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Calculating God Audiobook

Calculating God

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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho. A shocked Jericho finds that not only does life exist on other planets, but that every civilization in the galaxy has experienced extinction events at precisely the same time. Armed with that disconcerting information (and a little help from a grand unifying theory), the alien informs Jericho, almost dismissively, that the primary goal of modern science is to discover why God has behaved as he has and to determine his methods.

BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains how the creationism vs. evolution debate informed the writing of Calculating God.

  • 2009 Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • ©2000 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Is Sawyer Canada's answer to Michael Crichton? Very possibly yes." (Montreal Gazette)
"Jonathan Davis...is one of our very best narrators and this is a fine performance. I was rapt the entire time, and even near tears at one moment in the book." (sffaudio.com; named an SFFaudio Essential)
"Jonathan Davis portrays a thoughtful and quietly introspective Jericho....As the conversation with Hollus continues, Davis keeps a steady pace and reflects the intellectual engagement of both characters. He presents the alien's speech as lightly studied, a fitting style for a non-English speaker who coordinates his speech between two mouths." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3059 )
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4.3 (2365 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Craig 05-17-14
    Craig 05-17-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "A bold subject, but so very well written!"
    What did you love best about Calculating God?

    The subject matter is though provoking. The narration is excellent and suits the main character of Tom Jericho very well. I love how it addressed a very controversial topic and explored it in a fascinating way. The ending, particularly the final few sentences are among my favourite endings of all time. Very simple, but perfectly suited to the story and very satisfying!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a big idea and moves along very well. There is tonnes of dialogue between the main characters to explore the main themes, but there is a great mix of Tom's personal journey. I thought these two elements were intertwined very well.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer – was your favorite?

    The voices were very well done, but I thought that he was perfectly suited for the main character, Tom Jericho. The pacing, and introspective performance was spot on. Each character voice was 100% believable and consistent throughout the book. This absolutely enhanced the listening experience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to it on my drive to and from work. Usually at least 45 minutes at a time. There is no book I would ever listen to all at once (lifestyle) but I absolutely looked forward to getting in the car and hearing what happened next!


    Any additional comments?

    Great topic. Well written. Excellent performance. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 05-16-14
    Paul 05-16-14

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

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    "Thought provoking"

    I can see why some people would not like this book. There is a lot of dialogue between the human Tom and the alien Hollus about the existence and nature of God. Scientific rationale is used to prove that God exists and has a limited capacity to prevent suffering. The overarching theme of the book is that science and faith can co-exist; they do not have to be at odds with each other. A tremendous amount of factual information is delivered in the novel, and errant conclusions are intentionally made from carefully misguided extrapolations. But I am confident in my personal beliefs, and this is fiction after all, so I found the novel thought provoking and entertaining. I enjoyed the story of Tom's personal struggle and how it was woven into the story and provided a break from the dialogue with Hollas. I found myself wishing that the story ended with Tom shooting away from Earth. That would have made a great opportunity for a sequel.

    Jonathan Davis is superb !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-15-14
    David 05-15-14 Listener Since 2009
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    "Bursting bubbles with aliens"

    The great thing about puppets and cartoon characters is that they can get away with doing and saying things that should be done and said.

    So in that way, having aliens do and say things that fundamentalist atheists and blinkered religionists alike (and they are all too alike) have prejudiced themselves against is refreshing.

    Good story, good questions, good sci-fi.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer HARTFORD, AL, United States 05-15-14
    Amazon Customer HARTFORD, AL, United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "a mind opener"
    What did you love best about Calculating God?

    the story was laid out , with twist and turns and every corner. I felt for the characters, i knew these people. I could put myself in the places these events happen. I loved LOVED loved!!! enjoyed!!! this book. will be on one of my all time favorites list.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Calculating God?

    to give the best moment of this book , well you just have to read it, but i will say i NEVER expected the ending, OMG.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 05-13-14
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 05-13-14 Member Since 2016

    Men's Minister - Hardcore Christian Men

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Concept"

    I love the concept that this book is written on. As a seminary student, I am often annoyed by the fact that there is an "anti-God" theme to most alien books, but this one takes a different tact. I still was annoyed by the "anti-God" message for those of us that believe in an present and active God, but still a great concept here. I'm really interested in how Sawyer came up with some of the ideas he puts forth, but would also love to know why he discounts many of the accepted truths about God (omniscience, omnipotence, etc.)

    For believers, a warning: if you're looking for God in these pages, you won't find Him. The concept is interesting, but Sawyer is using the term "god" for a limited being who happens to be a fictional universe creator, not the God of scripture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 05-10-14
    barc2003 Glendale, AZ, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Not sure what I expected with this."

    This is definitely not a religious tale although this is a part of it.

    Aliens come to earth and who do they want to see? Not the president, prime minister or the queen. Not the Pope, Dalai Lama or other religious leaders. No, they want to see a paleontologist, to help find God. The atheist paleontologist and religious alien work together to find God.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-08-14
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-08-14
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    "Everything The Sixth Grade Writer in Me Loves"
    Would you try another book from Robert J. Sawyer and/or Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ?

    Not likely


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ?

    Not Likely


    Could you see Calculating God being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to the whole story, its not terrible, but i continually found myself rolling my eyes. The book immaturely written. The author obviously knows a lot about various different sciences and takes on religion. I got the book because it was on sale and i find the topic interesting-- that's what kept me going. He has some good one liners in there, but overall it sounds like my inner kid writer coming out. Awful pop culture references.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Coupaud 05-06-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Definitely not theological bickering!"

    This story hooked me right from the beginning and was one I had a tough time going to sleep on. Great story with a fascinating approach and unique perspective. I definitely got more than I bargained for and expected!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ohmie 05-03-14
    ohmie 05-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Surprisingly Good"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Calculating God to be better than the print version?

    No idea but this audio version is fantastic.


    What other book might you compare Calculating God to and why?

    No idea but it must now rank as one of my all time favorite books. Robert J. Sawyer is brilliant, entertaining, insightful, and surprising. Sawyer yokes together scientific, religious, historical and philosophical concepts in an easy and wonderful way. This book will become an annual read for me.


    What does Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They bring a lightness and vibrancy that one might not get reading on their own. Davis was very good and fun to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Virtually every moment but probably the moment i was hooked was when Hollis (sp? since I I only listened and didn't read) first appeared at the main desk of the ROM and asked for a paleontologist.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian AUSTIN, MN, United States 05-01-14
    Brian AUSTIN, MN, United States 05-01-14
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    "Mixed Review..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I really enjoyed the philosophical parts of this book, and wished it would have stuck to those story lines. Instead, it spins off it's axis near the end and it really struggled to keep my attention. I found his descriptions of aliens fascinating, and the math behind his story intriguing. It had me rethinking a lot as I listened.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert J. Sawyer? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. I found the hard facts of the book intriguing, but his storytelling average at best.


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did Calculating God inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to think about the universe we live in and how the actual science of it all relates to my personal beliefs.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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