I read this little paperback book back in the 1980's which was still 30 years after Asimov wrote it. Today, another 30 years later, it is almost like time-traveling to experience the idioms and mores of a time long since passed. As a young man, a friend turned me on to The Foundation Trilogy which is not an uncommon way to be introduced to the Professor. In that massive book action was sparse and wrapped-up in all of the psycho-historical, psychological interplay between the characters. The details of a scene or of the thoughts driving an individual were so engrossing it was like it was played on a visi-sonor.
The Stars, Like Dust…, has a lot of the same attention to detail and intrigue that the larger, perhaps more famous tome wields but it also carries itself like the hero Biron Ferrill; trim and fit - ready for action. The Galactic Empire series fits sweetly between the Robot and Foundations series. There are some small details that drift but on the whole it is an amazing thing to imagine creating a story that spans millennia. RAH is the only other sci-fi master that I know of who accomplished anything similar. That probably only proves my ignorance. It helps a lot to have watched some television from that era while growing up to be able to parse the lexicon as well as the attitudes of the characters. Stephen Thorne lets it all trip off his tongue in a way that feels entirely natural to hear him say it.
However, there isn't much of a way the recording can be better or worse than the book. It is unabridged and so identical. Sometimes the performer can lend vocal characterizations to aid the story's flow. But sometimes it isn't even necessary. Like while reading, the mind fills in the faces and voices of the good guys, the bad guys, and the ones we just don't know about yet.
Now, with Audible's 2008 recording, the ability to take this story out of the "dust" on my bookshelves and with me as I go about my day, really lets me know that we are living in the future. There is nothing like sitting down or laying in a hammock and reading, but getting to head out and ride my bike while enjoying this gem from my youth on my Bluetooth headset? Well, I will be lying down for a long time soon enough. I am slowly but surely duplicating my sci-fi library in audio thanks to Audible.
Works done as dramatizations are always entertaining. Hearing the sizzle of a neuronic-whip or stun pistol can liven up a story. Frequently though that is when the books get edited down to something hardly recognizable. I do prefer the unabridged version in spite of anything a multi-cast version might bring. Mr. Thorne adeptly creates the sense of danger and urgency that the main character is experiencing throughout the story. His portrayal of Gilbert oth Hinriad is hilarious, or rather, "Quite Amusing." As our hero Biron confronts his supposed ally on a barren world, and the woman he loves but had to deny to spring his trap, runs out to rescue him with no adequate life support, it is very hard to not appreciate the melodrama. Ending the book with the rediscovery of the Preamble to the US Constitution was almost as melodramatic. Ya think this is where Star Trek got it - The Yangs and Kohns in The Omega Glory? Very similar.
The Stars, Like Dust… is what they used to call "Juvenile Fiction", but the place it holds in the Asimov Universe allows it to transcend its pulp origins and play its part in the circle that has no end in eternity.
Been downloading Audible.com books for more than a year now and this, to my amazement but true to the other reviews, was an amazing job of rendering this story to a dramatic performance. the story was fantasic and the bizarro, mirror-mirror universe is just the place for this to take place. Can't wait for a movie! Right?
Bronson Pinchot is a veritable genius and vocal virtuoso. Thanks to those who reviewed this before and promised the goods.
My friends are mostly
This is the second audio book by Richard Dawkins I have listened to. For me, what I found most memorable is the style or format that the author and his wife Lalla Ward use as they relate the content of the subject matter. Being familiar with the latter from her work in television, I almost can see her face and laugh when I hear the wry smile in her voice. Mr. Dawkins is as subtle in his reading as in his writing. The notes he hits as he turns a phrase or shares a quote from a contemporary or an opposite number are as clear as the logic he is trying to convey. If I had to pick the most memorable moment, I feel sure it would be while he talked about his professor. Mr. Dawkins tells of a teacher who had mistakenly taught for 15 years that a metabolic process does not and never did occur in some type bacteria or something and upon being shown that it does indeed occur approached the guest speaker in front of his own students and thanked him for the enlightenment. The author shared that at that moment all the class applauded the admission and further revealed that even today he stills finds a lump in his throat whenever he recalls the day. The point being that it is not vital for me to remember what creature did or did not have a doo-fletchee, it is the moment of truth when the teacher returns to being the student and is grateful for the chance to gladly jettison wrong data for new, corrected data.
Though it is a work of non-fiction, and characters are not entirely an actual part of the presentation, both of the readers' beautiful British accents lend themselves to erudite discussions. Neither reader bothers with too much with vocal characterization but as I said a moment ago, you can hear the joy or gravitas of the subject, or share the pity and compassion they feel for those to whom they wish to illustrate that reason not superstition ought to be the guiding principle.
I just want to invite the couple for dinner!
And now, for something completely logical.
It's no sin to be an Atheist
Losin' yer Delusion
Why God still hasn't bought you a Mercedes Benz
I have been on what I considered a
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