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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 (3272 )
5 star
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4.0 (2510 )
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Story
4.1 (2486 )
5 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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  •  
    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

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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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    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    98
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    439
    51
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    3
    30
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    Story
    "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
    13
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    73
    34
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    1
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Wendy TEMPERANCE, MI, United States 11-04-14
    Wendy TEMPERANCE, MI, United States 11-04-14 Member Since 2014

    wendellg

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    41
    18
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    Story
    "Off the beaten trail for me"

    I tripped across this book from reviews by other readers and instantly become enthralled with every word and could not wait to listen. I felt as if when I stopped listening the character was "stuck" somehow where I left them and didn't want to stop at some points just because of that. ha. The narration was pitch perfect for me and each character came to life with their own personalities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Livingston, TX, United States 10-31-14
    J Livingston, TX, United States 10-31-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    109
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Starting for the third time."

    I bought this audiobook not knowing about Connie Willis, but hey, it's one of my favorite topics -- time travel, right? It's one of my favorite narrators, Jenny Sterlin, Right? What I didn't expect or care much for was a long dissertation on the social and procedural complications of an infectious disease in a techno-academic environment.

    I've set the book aside a couple of times, but I haven't given up. Not yet. I started it again a few minutes ago, and maybe this time I'll figure out how to read this thing. Maybe I'll pretend that it's a complicated Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adventure and just listen to Jenny Sterlin's hypnotic voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 10-26-14
    fred greensboro nc 10-26-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
    ratings
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    140
    90
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Kind of the same story but a new time in history"

    I would definitely not recommend listening to Willis' historian stories back to back, because they're somewhat familiar. It has been awhile since I heard one of these entertaining stories, and I thought I had heard Doomsday previously because it is the same setup with the same characters. A very entertaining and thought provoking listen but follows the same storyline as Blackout. The narrator did an admirable job with many different characters and a very different sounding olde dialect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    magginses 10-07-14
    magginses 10-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Nice idea but slow pacing."
    Would you try another book from Connie Willis and/or Jenny Sterlin?

    I might, if it were not as long. Normally I love long listens, but I have to agree with other reviewers that this one dragged, particularly on the 'contemporary timeline' side.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The idea was certainly interesting, and the depictions of the Middle Ages were very good. The parts set in the 'present' were definitely too stretched out and some jokes made over and over, losing their charm.


    What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

    I think she did a very good job with Kivrin and with the young characters. Her Agnes was very good. Unfortunately she did a deplorable job with the American accents; I just had to try not to pay close attention during these parts.


    Was Doomsday Book worth the listening time?

    Unfortunately not. At the end I have to say I was glad it was over. Although I found the arc of the story quite interesting each part just took too long. I liked the characters but often wished they would just get on with it. I recently listened to "Just One Damned Thing After another"-- a book that may have been inspired by this one. I have to say it would have been a fitting title for this book as well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean 10-05-14
    Jean 10-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "On and on and on"

    I thought this was going to be an interesting read with a sci-fi twist on the plague years of the 1300s in England. But it just goes on and on with political infighting between academics at Oxford & whose fault it is that the time travel went awry. OK, I get it, but after hours of listening I still don't get the story line. I just gave up. Back to the present.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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