charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2012
The best part is the zany world that Chalker has created. It's sci-fi, fantasy and a mind boggling display of creates and world building. Amazing.
I can only compare this to other Chalker books. He is a very unique author. I can only remotely compare him to John Varley in terms of his imagination and scope of the worlds he creates. Some readers might not like him though. He sometimes provides alot of detail on items that never come into play. That doesn't both me. To immerse yourself in Chalker is to take a leap into the unknown. Its escapist entertainment at its best.
He really grew on me. In the first Well World book I thought he was so droll I would fall asleep. Then I realized he was playing many characters and that droll delivery was the narrator, so it was at some level comforting. I think he did a fantastic job and would not trade his performance with anyone.
Interesting. This book was one where i did. I drove a long distance and listened to to at once. It was fun.
There is something about Chalker that harkens back to a time in Sci Fi that was not dependent on snappy plots or fighting/action. He builds complex worlds that are intent on opening your imagination up to new ideas...some of which are philosophical and some are decidedly not. I wish Audible would make the entire Well World Series available, if you read this review let them know! I have....
Science Fiction Masterpiece
Several things....First it is complex with at least 8 different story lines running parallel and inter-weaving with each other. This makes the narrative interesting and requires a level of attention that engrosses the reader into the Commonwealth Universe. Second, Hamilton's writing style is very straightforward, which supports a style where the narrative is the star. And finally it combines hard science, politics, detailed description, action, interpersonal relationships and philosophy. Similar in sweep to Dan Simmons's Hyperion Series but more straightforward in terms of exposition.
Great job, A plus. At times some of the characters sounded similar and I have to make sure I was keeping track. However with this many characters I am not sure how he could give each one a memorable voice. There must be at least 50 characters within the 8 stories. He does a great job.
Impossible but I have one minor quibble. Within a chapter there may be 4 separate story lines. Audible should have taken a 5 second pause between these. It requires additional attention to make sure you are shifting your attention from the Ozzie narrative to the Second chance narrative (for example). This is not a show stopper but listeners should be aware so they don't get confused.
I am hooked. I will finish this series, but I realize its a lot. Possibly the best contemporary Sci Fi I have read/listened to date. I was initially scared off by the size of this book thinking it must be over bloated. Boy, was I wrong. This is a complex interesting story that entertained me for hours on end. I cannot wait to get to the rest of the series. Great stuff.
Probably. Audible does a great job here. I have not read the book, but his might be a good example where the audible version is better than the print version.
I could say the lead character. I found him engaging and interesting. He reminded me of the primary character in the Ursula LeGuin book, The Dispossessed. He had a sanguine approach to the difficulties he was faced, yet did so with courage. I wonder if Sawyer was influenced at all by LeGuin.
I had not read Sawyer before and I think many readers will enjoy him. The story is fast paced and elements of it were like a TV show or movie. The narrator did a great job conveying this sense of action and kept the story moving.
Portions of the book reminded me of Asimov and "The God's Themselves". This story and Hominid is essentially a backdrop for a discussion of quantum mechanics and elements of string theory. I found this interesting. The hard science elements of this book were not over wrought, and made it intelligent writing on many levels.
Sawyer is a popular author and far be it from me to criticize him. At times I felt like the book was careening to a climax, something which I find to be a contrivance in a lot of current science fiction. My guess is the modern reader compares these types of stories to TV and will be bored., I my opinion it felt a bit rushed. A considerable amount happened in a short span of time. So the net here for the reader considering this book is if you like a story that is terrific, fast paced and non-stop you will be rewarded. If you like a story that provides backdrop, characterization and more depth this might not be right for you. I don't say this in a dismissive way. I personally enjoy these types of books occasionally and I enjoyed Hominid very much on this occasion. I am glad I read it, I found it interesting and it was worth the credit. I am just not sure I will return to Sawyer's universe in the short term.
Probably in the middle. This is more of a traditional space opera story, and fits neatly into that genre. Pohl was an editor before becoming a writer and his familiarity with the genre shows here. This is a tightly plotted story that moves along nicely. Parts of it are a little "wordy' but overall it is traditional Sci Fi and a good third book in the series.
Understanding the Heechee, their intentions and the reasons for their retreat was interesting.In many ways the story is a backdrop to Pohl's fascination with physics and I enjoyed the argument between a pro-Einstein version and a pro-Quantum version of astrophysics.
I thought he was great. He has done all three int his series and I thought it was interesting how he made Robin "sound" like he had aged (from the first book). Also his representation of Albert was great.
No I rarely do that, but it doesn't diminish that this was a good book.
The first book in this series was a ground breaking book, no doubt about it. The second and third books are more conventional in their plot and storyline.Some readers might not like this, adn stopping after the first book might make sense. I enjoyed finding out what happened to Robinette after the first book, and adjusted my expectations during books two and three. It doesn't mean they are not as good, just that they are different in narrative, story and tone. Pohl is a traditional Sci Fi writer like Clarke and Asimov and readers of those authors will enjoy this book and this series.It is entertaining and interesting.
Absolutely! Pohl is an underrated author. He comes out of the classic Sci Era of Asimov and Clarke and I think compares favorably to both. This is big concept Sci Fi, without a lot of action relative to fighting or horror. Much of the narrative is similar to Asimov (logic and plot conveyance) but with a significant amount of hard science. Astrophysics is at the heart of this second novel in the series and I thought it was terrific. I do not understand why Pohl is to regarded more highly, maybe because the novel format moved away from these internally driven narratives to more outward, action based stories at home in the movies or TV.
Well Robin is the star here but honestly I thought Albert Einstein was just as engaging as Siegfried Von Shrink in Gateway. This is not as heavy of a novel and Albert adds some coif relief and is a great device to explain astophysics. Very clever of Pohl.
Well his work in Gateway was tremendous, this is just as good. His voice for Robin shows his advanced age and the other characters are great.
"Hope you paid attention in high school physics"!
This is a solid series. Because Gateway was such a classic book, some readers might be put off by this second installment. It is a much different narrative and style. Don't compare the two, Pohl is moving the story forward and to do that he needed to tell the story differently. After a bit I got used to it and I was rewarded a story that I very much enjoyed. I plan on finishing the remaining books in the series. If you like Asimov, Clarke and Bradbury you will enjoy this book. Its clever, a little corny and educational.
Yes. Great job, one of my all time favorites on Audible.
The ending is very, very well done. But the juxtaposition of Robin's sessions with Sigfried vs. his memory of what happened is so well done that the entire novel is memorable. This won a Hugo Award for good reason. It is a terrific sci fi novel.
I read Sci Fi to be entertained, a break from my work and life itself. But elements of Gateway are pretty heavy, since much of the novel is an indictment and an endorsement of psychological counseling. The readers made it interesting but not overly dramatic. Parts of the novel deal with sex, sexual norms and it was done in a way that was not lecherous. Overall they did a great job and I cannot imagine it being done better.
No I never do that... but I listened to it pretty quickly. Although Robin is not an entirely likeable characters, I found myself wanting to know what happened. That is ultimately what a good story is to me, investing in the characters.
Great job Audible!
One of the great things about Audible is that we can get around to reading books we either ignored as younger people or glossed over in school This is a great example. I am glad I read it, and it was well done. I am not sure I would listen to it again, but I rarely do that with Audible titles, there are just so many new ones out there I want to get to...
Well Kurtz is obviously the centerpiece of the story. An enigmatic figure who haunts everyone who meets him.
Great job, maybe the best I have heard on Audible (Tony Roberts was also great in Cat's Cradle). His reading showed a familiarity with the text that can only come with reading a classic book. This was evident in his performance.
I rarely do that, but this is a very short book, and many readers might do that on a rainy day or on vacation.
British literature from this time period is very unique. Flowery language where symbolism and description trump the narrative and story line. The enigmatic Kurtz was fascinating, and has become archetypical for many other subsequent characters in literature and popular culture. Overall I highly recommend.
I sure would. I would recommend it especially to readers of Asimov who are interested in his early work, which servers as a precursor to the Robot, Galactic Empire and Robot Series. Good stories, that are a foundation (no pun intended) to later work.
Susan Calvin is alluded to in the Robot Series often, here we find out how elemental she was in robot development. The psychology angle plays an important part here and in later works. This thread was fascinating, and is woven through all the stories.
Scott Brick does his usual fine job. Part of me likes the fact that sometimes he goes a little over the top in his performance. It adds to the Sci Fi Theater element to some of the stories here and in later performances. Well done.
I have said it before...Asimov does not translate well to movies. Many of these stores are "thought puzzles" that are based on interior action. Audible is the right delivery method for this materiel, a movie could never compare.
There are short stores, hence my 4 star review. This is not to diminish the short story model. But Asimov weaves these basic concepts into later, more complicated and ultimately more satisfying material. These stories are great, and I recommend them to any fan of Asimov or early Sci Fi. But read them as an appetizer to later material, or background information on characters and stores you love in the later works.
Harry Seldon Begins...
This book is consistent with Asimov's writing style throughout his career. There is a nicely tied up ending, that begs another question(s) ... if you liked his other books, you will love this one as well. I would say the ending was terrific, but the scenes in the region where hair was unacceptable were priceless...
Scott always does a great job, I wish he did the last 2 books in this series, but that should not stop anyone from reading this book. Scott does great job.
No, too long, but that is not a negative. These books become companions, and spending time with them is time spent well.
Asimov is a unique writer. There is depth but this is not over philosophical. The characters are developed but these are not character studies. These are old fashion stories, meant to entertain, challenge your ideas and keep you involved. They are based on logic, not fighting or sex or melodrama. The story evolves, reveals itself and enthralls you until the end. I always suspect Asimov wrote these to primarily amuse himself, and the reader is invited into that approach. I highly recommend this book to any Asimov fan or fan of the Foundation Series.
A little more dialogue and space opera elements than previous installment.
Holden. Great character in the Indian Jones vein, good characterization./
Jefferson Mays does a great job overall....Holden is my favorite
No way too long....
This is a solid series, the second book is pretty much a set up for the third installment. Sometimes it gets a bit mired in politics, but the reader should hang in there...there are necessary plot installments here that will pay off in the third book.
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction. Asimov is the master and this is him at the top of his game. Intrigue, imagination, cleverly written and thought provoking
I found the depiction of the creatures in the parallel universe very touching. It was an interesting way to comment on humans, but in an indirect manner.
I enjoy Scott Brick. The Asimov series used William Dufris for the Robot Series and he did a good job as well. Scott has done most (unfortunately not all) of the Galactic Empire and Foundation Series and he does a superb job. His strength is not in performing different characters but in adding gravity to the dialogue. You will have to keep track of the characters closely, but overall Scott is excellent.
No way too long.
This is my last book in my re-read of the Asimov Series after many years, and it dawned on me why he is not given more credit as a writer. These stories are intended to entertain. They are detailed, clever and help you escape into another world. Although they have commentary on the human plight and our interaction with each other there is no pretension of climax or overly dramatic ending. Unlike much of what we see on TV and movies, the stories are more to be savored than change your life. Asimov wrote these to amuse himself primarily, and as a reader you almost wish they would never end. I cannot recommend them highly enough for someone looking to escape into a place that makes you forget about the everyday. To me that is what entertainment ultimately is, and why I think Asimov is underestimated and not given enough credit. Kudos Audible, great job.
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