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Lucifer's Hammer | [Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle]

Lucifer's Hammer

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....
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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

4.0 (3581 )
5 star
 (1296)
4 star
 (1350)
3 star
 (662)
2 star
 (176)
1 star
 (97)
Overall
4.1 (2200 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (49)
Story
4.2 (2180 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (27)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Hollis Ramsey Vero Beach, Florida, US 07-25-13
    Hollis Ramsey Vero Beach, Florida, US 07-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Worth the Time"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story is not very well-written, so I guess it goes well with the narration, if you are content to set a very low bar of enjoyment. Not a good experience at all. I usually love post-apocalyptic speculative fiction, but not in this case. It read more like a screenplay than like a novel.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle again?

    No, I would not. I did not like the writing very much at all. There are plenty of bigger fish in the ocean of speculative fiction.


    What didn’t you like about Marc Vietor’s performance?

    Mr. Victor was totally inadequate for the task. He has about 3 male voices and 2 female voices, and his accents are amateurish, at best. His voice would be pleasant to listen to in a nonfiction mode, with only a narrator and no character voices.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was really angry during the telling, at how badly a potentially good story was being told. The writing was very pretentious, not very well executed. I found myself laughing derisively when I'm sure I wasn't supposed to be laughing.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Beulah, Colorado, United States 07-12-13
    Michael Beulah, Colorado, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    14
    13
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    "A real let down"

    Although I thought the premise of this book was interesting, it ended up being a real let down for me. First off, absolutely nothing happens in the first third of the book, other than the author introducing a bunch of uninteresting characters that populate the rest of the story. These characters were so flat and uninteresting that they all just blended together and it was difficult for me to differentiate one from the other. Secondly, the story is very outdated with a lot of stereotyped characters from that time. If you want a much better end of the world type story, then I would recommend something like Steven Kings "The Stand" over this bore of a story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Montgomery, AL, United States 03-29-13
    Glenn Montgomery, AL, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    181
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredibly painful waste of time"
    Any additional comments?

    I can't believe I wasted over 6 hours expecting it to get better before I trashed it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PropellerHead_ California,USA 09-03-12
    PropellerHead_ California,USA 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "10 Hours I wish I had back"
    What disappointed you about Lucifer's Hammer?

    I gave up after 10 hours, I couldn't take it anymore. Poor character development and a preachy condescending style turned me off. The author seems more concerned with explaining basic physics than developing the store.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Yelm, WA, United States 08-15-12
    Laura Yelm, WA, United States 08-15-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    46
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not bad but..."

    This story took some time for me to get into. Parts of it made me feel more like I was in a science lecture. There was section after section of needless rambling about the universe and the characteristics of the comet. Some mentioning here and there would have been ok but this was so much technical info that it became quite boring or tmi as my daughter would say.

    When the actual storyline did begin to pick up, about ten to twelve hours into the story, it was pretty good but very cliche. This is another end of the wold story where a local official who is from a small community more or less becomes the leader of one group, the good group which by the way, almost all of the members are white except for one astronaut an one female. All of the other minorites are part of the bad group. They are made out to be gangsters and thugs and druggies and thieves. oh yes, and they are also cannibals.

    I think this story speaks volumes about the author's views on minorities, and of course they are lead by a psychotic preacher. Something else I'm sick to death of- every end of the world story making Christians the bad guys.

    I gave this story three stars because it had potential, lord knows it was long enough, but it definitely fell short. I would love to read or listen to a catastrophe story that dares to be different!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 04-05-12
    Mark C Walker Toney, AL United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    136
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    324
    69
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Descent, but too long"
    Any additional comments?

    I have read several books in this genre, and while this was OK, it was in my opinion inferior to

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Olson Denver, Colorado 12-29-10
    Nancy Olson Denver, Colorado 12-29-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    19
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Long, long, long, long."

    Wow, this book was interesting through the first and second parts but now the last part is dragging on and on and on. It is post comet, (Hammerfall), and postapocalyptic and it is just dragging. Jerry and Larry needed a good editor. We are sticking to the book, my husband and I, because we want to see how it ends but we are down to the last 90 minutes and can't wait for it to finish!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Schenectady, NY, United States 09-08-10
    Amazon Customer Schenectady, NY, United States 09-08-10 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    111
    3
    Overall
    "Could have been better (or shorter)"

    I have enjoyed a number of Larry Niven's books before, so I decided to give this one a try. It was ok. That is about all I can say about it. It just never really seemed to get going and then it ended. Before I was half way through, I wished for the end. I finished it because I wanted to see where Mr. Niven and Pournelle would go with the story. To sum it up, if you are looking for good entertainment, look at another book. If you want to know more about what happens to when a large body collides with Earth, you could listen to this book, however, I am sure there are plenty of science books that would be more interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Reese 05-19-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    28
    10
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    "Hate to give bad ones"

    Hate to give bad reviews, but this book just doesn't do it. The topic and reviews brought me to it. I listened to the very slow first half, and kept going based on the reviews that the second half grabbed you. It never happened, and with about 4 hrs to go, I must throw in the towel

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary Gresham, OR, USA 01-20-10
    Zachary Gresham, OR, USA 01-20-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    122
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Slow and unrewarding"

    The beginning of the book starts off at a glacial pace while the author introduce tons of characters and few of them are interesting enough to remember. When the story finally picks up pace I had all but lost interest. If this book brought anything new to the table I think I might forgive the slow boring start but even after the comet hits it still has nothing fresh.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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