©1985 Greg Bear; (P)1991 RECORDED BOOKS
Vergil Ulam is a lab tech working on organic thinking cells, he injects these cells into his body which begin to colonize and take over his life.
Greg Bear originally wrote this as a short story in the early 80's, after winning the Hugo Award for best short fiction, he fleshed it into this novel, the first about nanotechnology in science fiction. I don't want to give anything away from this book, other than what I've said above but how could I convince you to check it out? The surprises in characters, science, and the possibilities of life stretched beyond the covers and jumped into my daily life. To be sure, this is NOT a Jekyll and Hyde story. As this book was written in 1985 the author's choices now seem prophetic and intriguing as if they were purposely done. Whatever life is it has only enhanced the possibilities of this book's reach and meaning. This story (and characters) is fascinating, terrifying, and emotional without hitting obvious cliched chordes.
George Guidall paces his reading, letting the words rest for a moment before carrying on. This approach and command of understanding the material emphasizes the possibilities of where you, the listener, can take these ideas. There's a lot to digest in this book, crazy ideas, and I think Mr. Guidall gets this. He did an incredible job.
This book is unlike anything you've read/listened to recently, or maybe ever. There are very few books that transform my understanding of life but this one did it. This isn't for everybody but if you liked Perdido Street Station and have a natural curiosity of life, I think this book will fit right in. I might also recommend reading about the "noosphere" to give context for the nooscytes, if you find yourself confused.
Certainly in the top 3rd. A very unusual book, that takes some fascinating turns and twists that are unexpected, to say the least. A good combination of Greg Bear and George Guidall.
Mostt...the communication between the nanocells, and humans, without a doubt. A highly original concept.
Least...nothing immediately comes to mind, to be honest. Few flaws.
Goodness, where do I start? George G gives a brilliant performance. The Neocytes, the female characters, the accents. Classic GG. He is an artist, and truly brings this very nuanced novel to life in an approachable, genuine way.
Other reviewers note some timing/editing issues, but this appears to be have been done intentionally.
They' re here!
The other reviews of this fascinating Bear offering don't give it justice, IMHO. Granted, the book moves forward with scientific concepts, and suspensions of disbelief, that otherwise would require a great deal of committment.
I tend to disagree. This book blends nano-end of times concepts, with real characters and concepts that are at once a stretch, and believable.
I am very impressed by this effort, and highly recommend it to all.
Tell us about yourself!
This is as good as Darwin's Radio and its sequel, assuming you liked these. It is hard factual (some theoretical, admittedly) biology and a good story. Greg Bear, nails another one.
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
Good God, Guidall takes his sweet time. Too many long pauses between words. Sped up, the performance became more satisfactory, and the awesome story (albeit somewhat meandering as is Bear's style) was able to come out.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion! (READ/LISTEN to it!)
The first half of this book was very engrossing and captivating. The second half - not so much. The story works well when its about the main character: Vergil. You're interested in his plight and his fate. Once that is determined, the story meanders about to various other characters that I just couldn't really care about.
The narrator also does not speak clearly into the microphone at a few points in the book making you have to turn up the audio very high just to hear him. In his defense, this was recorded many, many years ago when audiobook recording was not at the best. The narrator does not have a vast range of voices either: alternating from gruff, gravely to a high-pitched attempt at female voices which just doesn't work.
An interesting premise and great first half of the book, but not one that I could recommend.
Started out quite interesting the got awfully boring and drawn out. I had no feelings for the characters.When it ended I cheered.
He was fine.
I bought this book because of the excellent review by a member stating "best book ever." It apparently was a short story made into a novel. That should have warned me right there.
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