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Joel

Columbia, MD, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • Brain Wave

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    For millions of years, the part of the galaxy containing our solar system has been moving through a vast force field that has been inhibiting certain electromagnetic and electrochemical processes and, thus, certain neurotic functions. When Earth escapes the inhibiting field, synapse speed immediately increases, causing a rise in intelligence, which results in a transfigured humanity reaching for the stars, leaving behind our earth to the less intelligent humans and animal life-forms.

    Joel D Offenberg says: "Interesting "what if..." and speculation about us"
    "Interesting "what if..." and speculation about us"
    Overall

    This is an interesting speculative work about "what if...humans suddenly became much, much smarter all at once?" It takes us some pretty interesting places, although I'm not sure I agree with all of the author's conclusions.

    The plot is pretty simple: One day, something happens to the laws of physics and nerve cells suddenly become more efficient. Humans (and, as we see, other animals as well) become much more quick-witted and intelligent. What happens to society? There are several parallel threads, the main ones being the story of Dr. Peter Corinth, physicist and that of Archie Brock, farm-hand.

    It was written in the 1950's and there are some attitudes about the role of women in society (especially Peter Corinth's wife) and how some of our society is based around the idea that very smart people are unwilling to do some menial and tedious (but essential) jobs. (This concept is also explored in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.) It also examines what it means to be "human" and what happens when not only the people but the animals become brainier.

    Bottom line, and interesting thought piece.

    Oh, and I like Tom Weiner's narration....he does a good job with this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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