In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope - and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.
©1989 Dan Simmons; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1990
Locus Award, Best Novel, 1990
"Dan Simmons has the Midas touch: Every genre he writes - whether SF, horror, mystery, historical, or thriller - he turns to gold. Hyperion and The Fall Of Hyperion set a new standard for grand-scale science fiction." (Kevin J. Anderson, author of The Saga of Seven Suns)
"Dan Simmons was a star from the outset. It was the Hyperion books that made him a superstar. The man, quite simply, is what we in the trade call a writer's writer." (Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author)
Each of [the pilgrim's] stories would make a superb novella on its own. (The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas)
Maybe - it was an interesting book - good character study and the technology didn't disrupt the continuity of the story, but I have to admit I was disappointed in the ending.
I liked the use of different narrators to bring the book to life.
I tried three times to read this book: In 1989 when it came out, in 1990 when it won the Hugo (surely I had missed something!) and again in 2003 when I vowed to read or reread all the Hugo winners. I never made it past the first dozen chapters. I found the plot tedious and the characters uninspiring. Then when Audible offered it as a Deal of the Day, I decided to try again. I guess it took an outstanding performance to show me that this is a GREAT book! I was up until 4 am this morning because I couldn't quit listening. The technology is amazing, even after 23 years. The characters and their stories are sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes horrifying, but always compelling. The different cultures are imaginative and fascinating.
One of my top favorates to date.
Martin Silenus, always had me smiling and laughing.
All did a good job giving depth to the characters.
The story of Sol Weintraub.
At the end of this book I HAD to get the rest of the books in the line.
Tell us about yourself!
Hyperion stands as one of the greatest SF novels of the second half of the 20th century. Part allegory, part mystery, drawing inspiration from every spectrum of fiction from The Canterbury Tales to the poetry of John Keats, this novel elevates Science Fiction to a literary form. Like the aforementioned Canterbury Tales the novel follows a quasi-religious quest to the fabled and mysterious planet of Hyperion where mankind’s first true encounter with an alien race takes place. Each member of the pilgrimage has a story to tell, each a piece to a larger, far more intricate puzzle whose final solution may hold the key to the survival of mankind. Simmon’s future is wholly familiar yet startlingly alien in many ways. His characters are developed through their tales and the mysteries they unfold make this an undeniable page turner. If you enjoy Science Fiction that goes beyond robots and ray guns and endeavors to explore the big and essential questions of life and death and what it means to be human this novel is not be missed. The various narrators really bring this story to live in audio form.
Yes. The story is quite good. It is an interesting plot with good world building.
The idea of the time tombs was an interesting twist on the time travel motif. Also, loved the tale of Rachel and the backwards travel.
Probably. A couple of the voices spend familiar.
That would be tough.
Unlike other, I didn't like the Canterbury Tales style of storytelling. I find the start of stories to be the hardest to read and this book gave me six beginnings.
I wasn't sure about this book from the first few chapters, but it turned out pretty good. Although it's described as such, it isn't very firm science fiction. And it gets softer the further into the series you go. The characters are believable and organic, although some of their stories are excessively boring and sappy, but don't last too long. The later books in the series become annoyingly sentimental, and suggest Simmons has a New Age fixation of some kind.
Highly recommended visionary science fiction. Told in the style of Canterbury Tales where each character recounts their story as they travel. Their stories are superb and reveal both their characters and motives and progress the story. However unlike Canterbury Tales this is no comedy.
Be aware however that the story isn't finished at the end of this book in the series.
I'm planning on reading the rest, this is must listen material for those who like science fiction.
Hard to identify a favorite character and although they were all quite different through the depth of the story telling and characterization I identified with parts of each of them.
Damn fine narration although Allyson Johnson sounds more feminine and attractive than I imagine fits her tough character. A very minor point.
Who knows, but in the right hands what a fantastic film this could be.
The Depth the writer goes to to explain the world around him in the tiniest of details he goes to to portray the image of the time. Most impressed
Without any doubt this book equals the "The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F Hamilton. Till Hyperion, was in my opinion the greatest Scifi I have ever read.
The World an the life going on in it. I think this statement explains it well enough because the narrator has done such a good job that its all that needs saying.
Definitely yes, was hard to go to sleep at night while listening to it, because I wanted just "five more minutes"
A must have addition to anyone's lib, an cant recommend it enough.
I first read Hyperion when I was a teenager (and when I'd never heard of John Keats), and I was wondering if it would still hold up (and whether it's more fun if you've read some Keats). The answer is yes!
At first I was doubtful. The first chapter is very awkward because the 5 voice artists are conversing with each other and there are irksome pauses between their lines that should have been edited out - it sounds very stilted.
But hang on in there, because the meat of "Hyperion" is the five lengthy tales told by individual narrators, and this is where the novel really takes hold. Each of the stories is wonderfully engrossing and moving, and each evokes the novel's many worlds and societies in thrilling detail. They are little masterpieces of storytelling and each could stand alone in their own right; but linked together, they illuminate and develop each other beautifully. As the novel comes to its close, you realize that it's a masterpiece of formal perfection. Despite ending on a cliffhanger it's entirely satisfying.
The only disappointment for me was the reader of the Brawne Lamia tale, whose voice lacks the emotional depth of the other readers, and who lumbers the pivotal character of Johnnie with a truly awful attempt at a British accent. The other readers are all wonderful though.
This is one of the great science fiction novels and well worth a listen.
I loved this book. It is beautifully written with brilliant characterisation and a really good storyline. The format means that there are six interesting stories narrated by each of the main characters and these in themselves are well-constructed sci-fi. The over-arching story kept me interested throughout and made me immediately order the sequel "Fall of Hyperion", which I also read and loved. Very highly recommended to people who like the genre - it is one of the best of it's kind. Well read.
"Fantastic...but only as good as the narrators"
This story is probably one of the best sci fi books I have ever read (listened to!). The stories within the story are likewise fantastic.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars is that an audiobook is only as good as the narrator. This book is read by numerous narrators and the lady who narrates M. Brawne Lamia has one of the most annoying accents ever! It was more frustrating as Brawne Lamia is a really interesting character.
An exceptional book, a very good recording and an enjoyable and engrossing experience from beginning to end.
If you can find the time please try to read the book, but if that isn't possible then this is the next best thing, a story of stupefying complexity and subtlety.
The best thing is that the second book is as good if not better than the first, so enjoy.
"Wonderful Sci Fi"
This has got to be one of the best science fiction books I have read. The listener follows seven pilgrims who are on a quest to meet a mythical monster - the 'shrike' on the planet 'Hyperion'. Each pilgrim shares his story with the others, and each story is told in a different style which reflects the individuals' characters. The stories are sometimes harrowing, sometimes sensual and sometimes touching, but always riveting. Dan Simmons has created an incredible, multifaceted world (worlds!) with history, politics, mysticism and religion all mixed in. It is thoroughly captivating - buy 'The Fall of Hyperion' at the same time as you'll want to read on.
"A fantastic combination"
We all have our favourite authors and when listening to them as an audiobook we either fall more in love with them or end up slightly disappointed that they don't meet our expectations - we don't like the reader or it doesn't fire our imagination the same as with our own reading. With this in mind, when I have been selecting new authors, I have done so on the basis of comments people have made, playing a sample of the narrator and how well it has been rated here and elsewhere online.
Dan Simmons and Victor Bevine et al have been a find! This has book has depth in all sorts of unexpected areas and the narration is first rate. Lots of different themes are covered from different perspectives as the story unfold before you - you'll love some characters, hate others and see still others in a new way. It makes you think about certain things that are relevant and wonder how you might have chosen to deal with it.
I don't wish to give any plot away and I hope that you might discover this wonderful combination of first rate narration with a fantastic author.
On the book...
I really liked this book - and have recently finished listening to all of the series. Iain M Banks is still my favourite sci-fi author, but I'd listened to all of his audio books and wanted some more epic contemporary sci-fi and people seemed to recommend this - and rightly so. As a whole the story is definitely epic, has great characters and a really great story. In this one, the sex scenes were a bit perverse and unnecessary. I could see the idea he was going for with it - but it didn't play out well really and was pretty cheesy at times. Other than that, the story is really good and well worth reading.
I didn't really think much of the narrator - it sounded like English wasn't his first language maybe. He pronounced every single word - like 'to' and 'a' - fully, which - when you actually hear it done - is quite strange. He occasionally made little errors in pronunciation - saying the 'chasm' with a soft 'ch' sound - which is a bit weird - or maybe he just did the whole thing in one take without bothering to fix the error. He also pronounced 'Aargh' exactly as it is written, with a clear 'r' and then a hard 'g' sound on the end. No-one really says that when they scream - that's just obvious - again - weird. The thing I disliked the most though was his inability to portray anything other than a small range of emotions. Whenever he took on a woman's voice - there was one set tone - and any emotion - such as anger - was not portrayed at all - it was always just 'the soft woman tone'. The range of accents for the different characters was good - just a bit more attention to tone and emotion was needed.
"Brilliant and gripping story"
I've little to add to what previous reviewers have said except that this is a truly superb audiobook. I was gripped from the word go, and was engrossed right the way through despite the book's length. Probably in the top two or three audibooks I've listened to this year. Narration is excellent. Strongly recommended.
This is without doubt, the best series of books I have downloaded from Audible so far. Epic sci-fi with amazing characters that you will really feel for as the story unfolds. I had of course read the books a long time ago but hearing them brings a whole new dimension to the story, beautifully narrated by the reader, my only tiny complaint was some of the American pronounciation of word and names but it never gets in the way of the huge, complex, and very rewarding story. I've just finished listening to Fall of Hyperion and have to admit to tears in my eyes at certain points. About to start Endymion, plenty of tears to come as I remember. Highly recommended even if you don't like sci-fi!
"As fine a Science Fiction Novel as Dune"
Every so often you come across something really special when reading or listening. This is not "like" Dune There were times when listening the to this novel when the words flowed over the ear like quicksilver. It has real characters, great action and a unique storyline, it is complex but not obscure and it is epic without being pretentious. In short it is a real gem, listen to it!
No. This pilgrims progress style collection of linked short stories is painful. Multiple styles are applied, under a common context, but the characters were unsympathetic and the stories generally uninteresting. It is possible that it may just be dated but I think I am being generous. As if it wasn't a struggle to get through the dreary storylines the book had no proper conclusion and ended abruptly expecting the reader to move on to the next in the series. That's not going to happen.
No. It is awful.
The one saving grace was the multiple narrators but it was mildly confusing and not enough to raise the product above lamentable.
I don't really understand why everyone has raved about this book. It is dry, stilted and just plain dull. I have asked myself if I am just not a Sci-fi fan but this type of thing is just so much better from Issac Asimov or Iain M Banks
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