Harry Harrison is best known for his Stainless Steel Rat stories and the novel Make Room! Make Room! which was adapted for film as Soylent Green. Deathworld is the first in a series of novels begun in 1960. In it professional gambler Jason Dinalt who has "psionic" ability is hired to win a great deal of money for a mysterious and very imposing stranger. When he "breaks the bank" their expertly timed escape gets them off-world just in time. The gambler learns he has helped the dwellers of Pyruss otherwise known as "Deathworld" - a planet that appears to be fighting and trying to destroy its inhabitants. Intrigued he determines to see this world and learn its secrets. He discovers that there are colonists who live outside the embattled city who are not under constant and ever evolving attack from the planet.
Jason's efforts to help the city dwellers and re-unite the two planetary groups before they are all destroyed makes for a gripping listen.
©1960 Astounding Science Fiction (P)2011 Jimcin Rercordings
I have been a fan of Harry Harrison's works since I was a little sci-fi geek many (OK..many many) years ago. I have read all of his works and in fact the first book I downloaded was the Stainless Steel Rat. The first book I looked up was the Deathworld trilogy and was disappointed to not see it. When I saw the release of the first Deathworld I instantly bought it. Loved the book but I think they should have stuck with Phil Gigante who has done the VO work for the Stainless Steel series. I found Jim Roberts voice to be rather dry but I still enjoyed it. I am assuming they will use Mr. Roberts for final 2 books (for continuity) and his voice does lend to the dry-humor Harrison writes. Can't wait for the next 2 books.
I have enjoyed the books of Harry Harrison for more than 40 years and this first in his Deathworld trilogy is one of his best and I understand that Mr Roberts is a popular reader with more than 70 books read by him here on Audible and I have in fact enjoyed his work several times in the past but I feel he was miscast for this book. A better choice I think would have been one of the readers used for the Prattchet books or the stainless steel rat tales of Harrison with their wide command of accents and vocal color at their command. Of course the problem may be more the director and choices he made as to the personalities assigned to the characters in the book. in this book the reader sounds to me as if he has been told to give a reading suitable to the books read for the visually impaired where the standard direction was I recall from when I volunteered my services to them was to " read rapidly and clearly with little or no attempt to interpret or dramatize the work" this makes a lot of sense when one is reading a textbook or similar for use by the blind but it is not what I want from a book that I buy here.
The book has a fun story. Not Harrison's best book but it is a fun read. The direction the story takes early in the book is a bit of a surprise. The ending makes sense and is a bit predictable before the characters understand the concept.
The narrator is by far the worse I have heard. He is very monotone and tends to read like a stepper motor. He does chunks with pauses. It makes the story harder to follow. Also, the character voices tend to blend together. Having read the story before listening makes it easier. I would not listen to this narrator again unless I really loved the book
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