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Existence Audiobook

Existence

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact". Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer - a message in a bottle, an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

©2012 David Brin (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (614 )
5 star
 (198)
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3 star
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Overall
3.7 (543 )
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (547 )
5 star
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3 star
 (81)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (28)
Performance
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  •  
    Michael Cummaquid, Massachusetts 06-25-12
    Michael Cummaquid, Massachusetts 06-25-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    Story
    "Very slow, over all pretty boring."
    Would you try another book from David Brin and/or the narrators?

    I am not sure I would try another Brin title but the narrators of this story are very good. I especially like Kevin Collins.


    Has Existence turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I like science fiction. I just like a faster paced adventure.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

    I would listen to any other story I find narrated by Kevin Collins or any of the narrators from this title.


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

    It was an interesting concept.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrators did their part pretty well, conveying feelings or expression but the story just went on and on. In my opinion I think this story with it limited doses of "adventure" could have been told in one 6 to 8 hour part. It is just to slow to be 30 hours long. I almost could not continue after part 2 of 4.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Pollack Cumberland, Maine USA 06-25-12
    Andrew Pollack Cumberland, Maine USA 06-25-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Meh. Typical Brin - clever short story padded out"

    Brin uses people to showcase his technology ideas when it should be the other way around.

    I give this one a solid "meh".

    Admittedly, I've never been a big fan of David Brin. I think he takes a basically interesting idea and stretches it too long with a lot filler. He's got some good characters - in fact he has so many of them that I don't end up caring much about any of them. He's got some clever science fiction ideas -- and that's what saves the book. What he doesn't seem to get, is that like all good fiction, science fiction is still ultimately about the people in the story, not the technology in the story.

    There were four of five very interesting characters, but none were really the focus of the story. I didn't really get to know them terribly well, and in the end I didn't care much about them. There were other characters -- some of them with real potential -- that just sort of disappeared as their sub plots didn't merge into the developing story. I spent the last 1/3 of the book wondering what ever happened to a couple of them.

    Meanwhile, the long shaggy dog story took several very clever turns, but only hours of reading after they were fairly obvious. Since the only reason the characters by this point seemed to exist was to expose the developing technology and the overall tech story, I wanted to slap them across the face and scream at them to get on with it instead of just blaring out more stilted expository dialog.

    On the other hand, if you've a fan of David Brin's former work I guess you'll probably like this one too. He's such a respected writer, that I was looking forward to this one. I thought since it wasn't in his famous "uplift" series, it would give me a chance to get to know the author from a neutral position. I guess it did that, but I was disappointed by what I found.

    10 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Southfield, MI, United States 08-03-12
    Robert Southfield, MI, United States 08-03-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    17
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    Story
    "Half novel, half philosophy rambling"

    It was difficult to find the story among the many disjointed character and commentators in the book. The cadence of the performers seem to be deliberately slow and staccato. It drove me crazy until I increased the playback speed to 1.25X. Two of the three performers are quite good, while the third is among the worst I've heard. The wildly random jumps in character perspective along with unexplained leaps in time, along with several subplots that just drop and go nowhere made this a confusing mess.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin J. Hackett Wausau, WI 06-10-16
    Benjamin J. Hackett Wausau, WI 06-10-16 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    46
    7
    Overall
    "great story"

    I agree that there is a slow start. but it was well worth the wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parker Frontier 03-12-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Pedantic and Tedious"

    The production of this audio book is admirable in every way: the readers each brought vivid and interesting characterizations that enlivened long stretches of exasperating sermons, philosophical disputations, and thoughtful musings on the human condition and the nature of "Existence" that nearly had me ripping out my hair with exasperation, time and time again. Indeed, the performances are much better than the material deserves.

    It seems like there came a point (avoiding spoilers, where the Havana Artifact and "The Courier of Warning" were about to start talking) when the author realizes that all the plot lines so carefully built up for the last 400 pages WERE GOING NOWHERE. So he turned and sped off in a completely different and even more annoying direction.

    So we have two novels which aren't about anything, in which nothing much happens, which have no particular protagonists, or far too many, take your pick. Some of the most interesting threads disappear with no trace, so be careful.

    Advice to the author: pick a story and tell it, dammit. Advice to the reader: pick another story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry D. Miller The Colony, TX United States 02-21-16
    Jerry D. Miller The Colony, TX United States 02-21-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    34
    15
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    "Not A David Brin Favorite"
    Would you try another book from David Brin and/or the narrators?

    Yes


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    A lot of very flowery drivel not what I have come to expect from a David Brin book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siegfried Glaser 09-27-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    52
    5
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    Story
    "To long-winded and jumping around a bit too much"
    What would have made Existence better?

    The book brought up some interesting ideas. Sadly, at least in my opinion, the story brought up the same points about those ideas again and again without really adding anything new or interesting. Had the book been cut down to let's say half its actual length I might have liked it a lot more.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Brin again?

    Yes. I really enjoyed his ideas and from what I read online this isn't nearly his best book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tamingchaos Coralville, IA USA 08-27-15
    tamingchaos Coralville, IA USA 08-27-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    68
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    Story
    "thoughtful but the ending failed"
    What did you like best about Existence? What did you like least?

    talk about a real interesting take on alien contact!


    Any additional comments?

    I LOVED this book...until the end. I've found this with Brin's other work though as well. He just doesn't seem to know how he wants to end his stories. maybe this is something he actually wants to do...drives me crazy.

    I loved the premise and the characters. The ideas put forth really make you think even past when you turn off the audio book. You start to wonder if maybe..just maybe this might actually be what is going on. Or that it could happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zed 02-19-15
    Zed 02-19-15 Member Since 2008

    Slinger of code. Eater of sushi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    3
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    Story
    "Ok overall with good chunks"

    A bit of a fragmented story. Story arcs start but never resolve. Characters are the focus for a long period and then not mentioned again. I'm a Brin fan, but this really wasn't his best work. Worth a read/listen but likely won't blow you away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amie Larson 02-11-15
    Amie Larson 02-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Great characters and thought-provoking"

    Very well read, the stories and characters are deep and fun. They come together nicely with a great underlying thoughtfulness about how the future could unfold. Thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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