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Dimension of Miracles | [Robert Sheckley]

Dimension of Miracles

Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2013 - "With audiobook narration, there are certain voices that fit perfectly with a genre. John Hodgman may now be the go-to guy for the droll-everyman-navigating-his-way-through-the-universe story (already nailing it in 2012’s hilarious Year Zero). Hand-picked by Neil Gaiman (whose charming audio introduction perfectly sets the stage for what’s to come) Hodgman lends the right amount of nerd-cred to this adventure, which was originally published in 1968 and is a clear forerunner to Douglas Adams’ classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve had a chance to hear an advance excerpt of the audio, and I just have to know how Carmody, the unsuspecting winner of a Galactic Lottery, makes his way back to Earth in one piece." —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2014

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.

A few words from Neil on Dimension of Miracles: "Dimension of Miracles is probably not [Sheckley's] most famous book…. but I think it's probably his best-loved book. It's about the joys and tribulations (mostly the tribulations) of winning the lottery—the galactic lottery—accidentally. And wrongly. Tom Carmody is awarded a remarkable prize, is taken half way across the universe to collect it, finds himself hopelessly lost, and needs to find his way home again to Earth…to this Earth, not an alternate, weirdo Earth. He's got to get back. And the price is high.

In its style of humor—and even in some of the jokes—Dimension of Miracles is very obviously a precursor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas actually hadn't read Dimension of Miracles until very shortly after Hitchhiker came out, when people pointed him to it, and he told me that he found the experience almost shocking—it was like reading himself. He was a huge admirer of Bob Sheckley and a huge admirer of this book, and in later life, I had the privilege of introducing both of them.

Now the challenge for me with a book this funny, this strange, this perceptive was to try and find a narrator who was as iconic, somebody who could deliver the goods, somebody who could give you a book like this as it deserved to be given. And the first, and the last, and actually the only person to come to mind was John Hodgman. So I asked John, and he said yes! And he did it; he pulled it off. Listening to John—not just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through here—he does it delightfully, he does it brilliantly, he's really, really funny. And so is this book. Enjoy your journey through a Dimension of Miracles."

Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home. Meanwhile, his removal from Earth has caused a predatory entity to spring into existence - one that pursues and aims to destroy him. Carmody is on the run, and he ends up transporting from Earth to Earth - different phases and realities of the planet, which of course is not the time or condition he expects.

Learn more about Neil Gaiman Presents and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX).

©1968 Robert Sheckley (P)2013 Robert Sheckley

What the Critics Say

"Hodgman, probably best known to geeks for his appearances on The Daily Show and his role as the PC in those Apple commercials a few years back, has a dryly intelligent deadpan that wonderfully counterpoints the absurd adventures of Thomas Carmody, a mid 20th-century New York everyman who’s invited to a galactic center to collect a sweepstakes prize." (Locus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (662 )
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Performance
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  •  
    M. Spencer Buffalo 10-17-13
    M. Spencer Buffalo 10-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reader

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    "Light & Amusing"

    I picked this up when I had some cash on my account that was about to expire. It caught my attention, because it was one of the Neil Gaiman Presents selections. I really like Gaiman’s work and I figured I would probably also like a book that he recommends. I was right.

    Dimension of Miracles was amusing, witty, and well-written. In many ways, it was like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only it came first. It begins when Tom Carmody is whisked away from his New York apartment upon accidentally winning the galactic lottery. In his exploits thereafter, he meets a number of strange characters on several interesting worlds as he attempts to return to Earth.

    My favorite part was probably when Tom was transported to Earth during the dinosaur age and proceeds to have a very charming conversation with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    John Hodgman was an excellent choice to narrate this novel. I thought his tone perfectly embodied the author’s dry wit.

    Overall, the novel was quite enjoyable. The story was light and amusing, but still had some deeper points as well. It won’t go down as my all-time favorite, but it was still a fun read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a comedic sci-fi story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 05-12-13
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 05-12-13 Member Since 2008
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    "precursor to Hitchhiker?"

    this is very much a pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel. it has much in the way of the odd ball events and satiric jabs at society etc. that pop up in Adam's work. while i found it very much like HGG and enjoyed it, i did find myself wishing for a little more of the manic Adams movement and wordplay etc. Hodgman is passable as a narrator but could have read with a little more gusto. still all in all good and i do like the ending but a couple scenarios perhaps go on a bit too long. can't give it more stars simply because it is done better by Adams.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 11-29-14
    Farrell 11-29-14
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    "Starting to age"

    Very good, very funny, a bit more subtle than Hitchhikers guide. However, to get some of the jokes I think you have to have lived through the 60s. Most of the book can be fully understood by modern readers, but some of the jokes are starting to age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Jensen 11-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Couldn't get into it."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I really wanted to enjoy this book because it was recommended by Neil Gainman an author I truly enjoy but I just could't get into it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Sheckley again?

    Maybe


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Hodgman?

    No one really.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dimension of Miracles?

    I didn't even finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    c Gilroy, CA, United States 06-17-14
    c Gilroy, CA, United States 06-17-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Meh"
    Would you try another book from Robert Sheckley and/or John Hodgman?

    I don't think I'd try Sheckley again. Hodgeman was great in Year Zero.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Sheckley’s story?

    I kept waiting for it to get funny but it just kept dragging on. It just wasn't my brand of funny.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Cook 04-23-14
    C. Cook 04-23-14
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    "Beyond Brilliant!"

    I love an intelligent book -- but when it's very clever as well, I'm all in! The whole of this book, extremely well read by Hodgman by the way, is a marvelous metaphor for how we view the universe, earth, religion, ourselves...well, you just have to listen. This is one of the very few books I'll listen to again and again; there's just so much rich content. Sheckley is truly a genius.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Wellington, New Zealand 03-19-14
    Scott Wellington, New Zealand 03-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Painful and a struggle to get through"
    Would you try another book from Robert Sheckley and/or John Hodgman?

    No, not certain that i will, this has put me off.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Sheckley’s story?

    I came to this next after Ready player one and Outlander, expecting high things. It just doesn't work for me, its painful, and a drag to get through.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm not familiar with John other than he is a PC advert, so perhaps I dont have an ear for his work.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was short, thank goodness.


    Any additional comments?

    I like HHGTTG, and hard sci Fi, Heinlein, Asimov etc, this just didn't kick off at all for me, sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 03-18-14
    Dan 03-18-14 Member Since 2012

    LikeTheColor

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    "Carol from Audible gave a great recommendation"

    I pulled up a chat window to rectify a situation at Audible. Carol helped me out quickly and then asked if I'd like a recommendation. She pointed me to "Dimension of Miracles" and I was happy that she did.

    This book reminded me of Douglas Adams (having read Adams first). Their sense of humor is similar and they have a way of throwing the reader a curve ball that makes you pause and think. To top it off John Hodgman does an outstanding job of narrating. Having seen him on The Daily Show and listened to narrations of his own work I wasn't sure he'd be able to pull off multiple characters but he proved me wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 02-23-14
    Ryan 02-23-14 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "An Excellent Story That Was Over Sold"
    What made the experience of listening to Dimension of Miracles the most enjoyable?

    The story was a very enjoyable listen. The preposterous circumstances faced by the main character entertain and bemuse. The narration was done very well it will be an enjoyable read for any lover of unusual circumstances that lead the reader astray.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was compared to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by many people who recommended it. I found that this was over selling the story. The laughable absurd circumstances that occur in the Hitchhikers Guide were, I found, sorely lacking in this book. The story however is an enjoyable read. I would suggest this book. If you are a lover of the hitchhikers guide do not be surprised if the story lacks the laugh out loud humor of the Douglas Adams.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby Normal 01-31-14
    Abby Normal 01-31-14

    Abby

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    "Be Careful About Aliens with Prizes"
    What made the experience of listening to Dimension of Miracles the most enjoyable?

    It was fun to try to figure out where he would end up next and wondering what different places would be.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the prize the best because of the variations and dialogue it provided.


    What does John Hodgman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think the same as most books that are read out loud. I could spend my time enjoying the book instead of wondering about pronunciations.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Congratulations, you won a prize...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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