BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer reveals the "secret history" of The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.
Hunt and gather: listen to more in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.
©2003 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"The genre's northern star - in fact, one of the hottest SF writers anywhere." (Maclean's)
I've always been interested in Evolution and have enjoyed fiction focusing on Neanderthals and our relationship with them way back when. I really debated whether or not to take a chance on these books (I'm half way thru the 2nd book, Humans, as I type) and I'm so glad I did. I love the actual science and feel like I'm learning so much. I love the characters too. Ponter and Mary are carrying the story so well. This idea of what could have happened or might still happen has me "thinking" so much about religion and politics and life in general. I love it when a book makes me think like this. Can't wait to finish Humans and then start on Hybrid. This author, Mr. Sawyer, must be one fascinating MIND.
Bottom line is... Go for it! Take a chance. Not many will regret the opportunity to think outside the box. It's really a treat to be so entertained while learning so much.
I'm 66. I've read Audiobooks now for 6 years. After an assault, I had minor brain damage and couldn't read. Audible got me back to books
Captivating. Intelligent. Satisfying.
Favorite character, Ponter Boddit. He is appealing, moral and intelligent.
I have listened to Sawyer's books. His themes are why I enjoy Science Fiction. Davis brings them to life with his wide range of voices.
The Neanderthal Parallax is good for it's attention to character development. It's full of emotions.
Sawyer's future science is fascinating. Feeds the quest for knowledge.
Avid book lover and listener. Nuff said for this purpose.
In the middle
Would have been 31/2 stars overall but can't do that!
Hybrids, the last book in Sawyers trilogy is a hit or miss for me. I'm secure enough to be able to read a book purporting to be sci-fi but that is more social commentary, that is 180+/- degrees from what I believe and or know to be true and to still see it for what it is, a book of fiction not fact. I think Sawyer goes overboard in maligning religious experience, miracles, UFO'S, after-life, and any other supernatural experience one might have had or think they have. Where big brother not only watches everyone, but lives with you daily and you're happy about it. Where generations are born every so many years so all grow up as the same age in a particular generation, certainly great birth control..Although this could have made for a great sci-fi book. Could have! But in my opinion, didn't. The sociology was so ingrained in this last book of the trilogy as to be trying to force a mind change on anyone who in reality (not just the fantasy world of the book), doesn't agree with it and that we're probably not as good a society/world as the Neanderthals. Which in a few cases we aren't compared to Neanderthal ideology presented. Sawyer's Calculating God, which I really enjoyed, had some of the god talk as well but in a more comparative way.. Letting the reader on their fantasy trip see more sides to a premise than only the one that Hybrid gives.
For me, not one of Sawyers best. I'm not sorry I listened to it, it had some good science in it, especially quantum computers, but the end was really a let down for me on what could have been a great comparative analysis of parallel worlds. Hope this helps.
If you are a very religious person of any faith, you may not want to listen to this. I doubt it will change your mind but I know you won't like the end. If you don't take offense easily about your beliefs in supernatural happenings, miracles etc. and especially religion and can see the social commentary for what it is...then you may enjoy the scientific parts of the book. I'm not sorry I listened to it. It's the fourth book of Sawyers I've listened to, but I do hope his other books aren't based on the same type/hype of social commentary!
Too many books! I read audio books all day long and still can't keep up with all the great titles I've found!
I was surprised that this book turned out as bad as it did. I have read most of his work, including the two before this in the series, and was flabergasted by the hasty and poor execution. He had been fair through his other two books between atheism and theism - with balanced science on both sides of the arguement. For this one, it is an all out (amatuer) assault on religion as the source of everything evil in the world and it is all some kind of genetic defect. Can evil acts be blamed on religion? Sure, but everyone who studies more than transcripts of George Bush's speeches know that evil men grab religion as an exuse to get people to do things on faith. Faith doesn't cause evil, Mr. Sawyer, evil men do and then blame religion.
I think it is safe and accurate to say that Mr. Sawyer has a strange and unavoidable dislike of the United States (though I am sure if asked he would heartily deny it - not good for sales) and a bit of an obsession with his Canadianism - that and his religion. Aside from that, I agree with the other 3 reviewers here and have little to add.
Yes. About the same.
No. I needed to take breaks. I can't sit through this much political mush-headedness in one listening.
The author continues his political discourse throughout this 3rd book. It reminds me of a person complaining about the evils of large corporations while eating dinner in a restaurant owned by a large corporation... a meal being paid for by his father, who works for a large corporation. How nice that you have views, but you would not be free to discuss your views in this forum if it wasn't for the benefits of the system that you believe to be inferior. Specifically, Robert J Sawyer would not be able to spend time writing about the evils of agricultural societies if he lived in a hunter-gatherer society. He would be hunting. He would be fishing. He would be cleaning game & carrying it back to where the meal would be prepared. He would be doing these things because he had to eat, not because he enjoyed them. What archaeological evidence do we have that hunter-gatherers had any sort of writing? None. All evidence of early writing comes from peoples who lived in cities & cultivated fields.
His views on religion are interesting, too. It must be nice to live in a think-tank where people are not responsible for their own actions. This is not reality, however. People choose to make mistakes. Few, if any, religions preach that people should war with their neighbors. People choose to make war instead of peace. People choose to do evil unto others. These are choices, not mandates of religious system or practice.
The often-cited view of the author that Canada is superior to other countries is odd, also. In one paragraph he writes about how horrible is the death penalty, and how Canada doesn't practice it. In another he writes about abortion and how Canada allows it. So, it's okay to kill innocent babies but not okay to kill people who have chosen to enter a school and kill children? How is that a superior, or even logical, thought process?
These are only a small sample of the views expressed throughout the book. As I said in my comments about Book 2, Robert Sawyer - please tell your fabulous story, but leave out your brainwashing tactics.
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.
As I said in my previous two reviews:
This book is the kind of ultra left wing propaganda that would stretch Stalin's face into that evil Uncle Joe grin like few other modern works. The author claims to have been inspired by the original Planet of the Apes films to create a work that will engage the reader in modern political topics while entertaining them. Obviously he is either insincere in his claim or is incapable of seeing validity except in the most absurd and deformed views of the socialists super Liberal intellectual elitist. Though he tries hard it is destined to be a weak case from a totalitarian, fundamentally Marxist, socially non-redemptive perspective which may explain why he barely ever offers an inkling that there may be a counter argument to his ridiculous vision.
The writing and story line are not too bad so if your into this type of tripe you will certainly enjoy it.
I read all three hoping he might somehow redeem himself. I held out judgment until the very end.
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