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The Martian Child | [David Gerrold]

The Martian Child

Gerrold, a science fiction writer from California, adopts a son who has a slight behavioral problem. He believes himself to be a Martian. Gerrold begins the long, involving work of trying to earn the acceptance of Dennis, a hyperactive eight-year-old who desperately wants a father's love, but is so insecure he feels he must be an alien. Gerrold's semi-autobiographical memoir of the first two years with Dennis is a funny, endearing, heartbreaking, and beautifully written testament to fatherhood.
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Publisher's Summary

Gerrold, a science-fiction writer from California, adopts a son who has a slight behavioral problem. He believes himself to be a Martian. Gerrold begins the long, involving work of trying to earn the acceptance of Dennis, a hyperactive eight-year-old who desperately wants a father's love, but is so insecure he feels he must be an alien. Gerrold's semi-autobiographical memoir of the first two years with Dennis is a funny, endearing, heartbreaking, and beautifully written testament to fatherhood.

©2006 David Gerrold;(P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novelette, 1995
  • Nebula Award, Best Novelette, 1994

"The heart-searing moments are many but never overwritten, thanks to Gerrold's bright, efficient exposition." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (138 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.1 (45 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (43 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-29-13
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-29-13 Member Since 2015

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good yet far from great"

    This is a nice modern fiction novelette which was clearly written by a science fiction author with very good narration but falls far short of greatness. The narration seemed more powerful than the writing itself. There are few well developed characters and very little in the way of plot and very few surprises. This would have been a really excellent short story but in the novelette form has way too much filler. Adoption of a special needs child is a very intense challenge but this is not too surprising and this is definitely not a how-to book. This novel did not annoy me at all but it did not have that transformative effect on me I look for in great fiction. Although this has some very good points, I can’t think of anyone to whom I would feel compelled to recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 02-28-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2014

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "MARTIANS' CAN TASTE COLORS"

    THE ONLY THING THAT FITS IN A PIGEON HOLE IS A PIGEON.
    It is a great story, maybe a little Pollyanna for some. I am a sucker for misfit children happy ending stories. This book flew by, warmed my heart and was just plain fun to listen to.

    I did not realize it when I listened, but do see now how the author glorified himself. This is to be expected when written in first person, plus it is an author. To be a writer, you have to believe you have something so important to say that people will pay money to hear you say it. I also thought that for most of the book things went a little too smoothly. I know several parents who have adopted and there are always problems, especially with special needs children or trouble children. I was also not crazy about the direction the story went when the parent started questioning the Martian child part of the story. It is still a really good book, and I will be checking out Gerrold's Science Fiction Books now.

    Brick did an excellent job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zina 12-27-14
    Zina 12-27-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a sci fi story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Martian Child the most enjoyable?

    The most enjoyable was perhaps the expectation of - at some point - for the soppy super sentimental overdrawn story to actually turn to sci fi. I really did not care to listen to a super lengthy story about adoption of a difficult child and how it made the author feel.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was not what I thought it was. I thought it was a sci fi story! How did it win the Nebula award, no more stories written that year???


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Scott Brick was fine.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a sci fi story. This is a story of a single gay man adopting a child and talking about his feelings about this adoption at length. A very great length. If you want a sci fi story, skip. If you want a sentimental story about adopting a difficult child, listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maura Jarvenpaa, Finland 11-05-12
    Maura Jarvenpaa, Finland 11-05-12 Member Since 2014
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    "It was really enjoyable listening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes and I did. I give it as a gift and my friend love it too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The good humor, the unconditional love, hard to say, I liked everything.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cried when somewhere, the dog, died.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh and cry many times.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this listening so much, that I listened to it again and after one book and another I listening to it in between. This listening gives me motivation and keep my humor up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rafael Goleta, CA, United States 01-17-12
    Rafael Goleta, CA, United States 01-17-12

    Movie Guy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One Of The Best Audiobooks!!"
    Would you listen to The Martian Child again? Why?

    After watching the movie which I loved I wanted to give the book a try. As soon as I downloaded it and started to listen to it, I fell in love with the book even more then I did the movie.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The love of the father to the adoptive boy.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Martian Child?

    Try to have that kind of relationship between father and son.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-09-10
    06-09-10 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    3
    3
    Overall
    "Martian Child Review"

    Overall a good, well narrated story, if at times a bit self-indulgent, but then again, that's part of the honest portrayal of the narrator of self. A good listen of a worthy journey. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Kent, OH, USA 05-12-07
    Beverly Kent, OH, USA 05-12-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lackluster"

    I was disappointed by this audio book. I've never heard such a boring reading. It was delivered in a monotone. The book itself needed more editorial pruning. It had many long segments of self-glorification by the author. It stated that it was a novel, but based on a true story. It shuld have simply been written as a memoir. it would have been easier to take. The subject of adoption of a school-age child is one that could be of interest to many, but not the way this one was told.

    8 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hobbit Taz 06-05-12
    Hobbit Taz 06-05-12 Member Since 2012

    GeoCacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really enjoyable listening"
    If you could sum up The Martian Child in three words, what would they be?

    A great look into a single father's adoption of a school age boy. His unnessary doubts about being a good father.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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