the planet is without parallel. If you are fascinated by the American Civil War and Europe's part in it, stay with the beginning in to the middle. If you like to see politicians made fun of as they should be, just stay with the whole thing. If you find yourself in a people group he makes fun of or insults, don't stop reading. He covers everyone eventually, especially himself. A masterpiece of humanity.
It's a great book, and very enjoyable and interesting. I have always been fond of Agassi whenever I've seen him interviewed. And his and Steffi's is a great love story. The obscene language could so easily been handled by saying things like "effin" instead of the real words, and there is much worse. On audio you couls always bleep! Some of us get offended by such things. I don't think Andre will be so proud when he has grandchildren ( he probably wont mature fast enough to think about it for his own kids) and wouls like them to read the book.
Someone I don't know all that well was raving about this author, so I thought I would give him ago, especially after reading the other reviews. But although there are some original ideas, it's basically, a fairly predictable science fiction soap opera. Like watching B grade movies on TV if you're bored, it's Ok to listen to if your stuck with nothing else better. I was hoping it might come close to other Sci Fi greats like, the Enders Game series, or some Asimov (the Police Detective guy things), Dune (but not it's sequels), Philip Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electri Sheep) or Rama by Arthur C Clarke. But no unfortunately. This author's hang up about sex, although not getting in the way of the book too much, is pretty weird, as some other review writer said. In fact Sci Fi writers seem pretty messed up in this area except for Orson Scott Card, which is why the Ender's Game series is the best (especially Speaker for the Dead, the second book). The Narration is good but not fantastic.
Yes, it is a very unusual book. Yes, it comes from a Christian worldview perspective, but it also clearly states that God may be revealing himself in other religions. Yes, the author is not the best writer in the world. What he dose do successfully is take a lot of the great ideas from C.S. Lewis (and others) and try and deconstruct them into metaphors that us "dumbed down" 21st century people might grasp better, than when we try and read the "Problem of pain" and "Miracles". Warning! For those of us who have been through immense personal tragedy, the first quarter of the book, all about Missy's abduction and murder are terribly painful. But Young is trying to show he has earned the right to share the things he puts in the book. The Narration is good. I saw somewhere that Eugene Petersen (Author of the Bible paraphrase translation, "The Message") thinks it may be as influential and long lasting as Pilgrim's Progress, and I agree. I will be buying a case to give away.
This is a very unique style of book. A suspenseful, interesting science fiction tale. The characters are very two dimensional and predictable, but it's a story about scientific ideas, with a world constructed using the modern day levels of physics and engineering. Hard to put in any genre really. If you enjoyed the Apollo space missions, and the landing on the moon, and dream about similar human trips to other planets, you'll really enjoy this book. As seems the usual pattern with these spoken books, the narrators voice very slowly picks up speed and more interesting tones as the book proceeds, to help build the intensity. So, though a little slow early on, the narration doesn't get in the way of the book. (Except for us Australians, perhaps, because the accent isn't very good of the lead Australian character, and is quite annoying to someone from the true land downunder!)
This book is the first part of an astounding series of four books; Ender's game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Although interesting, deep and often fun in itself, Ender's Game serves a greater role of introducing the child Andrew Wiggan, his sister and brother Valentine and Peter, and the concept of another rational (the books use "sentient") Alien Species, known unaffectionately as "The Buggers". Ender is a sensitive but brilliant young boy whose combination of intelligence and desperateness for survival, and extraordinary empathy make him invincible in any setting, physical attack, mind games whatever. And hence set him up to be the potential saviour of the the human race in their war to the death against the Buggers. But this book is really a lot like "The Hobbit" is to "Lord of the Rings", and establishes characters who are in the later books a vehicle for astounding ideas and insights ranging across science fiction, physics, religion, psychology, romance, courage and self sacrifice. With a few small tussles between good and evil thrown in. I feel certain that in 100 yrs after their writing these books will be considered a pinnacle of a style of literary creation. Get listening ...
After the first two books I found this disappointing, although there is a fantastic twist at the end, that the autor has been keeping you hanging out for. But a bit disappointing as there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sex and also some obsession with toilets (personals). Asimov must have been going through an "funny" phase of his life. The unhealthy attitude and obsession to sex would stop me recommending this book to anyone. I was stuck on a long trip without an alternative to listen to and interested in the culmination of the Elijah Bailey tale, but was tempted several times to "ditch" it. Narration magnificent
I wanted to give it six stars but needed to take half off because of the very occasional bad language and graphic description of human injury that make it not suitable for less than teens. A wonderful rollercoaster ride of a story that you know has a happy ending. AND IT'S A TRUE STORY! Fascinating insights into the US Marine Corp of which I now have a great respect for (I am an Australian, non military). The narration was perfect. I'm very glad that this book was written, and that the audio was made. Very unlikely to disappoint anyone.
A very short, intense excellent science fiction story. The author (like the guy who wrote Dune) was much affected by the types of behavior of individuals and groups played out in the atrocities of WWII. Apparently the movie Blade Runner was based on this, but only uses the main idea and has none of the psychological depth. The author plays fascinating mind games about differences between humans, animals and humanoid machines with higher than human intelligence. There are a female and male narrator and they speak quite fast. The male voice is quite boring at the beginning but becomes much more interesting as the book goes on (not sure how or why that happens). It was so engaging I ended up listening to the whole thing in only two sittings.
I downloaded this because I enjoyed Winter Solstice by the same author. This book however was written much earlier in her career and was originally a series in a woman's magazine (Not always a bad thing, apparently DUNE was originally published in serial form). Hence there is a lack of the whole thing hanging together well, also there is too much stereotypic female thinking, which put this male reader off. The open acceptance of immorality with a failure for people to accept the consequences of their own choices and the effect that has on others is disturbing. This was also present a little in Winter's Solstice but the rest was so good it didn't detract. For men interested in learning the type of books and way of thinking that many women of middle age love, it is instructive. But even for that purpose I couldn't stick with it. The Narrator was good.
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