The astounding new novel from the master of science fiction. What would happen if the world were ending?
When a catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain….
Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown, to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is at once extraordinary and eerily recognizable. He explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
©2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2015 Neal Stephenson
"He makes reading so much fun it feels like a deadly sin." (The New York Times)
"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century." (William Gibson)
"[Stephenson is] the hacker Hemingway." (Newsweek)
I normally love the detail that the author puts into his stories, but this time it's just too much.
My ears did the aural equivalent of my eyes glazing over. It's technical - very, very technical.
I mostly listen to my books in the car and with this one I found myself blanking out large portions.
There are interesting bits, however, so it isn't a complete washout.
Oh, and some of the accents are way off! It would have been better that the narrator didn't attempt some of them.
The narrator attempted to shift voices for the different characters, but is clearly not skilled enough to do it. One of the main character's sounded like frog every time he started speaking. Regional accents the narrator attempted are way way off.
Great story but a bit long. The tale of the consequences of major disruption to humanity is complete. There's even a yarn about how values change depending on expediency, and that takes an arrogant US president. Don't worry about loose ends left dangling through the story; most are tidied later on - but pay attention for the details !
A Sci Fi story that left me on the edge of my seat for countless moments. The science is rock solid and believable. The characters and the story arcs are very well developed and the ending leaves me yearning for more. I hope there's more one day.
"Soooooo... that's it?"
Started strong, created, and then kinda just petered out. Ending was a bit droll. Some of the themes were questionable, and a few times hard line ideologies were unnecessarily pushed. While a few characters were interesting, most were pretty much predictable and one sided wooden personalities. For such a long book, a bit more character development, but he spent too much time stroking his own ego.
Worth a listen, but only if you ran out of things on your bucket-list.
The scope and ambition of this novel are staggering, and I can't think of another author who could hope pull something like this off successfully. I'm not convinced Stephenson has, but there's still much for fans to like.
The good: Stephenson's usual elements are all present and correct: physics, engineering, code breaking and a smattering of martial arts. The plot moves along at a decent clip for the most part, and the large cast is handled pretty well.
The bad: The pacing is a little uneven, and the plot losses impetus in the final third. More fat could have been trimmed in some parts too. That large cast and expansive plot don't leave too much time for character development either (with a few notable exceptions).
I'm less torn about Peter Brooke's performance. He took on a mammoth task with this one, and I'm afraid he fell short for me. He does competently for the most part, but a few of the accents were like nails on a chalkboard. If I read this again it'll be the paper version.
"Two or three books in one."
From the opening line this is a book full of emotion. For me the first two acts are the strongest and act three could have been the start of another book, but the whole is a sweeping epic that will just keep going.
"Half a book"
This book has no ending. It changes direction wildly half way through and then fails to deliver a full story in the new setting.
"Excellent until about half way through then tedium"
Struggled to finish, note for the reader if you can't do accents don't even try
"Really good, then slightly annoying, then bad"
This is three completely different books abutted.
The first is a really good disaster story full of tech and plot and pace.
The second meanders through dumb political shenanigans in space but there is still good stuff to keep you going.
The third is completely disconnected from what went before, hard to follow, and uninteresting.
Get it for a credit but when the narrator says 5000 years later, do what the author should have and stop there.
"Brilliantly done. "
greatest detail since Tolkien. what else can I say. it just gets better and better
"too long and detailed."
this is more like two stories, one of which is unfinished. I loved parts of it and the ideas are great, but too much time is spent exposing in detail how things work. enjoyed it but would have enjoyed it more if it had been ten hours shorter. and if it hadn't felt like it just tailed off at the end.
Only criticism, the readers attempt at a Welsh accent. But it did amuse me at times.
"Believed this could be possible"
Its a very detailled, believable, possibility
I like his voice but not sure about some of the accents which were a bit distracting.
Couldn't put it down and if I could have listened to it in one sitting I would have. 32 and a half hours seemed like a long time when I started but got so wrapped up in the story, was actually surprised when it finished.
Really hope that there is a follow up or parallel stories published as it all ended a bit abruptly and I need to know what happened.
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