©1999 Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal." (Publishers Weekly)
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I liked this book. It's part scifi, part murder mystery. If you like science, especially quantum physics it's a good book. If not, then probably not. If you like the science part, then its good till the last few chapters. An experiment at a supercollider throws everyone on the planet into a trance for 2 minutes. While in the trance you get to see 20 years into the future (but if you are driving a car guess what happens). Some people see what they will become, other people just see what they are dreaming, and then there are the people who see nothing meaning you are dead in 20 years. A major character tries to understand why he is dead and finds out he will be murdered. So far so good. Then its starts to get kind of cosmic as in 2001 space odyssey kind of stuff. Then it turns into a kind of romance book. I wish I was editor on this book because it would have been great without last 2 chapters and a twist on ending (maybe not so "happy".)
An interesting idea.
The most memorable moments are the ones I have had after reading the book, thinking back on the ideas, contemplating it, digesting it.
The idea for this story is intriguing and it starts off well and has some good suspense. Sawyer explores some interesting scenarios through the lives of the characters overall, yet toward the end, it just doesn't feel that well thought out. I feel like maybe the author was under a deadline or something and just put a generic component to the ending. This wouldn't be at the top of my recommendation list, but it is worth getting if you really love time travel fantasy. The best time travel stuff on Audible that I have read is definitely Replay by Ken Grimwood, The Schumann Frequency & The First Boxer by Chris Ride and 11-22-63 by Stephen King. Hope this helps. Later.
Nerdgirl who loves to read and listen during a nasty 2 hour daily commute. Mostly listen to intelligent stories to escape road rage - love s
The first part of this book was very enjoyable for me. The what-ifs were intriguing and the mystery was...well mysterious. When the book took a turn towards the dreadfully boring theoretical physics I had to force myself to continue. The idea that the future is immutable seems ridiculous to me. It is especially silly in this story because getting a glimpse into the future would change so many lives. It just seemed absurd and the book never addressed that issue as it related to the irreversible future. I liked the premise but not so much the execution. I hated the ending and it was just dull. The conclusion frustrated me and did not satisfy.
Also, I think that the story could have used some kind of levity. The narrator was just okay for me. If you are into mind numbingly boring physics then this could be the book for you. I was less than impressed.
A Hadron collider experiment causes the collective consciousness of humanity to get a glimpse of the future 21 years hence for about 2 minutes. The book is filled with the consequences, as well as interesting asides, scientific explanations, a little romance and a fair amount of action. It was an easy read and an enjoyable one. It was more thoughtful and reflective than one might expect with such a plot, and Sawyer is a romantic at heart, which slows down the ending. The narrator was good, almost invisible to the telling, so you could just concentrate on Sawyer's words.
I really loved this book. It’s extremely interesting about a weird experience. Everyone in the world looses consciousness for a short period of time and sees their own future. I am now watching the TV series of the same name and its quite good.
Only 52 minutes left and I'm finding it hard to finish. I went through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (57 hours) in less than a week but this 10 1/2 hour book just doesn't do it.
soo many descriptions of stupid things. Subway cars in Toronto.Buttons on a gadget. Recaps of Casablanca. If you edited out all the extra crap and added some characterisation, say, it would have been an interesting story. As it is I'm within an hour of finishing and don't even care how it ends.
Couldn't bear to listen to this for very long, thanks to the lengthy descriptions of irrelevant details, such as each character's hair style. Also a case of an author showing off his knowledge whilst not relevant for the plot. Perhaps the story got better later on, but this was not for me.
I bought this largely because of the TV series. The book was very interesting and enjoyable up to about halfway through. It then got into such scientific mumbo jumbo that I was totally lost and could no longer follow the plot. I want to be entertained when listening to a book. I like to laugh, be shocked and associate with the characters. I became so confused with the scientific jargon and terms that I just about stopped listening but endured it to the boring end. This reminds me of the most recent books from Stephen King. I used to be a huge King fan and then his books endings got so bizarre that I stopped reading his work. This book follows the same pattern of being interesting and enjoyable for the first half and then turns into this weird psychedelic out in left field ending. I guess I have found another author to put on my "don't read" list. A tital waste of a credit!
struggled to finish but was too far in. should have packed it in long ago
Watched the series and always wondered how it finished... this is a great listen, much better than the tv adaptation, couldn't stop listening...
"Not same story as TV show"
I listened to this as a big fan of the TV show (prematurely cancelled) and hoped this would continue the story as I had heard it was only half of the book.
Although you can see where the show got its ideas, I can say (this maybe the only time I ever say this!) the TV show did it better! The book was poorly paced and had long sequences where it only seemed to tell me of the science behind it. There was no real tension even during the chase sequence, it just seemed a bit slapstick.
If you like physics and debating theories this is the book for you.
If you liked the TV show, probably give this a miss.
"Great concepts, but lacking in other areas"
The concept of this book is interesting and innovative, and it is clearly founded on a good understanding of physics. The style of writing is very much that of an analytical person. You are more likely to hear about the colour of a wall or a desk than a smell or emotion. At times the writing seems to descend into a list of bullet points.
However, the audience for this book is likely to consist of quite analytically minded people, who may not be bothered by the slightly cold tone. A physics qualification will come in handy as complex concepts are explored at length in sometimes incongruous conversations.
The date on the audiobook is 2009, but his was written in 1999, and the author has failed to grasp many of the basic advancements made between those years. Indeed many predictions for 2030 are behind the reality of 2015. It has aged surprisingly badly.
The most annoying aspect of all was that book is sprinkled with predictions that are patently absurd. Sitting alongside well considered and perceptive thoughts, they shatter the illusion.
The narrator was generally fine, but seemed to produce brutish European accents, of which there were many, and also a few mispronunciations.
My ratings are a tad on the low side. Out of 10 I would have given 7, but I can't bring myself to give 4/5.
"One of the best books I have read in a long time"
If you have even a passing interest in particle physics and quantum theory you will love this book. And if you don't have any interest in either you can still enjoy a good storyline. I couldn't put this book down.
"Great book, awful narration"
I am about half way through the audio of this book and I am thoroughly enjoying the plot. Quite different from the tv series but that's ok for me.
My only complaint is the narration - I find it quite hard to believe in any of the characters as all their accents are the same, regardless of nationality - the New Zealand accent is particularly amusing! I would rather the narrator didnt try to put on different voices for each character if he is going to do it badly.
For me, this really lets the audiobook down which is disappointing as I'm quite fascinated with the subject matter.
First of all - if you are expecting a book of the TV series - forget it. This book was so much better than the TV series which was based (very very loosely) on it.
Robert J Sawyer is a real old fashioned intelligent science fiction writer, the kind that gives your brain a real work out. The information about the real places such as the Large Hadron Collider is woven into the story extremely well giving it depth and believability. The fiction elements are blended in so skillfully that you really have to stop and think about where the science stops and the fiction begins.
The book works on many levels, once the reader has been introduced to the idea of a 'flash forward' glimpse of the future then the real questions start and they come thick and fast. What impact would it have to know in advance that in 20 years you would or would not be famous? How do we know whether the future is fixed and does free will really mean anything? What about the millions of people killed by the event and how do the authorities cope? How do you prove what causd the phenomenon without killing millions more people in the process?
Add to the mix a murder mystery where the crime won't take place for twenty one years and you have a classic sci-fi tale up there with the likes of I-Robot and Foundation. I can't help but think that this would have made a fantastic movie if handled correctly rather than the seriously dumbed down TV series.
As an audio book, the production was great, the narration was excellent and I was hooked from start to finish. More like this please....
Really not worth the trouble - wooden characters with stilted dialogue, lumpen plot and a smattering of futurology: "Windows 9", hovercars and big televisions anyone?
The TV series shares little more than the title. This is probably a good thing as the book lacks all the excitement found in the dramatization.
This is a beautifully written and thought-provoking book which is well read by the narrator. It raises the fascinating questions of how life would change if you could see 20-years into the future, how much that vision would dictate what actually happened in the future and whether or not the future is pre-determined. This is a great read and much better than the TV series.
Decided to see how this compared with the television series and you can see where the TV series gets it's ideas but other then that theres not much link. As with another reviewer I felt the TV series has more drama however this is a very good book and parts 1 and 2 are well written, interesting and make you want to listen to more. However - the ending is dreadful and a major let down and rather ruins the rest of the book. The first 2 parts on their own would have had a rating of 4/5 but the final part is a 1!
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