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Hominids Audiobook

Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. A computerized guardian spirit, however, doesn't eliminate cross-cultural confusion; permanent male-female sexuality, rape, and overpopulation are all alien to Ponter. Nor can it help his housemate and fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why Ponter Boddit is his favorite among all the characters he's created.

Hunt and gather: listen to more in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.

©2002 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2003

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1523 )
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4.2 (849 )
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Performance
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  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 10-31-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 10-31-14 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

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    "My Universe is Better Than Your's..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hominids to be better than the print version?

    Probably. Audible does a great job here. I have not read the book, but his might be a good example where the audible version is better than the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I could say the lead character. I found him engaging and interesting. He reminded me of the primary character in the Ursula LeGuin book, The Dispossessed. He had a sanguine approach to the difficulties he was faced, yet did so with courage. I wonder if Sawyer was influenced at all by LeGuin.


    What does Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I had not read Sawyer before and I think many readers will enjoy him. The story is fast paced and elements of it were like a TV show or movie. The narrator did a great job conveying this sense of action and kept the story moving.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Portions of the book reminded me of Asimov and "The God's Themselves". This story and Hominid is essentially a backdrop for a discussion of quantum mechanics and elements of string theory. I found this interesting. The hard science elements of this book were not over wrought, and made it intelligent writing on many levels.


    Any additional comments?

    Sawyer is a popular author and far be it from me to criticize him. At times I felt like the book was careening to a climax, something which I find to be a contrivance in a lot of current science fiction. My guess is the modern reader compares these types of stories to TV and will be bored., I my opinion it felt a bit rushed. A considerable amount happened in a short span of time. So the net here for the reader considering this book is if you like a story that is terrific, fast paced and non-stop you will be rewarded. If you like a story that provides backdrop, characterization and more depth this might not be right for you. I don't say this in a dismissive way. I personally enjoy these types of books occasionally and I enjoyed Hominid very much on this occasion. I am glad I read it, I found it interesting and it was worth the credit. I am just not sure I will return to Sawyer's universe in the short term.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 01-14-12
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 01-14-12 Member Since 2011

    MIke Charette

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    "Wonderful Story, Thank you Robert J. Sawyer!"
    What made the experience of listening to Hominids the most enjoyable?

    This is a wonderful story, I was very emotionally drawn into the story. I felt real fear when Ponder, the Neaderathal, was shifted into our universe, in pure darkness, swimming in a cavern of water, (fighting for his life) which was then shrinking. I liked the Candian perspective, and I loved the discriptions of the Nearderthal world, which were insightful, and imaginative, The alibi alcoves and such, Beautiful! Its as good as Enders Game, or Pohl's Gateway! Loved the ending, very satisfying, I give it a 93 out of 100.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ponder, though this is not as good as Heinlien's Stranger in a Strage land, this is a Great book, Good for you Robert J. Sawyer!


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer – was your favorite?

    All, except, he does have a weak Jamacian accent, though not that big a deal. He was very emotional, and exceptional in his reading! Wonderful!


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

    The part whare Ponder comes to our Universe in the Nitrino tank, and the ending I almost cried! This guy is a relly good writer!


    Any additional comments?

    I laughed at the product placement, though I am paraphrasing,

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Houston, TX, United States 12-27-11
    Paul Houston, TX, United States 12-27-11 Member Since 2012

    I've been an Audie Awards judge since 2008. I have enjoyed audiobooks since the days when they were called "Books on Tape".

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    "Another Great Story by Sawyer"

    Two nuclear physicists have a breakthrough in the design of a quantum computer, only in doing so, they create an openning into a parallel world, only the physicists are neanderthals and one of them gets sucked into our world.

    An incredible story is used to draw interesting and well educated comparisons between humans and what neanderthals could have been like. It's not great science fiction... Instead, it's great science... and great fiction.... and a little bit of a mystery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-05-11
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-05-11 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!!!

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    "Good Science Fiction"

    I am a fan of Robert J. Sawyer and this is another great read. This is Science Fiction in it's purest form. We are talking Neanderthals, parallel universes and a little physics thrown in. Character development not the best. Mainly it has neat stuff in it that leads to a lot of deep thought.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 02-10-09
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 02-10-09 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Don't gag on the politics and stereotypes"

    If you've read Sawyer before you'll be aware that he has a lot of political commenting (a.k.a. complaining) in his works... this is no exception. And, no, it's not done discreetly or in flow with the story, he sorta just sticks it in at some spot he deems convenient - sometimes it doesn't clash with the story flow, but mostly it does and you'll stop and think, "now what does the government funding policy have to do with this Neanderthal?".

    The narrator is okay though he attempts to do accents which are not very good or very consistent. I.e. the Jamaican accent sometimes sounds French, sometimes is not present, and once in awhile might sound sorta Jamaican, but not really.

    The concept behind the book is cool and there is some exploration of how it could be "possible" which makes the sci-fi part of the novel pretty decent... it's the character development (or lack thereof) that makes this story frustrating. Instead of developing characters, Sawyer relies on stereotypes to dictate and explain behaviors: females are victims (to menstrual cycle, to rapists) men get so distracted by beautiful women they can't focus on their work, etc.

    The concept is worth 4 stars, the rest of it warrants a 3, or less if you tend to choke on political grumbling. I won't buy any more in this series.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Orlando, FL, United States 10-18-12
    Scott Orlando, FL, United States 10-18-12 Member Since 2013
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    "A great book from Robert J. Sawyer"

    This is one of those books that really makes you stop and look at how we fit into the overall picture. I LOVE these types of books. You may, or may not agree with Sawyer's take on humanity, but it really makes you step back and evaluate where the human race is, and where we are going...

    Jonathan Davis was a treat to listen to as well. Well done!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dissipatedfog San Francisco, CA 08-21-08
    dissipatedfog San Francisco, CA 08-21-08
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    "Great premise, good story, decent reading"

    I really liked the premise of this book and thought that the story was told well although there were a few passages that seemed forced. The reading was fine, the Jamaican accent sounded more Scottish or Irish to me, but what does this American know about accents! I didn't like the intro by the author, it was self-congratulatory and also seemed like he was trying to sell me a book I'd already bought. Then the first 5 minutes of the reading were about how the author's decision on which spelling of Neanderthal to use. Start playback at 7:29 and you won't miss a thing from the story.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 09-20-15
    Stephen 09-20-15

    I enjoy a good read, tough to do while driving.

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    "Humanity, homo sapiens anyway, are bad"
    Would you try another book from Robert J. Sawyer and/or Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ?

    I don't know. Not right now. I got impression he is angry at something.


    What about Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ’s performance did you like?

    Great performance, I enjoyed it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 02-16-15
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2012

    Bulls Fan

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    "Excellent!"

    I initially bought this book because it was on sale. I really didn't know what to expect and figured I might as well try it as it was a super low price. Boy was I glad I did!

    It was truly an excellent story that was entertaining, extremely well narrated, and brought up some interesting philosophical questions about the nature of people and quantum physics.

    I recommend it highly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rena Alberta Canada 02-11-15
    Rena Alberta Canada 02-11-15 Member Since 2012

    I'm always on the search for engaging, intelligent books & authors who give me a story I can relate to. Through Audible I'm finding a lot! When I'm not reading or listening, I'm writing, cooking, traveling or working on my house or in the yard. Politics is also central in my life; I feel it's important to be aware of what's going on and give voice to protecting all that we value & hold dear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Engaging Flight of Canadian Fantasy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of the most entertaining books I've heard in years!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed all of them; not anyone in particular. Each character added so much to the story; it was balanced with no one character dominating the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Pondar is standing on the Canadian Shield overlooking the spot where he would be living in the parallel dimension. Also where they are laying on the hood of the car looking up into the night sky.


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

    I never listen to books all in one sitting. First of all I don't have that kind of time plus its more enjoyable to listen to books in bits. I usually put the timer on especially so with books I really enjoy; I don't want them to end.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not big on fantasy and sci-fi but this one was a winner. The facts that were woven into the book - real locations (the neutrino observatory is real - actually exists in Sudbury); real history about our species and evolution really made the book come to life. The only thing that kind of threw me off that I feel didn't add anything to the book was the rape scene and the part where he flares his nostrils detecting the smell of her menstruating - that was a bit of a turn off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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