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.
As a Huge Fan of the following examples of humor...
- Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey
- Saturday Night Live
- Arrested Development
- It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
- the deadpan comedy of Steven Wright and Jim Gaffigan (whose humor has been compared to that of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts)
...I found this book entirely unfunny and stale. Unlike Deep Thoughts, this story is not funny in the least. I didn't crack a smile one time.
That is my opinion.
Even more than the great story and great techniques he shares, Neil's HONESTY is the best thing about this book. In spite of the amazing highs and fantastic adventures, Neil is brutally honest about the times when he fails, where he misses the mark, and the negative effects that sometimes ensue as well. That HONESTY and down-to-earth authenticity made the book the memorable read that it is.
Probably Do They Serve Beer In Hell, although this book is better.
Oh yeh. It took me a few days due to other responsibilities but yes one sitting given the time.
People who read Popular Mechanics. A huge portion of the book includes lengthy descriptions of the equipment and the work processes and the industrial environment in general in very technical language.
No, the premise was extremely good but the story failed to take off or develop. So many amazing directions this could have gone but it did not really go anywhere at all.
Someone who doesn't read with silly voices. The voices ruined the characters and made them melodramatic and corny. Amanda's normal reading voice is amazing, Grade A reader; but when she tries those voices of man not good.
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.
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