My favorite book, written by one of my favorite people (Carl Sagan).
I am writing this review to mainly focus on the major differences between the movie and the book.The book follows the same basic plot as the movie, but with a few exceptions (SPOILER ALERT):
- Ellie's mother is not dead, as in the movie. While Ellie's father passes away, her mother is around throughout her childhood and her adult life.
- Ellie and her stepfather (also not present in the movie) have a strained and reoccurring relationship throughout the book.
- Ellie's childhood, teenage years, and early graduate and internship years are described in a more detail.
- The President of USA has a more prominent, reoccurring role, and is female.
- Ellie has many romantic relationships (i.e., sexual relationships with a lab assistant early in her career, and then with Kent the Russian Scientist later in her career; and sexual tension with Drummond and then to an even greater degree with Vagay), albeit not with Palmer Joss who is the one individual she does have a romantic relationship with in the movie.
- Three machines, not two, are constructed (i.e., in the USA, Japan, and Russia). This was interesting because by the time the story concludes only two machines have been used (or should I say, one has been destroyed and one has been used and possibly is not able to be used again), with the machine in Russia still unused.
- Ellie is not the only individual who makes the trips; several delegates make the trip with her and have their own unique experiences.
- The conversation Ellie has with the alien is much, much more detailed and extensive, and for me was a real highlight of the story.
- Following her voyage in the machine, Ellie learns something interesting about the number for "pi" (i.e., 3.14...) that provides an interesting twist at the conclusion of the story.
In summary, excellent book, and not only because of the writing but due to the narrator's great performance as well. Lefkow did an outstanding job as a true Voice Actor. Most of the supporting characters are male and the narrator (female) did a superb job rising to the challenge of voice acting each male character without sounding odd or goofy.
Gaiman phoned in the narration and the story wasn't that good either. I like other books by him that I have read/listened to, so this was a surprising let down.
The book is one of the most inspiring books I've read. I read most of this book, then became short on time and finished it with this audio version.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with the politics in the book, this books' characters and their resilience will inspire all. It was a life-changing read for me, to be honest.
The narrator's tone and interpretation were excellent and fit the material well.
This was one of the best books I have ever "read". Some have compared the writing to poetry of Biblical proportions. I would say that that genius is readily apparent.
Content-wise, the material is extremely dark and graphic, however, not for the purpose of shocking. There is a respectable honesty and maturity all the way through.
The narrator's gritty tone was perfect for the material.
The hard science discourses and tension that was building seemed a bit long winded for me, considering the payoff was not that grand at the end. The narrator was excellent.
Prebble was an excellent narrator. However, while the first half of the book is some of the best fiction I've ever read, the second half sputtered to a halt and finally concluded in a pathetic denoument. Oh well, the first half was so good that in my opinion the book still deserves 4 stars at least!
Narrator makes the listen unenjoyable. The book itself is very good.
Sounds overacted. Needs to just read, and talk conversationally.
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is one of my favorite books of all time. The philosophy and story are at once complex and exhilarating, and have managed to inspire not only fans but generations of 'believers'. As an accompaniment to that book, I cannot recommend Bioshock: Rapture highly enough.Bioshock: Rapture has similar characters and themes to Rand's classic, albeit the author attempts to illustrate the dark side of how it would be possible for Rand's utopia, if it actually existed, to not work as she so eloquently depicts. And he provides many believable storylines and character developments to illustrate this.The story AS WELL AS the philosophy are very, very good. I will add that the first half was the best part, in my opinion, as the second half seemed to lose momentum and focus. But it was still a great ride.And I'll add that this book did not make me resign all of my affection for Rand's writings, rather, it provided a smart balance to the worldview. Yes, the book is based on a video game, and yes, it has some eccentric sci-fi elements as well, but what the author did with the material is just a few hairs short of what Rand did with books like Atlas Shrugged, and I consider that a surprising and wonderful achievement.The narrator was pretty good, he adopted a "film noir" tone that works for the material and the time period in which the material takes place.
I'm only 45 minutes into hearing this book, however, it has become an absolute chore for listening.
Thus far, the book is for me like a face that someone attempted to apply makeup to, but they went far overboard ending in clutter and mess and mascaraey chaos. Metaphors and clever descriptions are good, don't get me wrong (e.g., Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors). But the tangle of adjectives and metaphors in this book so far is a sheer clutteration to the senses.
It sounds like incomprehensible poetry versus like a good, solid story.
I'm going to give it a little longer, fingers crossed that something changes and finds me returning to this review to upgrade this rating.
Try a little less.
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