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Lucifer's Hammer Audiobook

Lucifer's Hammer

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Publisher's Summary

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization.

But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival - a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

©1985 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Take your earthquakes, waterlogged condominiums, swarms of bugs, colliding airplanes, and flaming what-nots, wrap them up and they wouldn't match one page of Lucifer's Hammer for sweaty-palmed suspense." (Chicago Daily News)
"Massively entertaining." (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5017 )
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4.2 (3497 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 07-30-09
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 07-30-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story from front to back"

    I read Lucifer's Hammer when it first came out, and couldn't resist ordering it in audio. The authors do a solid job of storytelling. The hardest part of any end of the world story is maintaining a worthwhile story for the aftermath. Destroying the world is easy. Making the aftermath both credible and engaging is harder. Niven and Pournelle create characters with enough depth that you can care about them and they place them in credible and interesting situations. The narration is solid. As one reviewer noted, there are a lot of characters. In print, Niven and Pournelle provide a "program" at the front of their books so you can easily refer back and identify characters in the early going until you have them straight. That is missing here (it would be meaningless to read aloud.) Still, it doesn't take that long to place all the characters and the book is well paced.

    It's an enjoyable listen that I'll return to from time to time. Worth the credit.

    63 of 64 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Berger Houston, TX 08-26-09
    Eric Berger Houston, TX 08-26-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very solid book"

    Yes, it's a bit dated, but it's also the first book of the comet/asteroid as the end of the world genre. In that sense it's groundbreaking and definitely worth reading.

    Some people may have difficulty with the first several hours up until right before the comet makes landfall. Yes, the book jumps around, but there are lots of characters to weave into the narrative. And believe me, the payoff is worth it.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Noonan Austin, TX United States 03-16-10
    J. Noonan Austin, TX United States 03-16-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Very enjoyable"

    This was an entertaining audiobook, with a few key drawbacks that keep it from being 5 stars. First, as noted by many other reviewers, the narrator's female voices are pretty bad. They all come out sounding Southern. But I thought his male voices were well-distinguished, and the straight narration was good as well.

    Secondly, the pacing of the story itself is a little strange. The entire first third is character introduction and buildup to the comet strike, then the second third is the strike and immediate aftermath, and the final section is the extended aftermath, including a kind of quick action climax that seems out of place compared to the general tone of suspense in the rest of the book. I felt the third part was rushed, while the first was too drawn out. That said, the writing is excellent throughout, and the various storylines intertwine in some unexpected ways. I put it in the same category as a fun summer action movie that turned out to be better than you expected.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 02-17-13
    Jan 02-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "End of the world + Payton Place + Indiana Jones ="

    Strange Book. Really wanted to like this, as I continue to search for books like "The Road" and "One Second After." The entire first section is nothing but set-up... goes on forever. Second part as event happens and the valley community is set up and organized is actually interesting. The third part part I just endured unable to suspend disbelief at all as the cannibles attack and they fight them off with mustard gas. The characters seem like cardboard sterotypes, placed on the event (the black, white, indians, female, smart, poor, rich, crazy and powerful) and everyone had "coupling" on the brain. Won't be reading again.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-10-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

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    "Too many men talk themselves into hating thier"

    Wives. Just some wisdom from Larry and Jerry.
    As far as Armageddon novels go this is in the upper middle. If you have already listened to Alas Babylon, The Road, The Postman, and One Second After and still want more then buy the book. There is nothing new in this book. This was written in 1977, way before three of the books I mentioned, but that don't mean you should settle. After this then read The Stand or The Mysterious Island.

    After I put the book on fast play, I found I liked the book a lot better. More on that later. Harry the Mailman had to be an influence in David Brin's, The Postman. It is dated, pocket calculators are rare and cost $200 to $300 dollars and white men are Honkies. It runs a little long and seems to have a couple of endings. It is all about California, because those of us in fly over country don't count. There are some interesting characters and interesting situations.

    With about 18 hours left to go I was dreading listening for that long. As a last resort I put the player on fast forward. That made my opinion of the book go up two stars. I hate to be tough on narrators, but they can make or break a book with there talents or lack there of. During the disaster his narration of the carnage, reads like a To do List.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Greenville, SC, United States 11-28-09
    J Greenville, SC, United States 11-28-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Great listening"

    I read this book twenty years ago, and it's always been one of my favorite "Apocalyptic" novels. I was so happy to see it released as an audiobook.
    While some novels of this ilk don't stand up to the "technology test of time" -- written before the proliferation of cell phones and computers -- this one does, for the most part.
    Niven and Pourelle's great characterizations make this a wonderfully compelling read, and one that is hard to put down. However, there are a LOT of characters, so it may help to go to a website that allows you to "look inside the book," and print out the beginning pages that list the "Dramatis Personae." Easier to jog your memory on a long listen like this one.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kairiin Montreal, Quebec, Canada 01-22-10
    Kairiin Montreal, Quebec, Canada 01-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great story"

    In spite of some slightly dated references, the story was totally engaging and we cared about the characters and what would happen next. My husband and I listened to it together as a bedtime story and it engendered many important discussions about general emergency preparedness and the state of the the world economy and food supply. This is a fascinating look at humans under extreme duress with a balanced view of the good, the bad and the ugly.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam F Forest, VA, United States 01-09-10
    Pam F Forest, VA, United States 01-09-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Eerie parallel to "One Second After""

    The survivors come up with some similar solutions to having to do without technology. A bit plodding in some places but those were few and far between. A really engaging listen. I found myself wondering, "what about EMP"?

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob North Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-21-10
    Bob North Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    This isn't your typical apocalyptic story. It starts out great but should have spent more time on the impact itself. It reads like 2 separate books and goes on and on. I did enjoy it but found the last 1/4 was a bit much. The story line was fine and "believable" for what happened. Regardless of all that, I'd buy it again in a minute!

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Cole 08-29-09
    Dave Cole 08-29-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Great book, great narrator."

    plot: comet hits earth, civilization crumbles.

    definitely among niven/pournelle's best, and if you like the genre (end of the world) it is a classic. originally published in 1977, some aspects are understandably dated (cold war still in full swing, 'pocket computers'-i.e. calculators-are the height of technology) but it still feels relevant.

    the narration is very good also, well-paced and inflected without being melodramatic and annoying.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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