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Humans: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 2 | [Robert J. Sawyer]

Humans: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 2

In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation.
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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo-nominated novel, Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naive visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population, and environmental degradation. The Neanderthals have developed a highly artistic, ethical, and scientific culture without ever inventing farming - they're still hunters and gatherers - and this allows the author to make some interesting and generally unrecognized points about the downside of the discovery of agriculture.

BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why one particular chapter of Humans is his very favorite.

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

©2003 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (617 )
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4.0 (288 )
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4.3 (280 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    pugmom Lewisburg, PA 06-08-14
    pugmom Lewisburg, PA 06-08-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Humans: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 2"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No! The 1st book of this series was a solid good book for this genre This one is an ape human romance novel.


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

    No!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The obligatory cliche' human vs Ape sex scene.


    Was Humans worth the listening time?

    NO No! The 1st book of this series was a solid good book for this genres This one is an ape human teenage romance novel.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Gouverneur Amherst, MA United States 01-14-14
    Elizabeth Gouverneur Amherst, MA United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    106
    4
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    Story
    "Disappointing sequal"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The Christian outlook seemed overdone to me, and intruded on the story. The repeated idea that 'our' universe may have an afterlife, and that so much of our culture is defined by that belief felt awkward. There is a long scene at the Vietnam Vet Memorial where Mary defends our wars which I really did not like. Perhaps the author is leading me to feel this way, but I felt bludgeoned by it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert J. Sawyer again?

    Yes. I enjoyed the first book in the series a lot.


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

    The characters had distinctive voices, easy to identify and follow.


    Any additional comments?

    I need to decide if I want to finish the series. I'm not particularly happy with where it seems to be going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen B Australia 09-18-13
    Glen B Australia 09-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    23
    4
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    "Should have stopped after book 1"
    Any additional comments?

    Although I highly recommend book 1, this follow on becomes boring very quickly and fails to inspire imagination like the first book did.
    Basically, book 1 felt adventurous and it was exciting to visualize the fantastic ideas the author brought to the story, but in this book there are no new ideas and it goes from being adventurous to a boring love story with barely any excitement.Such a shame, as I was excited after the first book to know there were 2 more to follow.
    Having read the reviews for book 3, it appears it doesn't get any better so I'm now searching for a new series to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Merville, BC, Canada 10-01-12
    John Merville, BC, Canada 10-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    101
    4
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    "A platform for hostility"

    Sawyer took a concept that had potential for an intriguing story, then butchered it by devoting the whole series to attacking any faith system other than atheism. While the series was intended to be a platform for social commentary, it doesn't really have anything to say other than the world would be a better place if we had technologies that don't exist, men took no hand in child rearing and just stayed away from women and children, and that all would be just butterflies and lollipops if we did no homework into religion, blamed all our problems on it, and turned to the guiding light of atheism for moral clarity. Really, he could have covered that in a pamphlet. Going through that over and over in a trilogy was painful. Save yourself the frustration. AVOID THIS SERIES.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Vancouver, WA, United States 05-19-12
    Lauren Vancouver, WA, United States 05-19-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    265
    6
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    "Following the trend of most modern Sci-fi books"

    Like a lot of recent Sci-fi books, the theme of the Earth being ruined by Humans is a big one. The first book of the series was really good, Sawyer painted a very interesting society. This one lived up in uniqueness of ideas, but it was superficial, rather than the source of the stories conflict. The Global Warming theme is over done, its very cliche. I have read quite a few books dedicated to the subject, i don't need a fiction book to address the matter for me. I probably won't get the 3rd book of the series unless it's on sale sometime. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hector Newark, New Jersey, United States 10-27-11
    Hector Newark, New Jersey, United States 10-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    8
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    "Easy to enjoy, yet appealing to the mind!"

    This piece is what some would call a proud pleasure.
    Unlike other very enjoyable books that leave you with the guilty feeling of having wasted your time while having fun with a nice read, Sawyer's work on the Neanderthal Parallax, book II is easy to enjoy, yet appealing to the mind. It has a very nice pace, driving the story through very interesting scientific facts that really make you think about the small things in the human nature that lead all the way up to the very structure of society.

    I would recommend this book to the person who is drawn to the what ifs of human history, to the lover of anthropology/paleo-anthropology, to the science fiction fan looking for something different than spaceship related stories, and just about anyone who likes the "fiction-books-that-make-you-think-rather-than-just-playing-out-a-fantasy-world" genre.

    Now, this is specially for the reader new to the audibook world: I had read book one of this trylogy years ago and even though I wanted to get the second part, I didnt have the time to actually sit down and read, so I never bought it. This is why I decided to try the audiobook: so I could know how the story ends and kill time on my daily commute at the same time. So far its one of the most life quality improving things I've done during the very scornful traffic hours of my life.

    Try it, you wont regret it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Milbradt Madison, WI United States 11-26-10
    D. Milbradt Madison, WI United States 11-26-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Runs Out of Steam"

    Book one was entertaining but, book two mostly drags on with a tiresome exploration of religion and sentimenal reasons to believe in life after death. It is true that huntergatherers had lots of time on their hands but, the author is unable to convince me that they had any incentive to develop an iorn age or advanced technologies. I'm stopping at book 2 after reading the reviews by other readers.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kai Santa Fe, NM, United States 06-30-08
    Kai Santa Fe, NM, United States 06-30-08 Member Since 2006

    All about that Mil-fy Sci-fi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Humans"

    This book is a very thought provoking and well writen pice of
    well, writing. and so it realy draws the reader in.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 09-27-10
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 09-27-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    "A romance novel?"

    Reads more like a bad romance novel than science fiction. Robert Sawyer is usually absolutely excellent but this second book is terrible!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Reno,, NV, USA 07-26-08
    Alan Reno,, NV, USA 07-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    12
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    "Enjoyable"

    I wanted to finish reading this book and go on to the next book in the series. Once again, there was social commentary married with interesting characters.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
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