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Existence Audiobook

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".
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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 (606 )
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3.7 (538 )
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4.1 (542 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jesper 10-29-14
    Jesper 10-29-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gave up."
    Any additional comments?

    This is the first audio book I have given up on, but I feel I'm only being teased, where is the story hiding?
    It feels like a (maybe solid) short story that was just padded and padded and padded some more to get it long enough to publish.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-12-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-12-13 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "WHY IS THE FUTURE ALWAYS IN THE FUTURE"

    THESE PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE TRUSTED WITH A BURNT MATCH
    If he had made two books out of this I most likely would have liked it better. One book with the story in it and one with the science fiction talking points. Some parts of this are actually very good. I especially liked the science discussions. In parts he discusses how aliens may actual make contact. It is a theory similar to putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out in space. In another part he discusses how it may be stupid of us to be trying to make contact with other races. Giving the example of our history and what usually happens when one more technically advanced race meets another. It is almost never good for the less advanced race.

    A lot of the story parts were just not that interesting. I enjoyed following the Chinese couple living in a make shift house boat, but could not connect with the rich guy, the astronaut or most of the other characters. I also did not enjoy the uplift trilogy. If you enjoyed the uplift trilogy you will probably like this. This also reminded me of John Brunner's "Stand On Zanzibar" Several parts of this are like reading a newspaper from way in the future.

    One reviewer said give it 8 hours, I gave it 9 hours and just did not want to spend the rest of my working week, listening to this disjointed story, newscast, or science nerd discussion program. If you are new to science fiction and or science lingo, you will probably not enjoy this. If you like Brin's other works or John Brunner, you may love this. I liked The Postman, but I could not get into this.

    There are a variety of narrators and one of them is a little hard to hear.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-27-12 Member Since 2012

    Listening is not the same as reading, but it is still fun

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh God it is hard to listen to."

    I really wanted to like this book. I have not had a decent book to listen to for a month so I took it hoping it was good.

    The story is as slow as molasses in winter. The narrator makes an real effort to convey emotions but there is just nothing here. I am going to try again but I don't know if I can bear it.

    I am tempted to say avoid this book

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert 12-18-14
    robert 12-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tediously interersting"
    What did you like best about Existence? What did you like least?

    It presented some interesting ideas; it was a slow listen.


    Would you recommend Existence to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not unless they've been bad...Christmas season and all that.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?

    Several narrators read


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe, it had some interesting concepts.


    Any additional comments?

    Took much longer to get through than planned...I now know how members of Lyle Lovett's song "Church" felt while waiting for the sermon to end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta Pastor Prescott, AZ USA 12-02-14
    Roberta Pastor Prescott, AZ USA 12-02-14

    I am single, retired and enjoy gardening. I don't have the discipline to sit and read a book. Audio books are such a blessing to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Author's mind kept me going to the end."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. This was a grueling read. My mind couldn't keep up with who was who and what was happening. I know the author has a brilliant mind and this book was his way of relating what this world would be like in the future.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Existence?

    One of the characters had only her mind left after an accident. She was given an artificial body and her mind was somehow made part of this new body.


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

    No.


    Did Existence inspire you to do anything?

    It made me think about the notion that our world exists solely through the perception of the observer. The book tries to get your mind around this belief about what reality really is.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard a David Brin interview. He has a genius mind. I wanted to hear more about his ideas, that's why I bought the book. But, it turned out to be a long, grueling read. My mind just isn't equipped to process his information.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill 09-21-14
    Bill 09-21-14 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "Most disapointed in the unfulfilled potential."
    What did you like best about Existence? What did you like least?

    The story seemed new and that made for an interesting beginning. Soon the story starts to jump ahead past in time, without much warning of what is happening. What is even more frustrating is that the author seems to be jumping past parts of the story that would be great to hear with what amounts to "Ten years later". This is a device that can be helpful to move past tedious parts of a story, but in this case you miss out on plot I never feel gets made up for. Sometimes it also seems like an act of Deus Ex Machicina to help the writer out of a corner they have painted himself into.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Two of the three narrators turned in solid performances. I am not generally a fan of multi-narrator books. In this case several characters are assigned to each narrator, and parts of the story from their perspective are by that narrator. It is distracting when characters from different narrators meet, and their personality is changed by that narrators take on the character.


    Do you think Existence needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think it would have been better if David Brin had taken two books to tell this story. There is enough story here if it were not glossed over with jumps forward in time. But the way he has chosen to write this has rendered it unnecessary.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is would not be a a total waste of time, but there are many more books I could suggest before you take the time to listen to this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 09-03-14
    Kathi 09-03-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "So thought provoking it was almost over my head..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Less technical jargon for me but it certainly kept the flavor of the book front and center. Also - still not clear what the tie in was with autistics.


    If you’ve listened to books by David Brin before, how does this one compare?

    First one (and probably last)


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Tor (if spelled correctly)


    Could you see Existence being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes. Charlize Theron as Tor.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a bookclub choice, or I wouldn't have read it. I loved that I did....and made it all the way through. Very interesting ideas.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GIVE ME MY COINS!!!!!!!!!! Bremerton, WA, United States 08-31-14
    GIVE ME MY COINS!!!!!!!!!! Bremerton, WA, United States 08-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Story plot reminded me of a kid on a Pogo stick."

    In the end I came to understand the philosopy of where the author was going, but the trip to there was hard. The story plot jumped around way too much for my taste, found it boring and a drudge at too may times. Also, I was never sure who the main characters were, still not. The most redeaming part and the only reason I slogged my way through was the perfomance of the narrators.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ozgribbo Australia 05-27-14
    ozgribbo Australia 05-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    "An epic in every sense of the word."

    This is a long, long book and it is easy to lose concentration with all of the different threads. Lots of good (if re-worked) ideas. But it went on far, far too long and ended with a bit of a fizzle. The narrators/performers did a great job doing the huge list of characters and they kept my interest going. Needs a radical pruning/abridging and a bit more "oomph" in the ending. Disappointing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heye 01-21-14
    Heye 01-21-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    3
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    "Boring, couldn't keep my interest"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Definitely Not


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Brin again?

    No, if the other books are anything like this one I probably won't. I'm putting him on my do not listen book.


    Could you see Existence being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    No much more to say. I listened to the book for hours hoping that it would improve, but it was just too strange and boring.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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