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Doomsday Book Audiobook

Doomsday Book

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most respected and awarded of all contemporary science-fiction writers, Connie Willis repeatedly amazes her many admiring fans with her ability to create vivid characters in unusual situations. With Doomsday Book, she takes listeners on a thrilling trip through time to discover the things that make us most human.

For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong. When an accident leaves Kivrin trapped in one of the deadliest eras in human history, the two find themselves in equally gripping - and oddly connected - struggles to survive.

Deftly juggling stories from the 14th and 21st centuries, Willis provides thrilling action - as well as an insightful examination of the things that connect human beings to each other.

©1992 Connie Willis; (P)2000 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1993
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1992

"Ms. Willis displays impressive control of her material; virtually every detail introduced in the early chapters is made to pay off as the separate threads of the story are brought together." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope....The best work yet from one of science fiction's best writers." (The Denver Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (3344 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (2574 )
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Story
4.2 (2549 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer 01-17-15
    Jennifer 01-17-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    48
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to get going"
    Would you listen to Doomsday Book again? Why?

    I would recommend listening to Doomsday Book but I am not one to re-read or re-listen to books. It took a while to "get into" the book.


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

    I found all the characters well developed and you cared about everyone of them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liz 01-16-15
    liz 01-16-15 Member Since 2012

    I only read awesome books, keep your young adult fiction best sellers away from me.

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    "Apocalyptic!"

    I had a great reaction to this book. I was drawn in by the time travel and medieval aspects and was held in by the suspense and lovely narration. I do admit, some parts were drawn out to the point where I was shouting at the book "come on!" . However, everything was very satisfying in the end. A lovely read for anyone interested in never going to the Middle Ages themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-13-15
    Rose Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-13-15 Member Since 2011

    RoseE

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    "Hard to explain, hard to forget"

    How does one categorize Doomsday Book? Well, it's sci-fi. Except it's historical fiction. Except it's tragedy. Except it's horror. Whatever it is, it's unforgettable. Willis crafts two addicting and believable worlds, in plague-ridden medieval Oxfordshire and the not-too-distant future of Oxford University. The medicine, science, society, and religion have all changed, but people stay the same: heroic, infuriating, courageous, frightened, faithful, selfish, loyal, petty, utterly human.

    It's not an easy read, but it's one you won't regret. So, dear reader, take a deep breath, screw up your courage, be sure you've had your shots, and step through the net, back in time with Connie Willis's remarkable work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. F. C. Cerqueira 01-10-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Fine (English / Português)"

    I have an ambivalent feeling about the Doomsday Book. Sometimes I thought I'd drop it because it was boring, or could not understand the point of the story, or because I got nauseated by some repetitive sequence from Kivrin, but then the book held me with an interesting scene.

    I think all parts of Kivrin could make short story 50 pages long. Her character was not catchy enough to support half of a 600-page book.

    On the other hand, the University and historians' part was more interesting not because the story was particularly good, but because some characters were very good, especially Dunworthy and Colin.

    I read the whisper-to-sync version and the reading was very good, and I believe this was one of the elements that kept me with the book. In times when I was listening and not actually reading, I was captivated by the story and the personality imprinted on some of the characters. Some of them hilarious.

    In the end of the book I realized that the setting in the 14th century is very engaging. Excessively graphic at times, in a good way. Maybe that saved part of Kivrin's story. Otherwise it would be absolutely boring. Still, it took me a long time to be convinced by the ambiance.

    The book gets 3 stars because I think it generates a positive reflection that occasionally reaches 4 stars, but the reading experience is 3 with two stars variances.

    Tenho um sentimento ambivalente quanto a Doomsday Book. Algumas vezes pensei em largá-lo, por achá-lo monótono, por não conseguir entender o rumo do livro ou porque ele estava chato, mas então o livro me prendia com um momento interessante.

    Penso que toda a parte de Kivrin daria um conto que teria o tamanho perfeito de 50 páginas. O personagem dela não era cativante o suficiente para sustentar a metade de um livro de 600 páginas.

    Por outro lado, a parte da Universidade e dos historiadores era mais interessante não porque a história fosse especialmente boa, mas porque alguns personagens eram muito bons, especialmente Dunworthy e Colin.

    Eu li a versão whisper-to-sync e a leitura foi muito boa, e acredito que esse foi um dos elementos que me manteve com o livro. Nos momentos em que eu estava escutando e não efetivamente lendo, era cativado pela narração e pela personalidade impressa em alguns dos personagens. Alguns deles, hilariantes.

    Depois do fim do livro percebo que a ambientação no século 14 é muito envolvente. Excessivamente gráfica às vezes, em um bom sentido. Talvez isso tenha salvado a parte da Kivrin na história. Caso contrário seria absolutamente maçante. Ainda assim, levei muito tempo para ser convencido pela ambientação.

    O livro ganha 3 estrelas porque acho que gera uma reflexão positiva que vez por outra chega a 4 estrelas, mas a experiência de leitura é 3 sendo duas estrelas algumas vezes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gonzalo MIAMI, FL, United States 01-09-15
    Gonzalo MIAMI, FL, United States 01-09-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well though out story but tends to drag a bit."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story is compelling and the characters are strong. There were many moments in which the story drags. There are scenes that come and go and when we return to the same place and characters, the reader is treated to the same situation and discussion as the last time they appeared. The author uses this to set mood and it helps in the sometimes desperate tone of the story, but often I found myself hoping for the plot to just move along.


    What aspect of Jenny Sterlin’s performance would you have changed?

    Sterling's voice is good and I never had a hard time following the characters. Great voices. In some cases though she takes on an almost petulant tone. Especially when reading the part taking place in the middle ages. One of the characters is a little girl who mopes a lot but the other characters sometimes pick up the same sort of childish tone.


    Any additional comments?

    The description of the book could be better. I bought this book on the strength of the summary and the average review stars. But I was expecting a much different book. I thought the story would be mainly about the time travelers visiting the middle ages and did not expect the parallel plot of the epidemic in the traveler's own time. This is not a shortcoming of the book, except for the above mentioned problems it is a very well crafted and, in the end, enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel N. Matustik Studio City, CA USA 01-04-15
    Pavel N. Matustik Studio City, CA USA 01-04-15 Member Since 2014

    Mozo Man

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    "Slow"

    Well written but the pace of the story is too slow. But without any doubt it's a classic worth of reading/listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith M. Nimmo Australian 01-01-15
    Judith M. Nimmo Australian 01-01-15 Member Since 2015

    Tesni

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow start but worth getting through"

    Slow start - and too much detail about the 'modern day'. However a truly moving story of the Middle Ages. Well narrated

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CT 12-18-14
    CT 12-18-14
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    "One of my top 100 Scifi novels"
    Any additional comments?

    The doomsday book does a very good job of making characters highly relatable, using antagonist archetypes and a few tropes to great effect, and generally pulls at your heart strings. It keeps you interested and even in the end you could go for "a little bit more."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CB 12-04-14
    CB 12-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent time travel novel, loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really liked this book. The British characters were all interesting and quite well done by the narrator and the author. I am interested in the Middle Ages and it was very interestingto me.However: Why, of why, must they make all Americans obnoxious and rude and demanding in so many British novels? One can only conclude that this is how they perceive us. And while this is true for some Americans, it is just not true for all of us. Couldn't we occasionally see a polite American? I guess that would be boring.


    What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

    Excellent job with all the voices and accents. She overdid the horrible American voices, but she did a good job of making all the Amercians totally obnoxious, so if that is what she was trying to do, she did it well.


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

    No, but it is way too long for that anyway.


    Any additional comments?

    I am definitely going to listen to the rest of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 11-27-14
    N Oakleigh South, Australia 11-27-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Sci-Fi, Great Historical Drama."
    What made the experience of listening to Doomsday Book the most enjoyable?

    It was only enjoyable in parts, in fact some parts, (50%), were really bad, and boring, only 30% of it was great, rest boring. The Sci-Fi part was terrible as the future was written as though it was 1970s small town britain, (not how life might be in the future 100 years hence where it was set with time travel!), with all the boring set pieces, such as a vicar, locals reading mass at church, complaining of bad sermons, squabbles between university departments, people going to the pub, and the words "crossing the quad" were mentioned frequently, slagging off visiting Americans in the typical set piece british people vs Americans way, all soo boring..... the parts that were good was when the historian lived in 14th century England. Evidently in 100 years time people will still be taking aspirin, and you will only get a few tablets per bottle and so have to ration it out because the NHS is skimping on costs, really? Also there were no mobile phones in 100 years either! and on it goes, as I said it's Sci-Fi is almost nonexistent. It was interesting to get a feel for how people lived in the 14th century, as though you were one of them, (I guess this is why it won the Hugo award) "The novel won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and was shortlisted for other awards." So for that I am glad I put up with the 60% crap.I liked on my ipod nano I could skip ahead to get over the boring bits and enjoy life in the 1300s, or set it to x2 speed.So its a book that is hard to rate. Its a great drama, in parts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    NA


    Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator used a very british voice and sounded exactly as I think she was supposed to sound, so for this book she was great, ie sounding like a tedious boring british person. (You don't have to sound like that in sounding british I hasten to add).


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

    NA


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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