BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains how the creationism vs. evolution debate informed the writing of Calculating God.
©2000 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"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)
I liked the concept but it did not have enough depth and seemed on sided. There were many scientific arguments given to the existence of a creator however the counter points were weak if they existed at all. Additionally only a cursory look was given to other moral and religious issues. I don’t think I would recommend it.
Listening time was well-spent, although I it was like sitting in church or a lecture at a Christian philosophy class.
I have already been tempted to download another of Sawyer's books.
My favorite character was the son, Ricky, as the most believable.
Calculating God was definitely worth the listen, but it is in danger of insulting both atheists (or agnostics) and fundamental, young-earth Creationists.
Sawyer's characters have a small view of the divine, where God is simply as a transcended created being(s) from an earlier universe.
The improbable setting and "Alien" stuff had me wondering in the beginning, but the story very masterfully has woven together science and religion in a both touching and inspiring journey.
The gun fight.
Fascinating to reflect on the reality of travelling at or near the speed of light. in 400 years he outlived his wife and son.
Avid audiobook addict!
Very thought provoking. Extremely interesting premise. There are a couple of minor annoying flaws in the story (like many Canadian authors, this one feels compelled to make totally unnecessary local references--he must repeat the name "Mike Harris" (a Conservative Ontario premier from around 2000 who was much-hated by people with government-funded jobs because of cutbacks that massive numbers of non-government funded people deemed totally necessary) at least a dozen times--quite tiresome). All in all, though, an excellent book.
The narration was terrific - just the right pace, and terrific intonation. The story, however, was weak - incredibly slow and, frankly, a little insulting to the intelligence.
If this book was intended to present an actual debate between "god" and "science," it didn't work - at least for me. I found the "god" arguments to be weak, and the "reasoning" behind the "calculating" to be non-existent. Mostly, however, I waited for something interesting to happen - and after five hours I gave up.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
This book would be in the top twenty-five percent.
Hollis the alien.
This is my first one.
No, it would be too much for one setting.
Sometimes if something is approached from an unusual angle, it can provide some interesting insights. The value of this book is in its insights and not in the story line. It represents a good synthesis of the God-Science Debate. Many things to ponder.
The characters were largely two dimensional and dull and the plot was utterly predictable. It was competently written in a grammatical sense, and the narrator did a good job at the reading, but beyond that there was little of interest in the book
Absolutely not, I love the genre, and for that matter, the specific theme. It's an interesting topic, but poorly executed.
The creator thing. It had no speaking part.
frustration and disappointment, Between the reviews and the summary it seemed to have a lot of promise.
Imagine an almost instant shift in scientific paradigm leading to a belief that the existence of God is scientific fact. What would that mean for those who cling tightly to notions of science as purely secular? What would that mean for those who see theism and religion as matters of pure faith? These are questions posited and masterfully turned in the mind of author Robert J. Sawyer in the book “Calculating God” . The value in Sawyer’s work is not only in the content but in the way the author is able to create an uncomfortable overturning of convention that affects all sides of the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. Sawyer is able to do so in a way that is humane rather than chauvinistic and creates the possibility for understanding between those holding extreme positions along the continuum. Secondarily, by obviating the debate as to whether the universe and all life in it was created by a God or just the proper alignment of scientific phenomena, Sawyer is able to ask questions rooted in the point of view that both things are true; the universe and all life in it was created by the proper alignment of scientific phenomena orchestrated by an intelligent creator. Is our creator omniscient? Can we hold our creator responsible for the fulfillment of each of our wishes and desires? Can we hold our creator to blame for the multiple catastrophes that befall us individually and on tremendous scales? How do we relate do such a creator? Do we need to? If so, then where do our responsibilities lie? These are not new questions for humanity. However in asking them Sawyer creates a sensitive, thought provoking, and at times heart wrenching narrative that is powerfully unique within today’s popular culture and media.
The arachnoid alien that came to meet Dr. Jericho was so surprisingly humane a character. This was such a pleaseant surprise.
Jericho made me reflect of what might have been going on in my mother's mind as she was dying of cancer.
It made me think many times of the loss of my mother to cancer and wonder how God's plan may have included it. Tears followed each time.
All of Robert's books are fantastic! I love how he uses science with a twist to enforce his tales.
I expected Calculating God to be one sided. I came in with one expectation, and left unsure of how I think. I believe that meeting a being from another world would radically shake up our thoughts of God, but I did not expect the twist RJS puts on this.
The narrators had a pleasant voices that were easy to listen to. The story was intricate and a second listen would help to understand some of the points more clearly. Also enjoyed listening so hearing it again would not be a problem.
The whole plot was intricate and thought provoking.
The main alien character was fascinating.
There are Aliens and they believe GOD exists. He's just not the all benevolent being we think he is!
Would recommend this book to others to read and certainly to listen to.
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