Aldous Huxley presents a world so... Sci-fi, it's hard to believe it was first released in 1932. It succeeds in providing a detailed picture of a world where genetic modification is the commonplace way to provide societal stability. We find ourselves outsiders to the morality and values that must be maintained to accept this way of life but I think it's ultimately less a question of right/wrong but more about the nature of humanity, the value of human life and individuality (and yes, our sense of right and wrong).
Where I feel this book falls short is in the enjoyability of the story. It has been a few years since I read it, so I can't be too detailed here but I definitely remember loving the book through the first half. As I drew near to the end, however, the story lost steam and I found myself trudging through the last chapters. When I finally got to the end, I just felt bad and had lost the enthusiasm for talking about the complex ideas presented by this futuristic society that seemed so interesting when I started.
I give it 3 stars. Good book not great. Not the kind of book that I'll probably read more than once.
Thankfully picked this book up as my first ever audible book. 22 books later, this still stands up as my favorite audio book.
Here's why you'll love it too:
1. The full-cast recording brings you into the story quickly (no stumbling through confusing fast paced explanations of ray-guns and wormholes like a lot of sci-fi books).
2. Frank Herbert gives us a fully realized and rich universe in which to follow this epic story of Paul Atreides' fulfilling a much foretold (but thinly sketched) destiny.
3. The audible version is the absolute best attempt to illustrate this story beyond the page. Forget everything you saw in David Lynch's 1984 film (however, it's ok to picture Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck).
3. As a sci-fi classic and a much beloved book (and at 21 hours long) it's a great value-pick for 1 credit on audible.
Not far into the book, I literally laughed out lout wearing my headphones in public and then had to nervously apologize. I embarrassed myself over a very brief description of the wind that I'm pretty sure I would've overlooked in written text yet the line was expertly delivered by Martin Freeman and it made Adam's comedy come alive to me.
There so many absurd elements driving this story, it takes you by surprise when everything seems to come together towards the end. This one picks up where Restaurant at the End of the Universe leaves off. Although there is a brief recap, you should probably make sure you've read that one first as it leaves the characters separated from each other and doesn't have much of a wrap-up.
Highly recommend this book, I didn't want to give any book a perfect score but I couldn't help it.
Such a memorable book but I almost gave up. I started this audio book several times and had a hard time "grabbing hold" of what was going on. Maybe it was a little "too sci-fi" for me or maybe Tom Parker just wasn't dynamic enough to help me picture it, but it was really hard to keep names, places, and all the future technologies sorted in my mind.
I persevered and was glad I did. The scale of the story is epic and I couldn't believe that when it was over, I immediately considered continuing with Niven's next book in the timeline.
It's that strange book that you can really enjoy but is still hard to recommend. Listen to the sample and if you don't think you can spend 11 hours with Parker, get the paperback.
After finishing the audio book, I thought it was pretty good, not great. But the performance (narration/timing and sound effects) really makes the story re-readable. Love that it's a story centered around characters in the star wars canon yet you wouldn't have to know much about the star wars universe to jump into the story. A mysterious non-sith "villain" and a very interesting setting for the climactic battle make it well worth a credit for fans of star wars or other works/games set in the old republic.
Yes, David Colacci's performance brought me into the story. His Illusive Man is perfect.
Got this book after enjoying Mass Effect: Retribution. Overall, I didn't enjoy it as much but is still worth it for fans of the games and the story does shed more light on the concept of biotic abilities. I haven't read the first book (revelation?) but this one ties in great with Retribution.
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