It is the most expensive machine ever created by humankind, run by the world's most powerful supercomputer. It is the brainchild of Nobel Laureate William North Hazelius.
Will the Torus divulge the mysteries of the creation of the universe? Or will it, as some predict, suck the earth into a mini black hole? Or is the Torus a Satanic attempt, as a powerful televangelist decries, to challenge God Almighty on the very throne of heaven?
Twelve scientists under the leadership of a famed Nobel Laureate are sent to the remote mountain to turn it on. And what they discover must be hidden from the world at all costs. Wyman Ford, ex-monk and CIA operative, is tapped to wrest from the team their secret, a secret that will either destroy the world - or save it.
The countdown begins.
©2007 Splendide Mendax, Inc. (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
I never write reviews but I have to say this is the best thing I've listened to in five years on audible. The reader is amazing, the story engrossing. I laughed and couldn't stop listening. I was sorry when it was over.
I'm not a fan of most of Preston's novels, Tyrannosaurus Rex being a notable exception. But I had a great time with this book. It is both a ripping good yarn and a thoughtful exploration of the old science-versus-religion debate.
Preston's long list of compelling caricatures and characters includes televangelist preachers, former Green Berets-turned-jesus-freaks, aloof brilliant scientists, sleazy inside-the-beltway politicians, an oddly prescient Russian computer nerd, an itinerant mad pastor, a Navajo shaman, steely-eyed FBI agents, a Jack Abramoff clone, an emotionally shattered ex-CIA agent, and talking computer connected to an artificial singularity. Hell, even L. Ron Hubbard makes an appearance. With a cast like that, how can you go wrong?
And at the center of it all, Preston poses questions: Was religion an evolutionary necessity? Can we reach adulthood as a species without leaving revealed religion behind? Are the paths of religion and science converging? Is science not really religion in the end?
Don't you just love a great story well told?
Note: That my title is NOT science v. GOD. If you thrill to physics mysteries: dark matter, string theory, subatomic particles, 'the big bang', quantum mechanics & all huge mysteries on beyond human understanding (like God.)You'll LOVE this book. If a devout (fill in blank) religion, you may hate it. Well enough narrated, excellently edited I couldn't put this one down. WHAT was happening??? The clever interweaving of Navajo creation myths (which on a quick computer search do jibe with the story) an unpredictable plot. And as a previous reviewer said.. "It's only a book" (a FICTIONAL book, I'd add ..so lighten up.) True faith shouldn't be threatened a by mere thriller. Again fifth stars reserved for "required reading." If I could give it 4 1/2 stars I would because it's darn close. Finally the author is expert at relating key physics ideas (a big Stephen Hawking theory) in layman's terms without insulting us. No small feat! That passage alone was worth the credit.
I gave this five stars just to offset the hypersensitive types who over-reacted to the message about uninformed zealots. It also takes on megachurches and some of their less well-behaved and thoughtful preachers,members and hangers-on.
This book is actually quite pro-religion; it's got a problem with mindless fundamentalism of all stripes. And sorry, it's no "homage to L. Ron Hubbard."
There are many intriguing ideas in the book, and that makes it well worth the time. I urge you to seriously consider it.
Here are some of the problems...
As for the story: yep, too many stereotypes. This could have been a better book given more time, care and editing. The writing is fine, but too many plots twists are telegraphed("Hey, I just noticed this cliff...").
It took me an hour to get past the sub-par narration. There's at least one jarring mispronunciation ("mantilla" like "ill" rather than "tree") and some of the voice characterizations might have been done differently. They served to emphasize the stereotypical nature of the characters rather than deflect that feeling.
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
This was a good and entertaining story. There were times when I thought I had accidentally bought one of the “Left Behind” ‘Christian’ apocalypse novels, and I was never sure what the author was “getting at” until I finished the book. In fact the “Left Behind” books were mentioned in an aside at one point. I figured out the final plot twist well in advance, but that didn’t hurt the story for me. ‘Blasphemy’ was an OK book in my opinion, but not particularly outstanding. I did enjoy it and the narrator was entertaining and creative as well.
Until I read the reviews, I was not completely sold on purchasing this book. After seeing the emotion evoked from as another reviewer described as "hypersensitive types" I couldn't help myself and had to find out. I found the story fast paced and highly entertaining. It had me chuckling and shaking my head at the absurdity of human nature that drives us humans into obsessive actions. So all I can say is if you take your religion seriously, then don't get your panties in a knot - it's just a story!!! - and an entertaining one at that!
I thought this was a great action book, extremely entertaining and interesting. I'm surprised at some of the negative reviews - although I suppose the book would be pretty offensive to fundamentalist Christians.
I thought the characterizations were just right, not too little, not too much for an action book. I only wish he had extended the end a bit more, and tied up some loose ends - what happened to the televangelist they jailed, and what were Kate's 2 missing years all about?
This plot brings up some very disturbing facts about human nature, whether you worship a traditional God or Science or ?? It's that pesky worship thing that seems to cause a LOT of trouble.
I LOVED this narrator, he was very skilled at subtly changing his voice for each character, and I thought he nailed the tone of the book perfectly.
I found this book totally predictable and completely boring. The representations of the various groups - FBI, Indians, Christians, etc. were such a cliche. There was no character development and a sad plot. Sorry I bought it.
The book was decent. Not the best writing, but not the worst. It was what I call "fluff fiction". It served as a filler in my day, but it wasn't a stunning literary work. The characters were extremely one-dimensional, and the plot was quite predictable. The slight twist at the ending did nothing to shine up the rather muddy plot.
The narrator, on the other hand, was painful to listen to. I mean absolutely horrible. It made me ANGRY just listening to him. For one, he mispronounced words on a constant basis, and enjoyed putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong parts of the sentence. More importantly, he seemed to think that every single character in the entire book had the exact same voice, which was some ridiculous mix of whiny punk/stoned surfer with a severe head cold. It hurt my ears. I will never, repeat NEVER, buy another book read by him.
I was pleasantly surprised with Blasphemy. The science behind the particle accelerator descriptions and the religious twist behind the discoveries combined to make the perfect mix. An easy listen that was hard to put down.
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