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 lotterythe galactic lotteryaccidentally. 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 humorand even in some of the jokesDimension 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 shockingit 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 Johnnot just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through herehe 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.
©1968 Robert Sheckley (P)2013 Robert Sheckley
"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)
I bought it based on Neil's recommendation and glad I did - excellent work, positive in the end, interesting twists along the way. The reader used lots of different voices which I thought worked well and didn't sound forced like some others I've heard.
I loved this book, laughed out loud until my face hurt. Intelligent, witty, and very well narrated. I was not in the mood to laugh when I started this book, but decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised, and my mood was instantly altered. Highly recommend
Yes, I would. It was very close to perfect.
The feeling I had when I finished the book was the feeling you have after a perfect meal - every taste bud satisfied. The resolution of the story was perfect.
It was pitch perfect, so 1950s in just the right way.
I laughed out loud more than once.
Thanks Neil for sharing your love for this book. By now everyone knows how close this book is to the hitchhiker's guide. Think Arthur Dent with a lot more spunk. But if that makes you hesitate at all, believe me, enjoying this book is not going to take anything away from the guide. I'll listen to or read everything Sheckley has written!
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
This felt like a less-funny, more American Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was very interesting at times, very dated at times, and not quite funny enough most of the time.
Hodgman was well-paired as a narrator, and he did as much with it as he could.
It was presented as Douglas Adams like humour, but it ended up being just very very preachy. Really really long sections of the author pontificating on their view of the world with very little humor or wit. Parts of it read more like a manifesto then a story
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
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.
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.
No one really.
I didn't even finish it.
I don't think I'd try Sheckley again. Hodgeman was great in Year Zero.
I kept waiting for it to get funny but it just kept dragging on. It just wasn't my brand of funny.
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.
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