Lucifer's Hammer Audiobook | Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle | Audible.com
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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 (2827 )
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4.2 (1509 )
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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 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    273
    ratings
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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.

    38 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Berger Houston, TX 08-26-09
    Eric Berger Houston, TX 08-26-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    132
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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.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Greenville, SC, United States 11-28-09
    J Greenville, SC, United States 11-28-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    27 of 29 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!

    8 of 8 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 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Cole 08-29-09
    Dave Cole 08-29-09 Member Since 2005
    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Reisterstown, MD, United States 01-09-10
    Amazon Customer Reisterstown, MD, United States 01-09-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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"?

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Pasadena, CA, USA 01-06-10
    Daniel Pasadena, CA, USA 01-06-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Throughly enjoyable."

    Just finished the book and I couldn't wait to write a review. Very enjoyable listen. A bit slow at the beginning as there are a lot of characters to introduce, but man oh man I couldn't stay away after that. The book is a realistic description of how a massive comet strike would affect the planet and an interesting take on how society would react to it. Lucifer's Hammer is well worth your time.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kairiin Montreal, Quebec, Canada 01-22-10
    Kairiin Montreal, Quebec, Canada 01-22-10 Member Since 2007
    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Freels Nashville, TN United States 09-20-09
    Kenneth Freels Nashville, TN United States 09-20-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Period piece, what if a comet hit in '79"

    Good read, dated material, but still a great story. There's plenty of character development and the story moves nicely. A cannibal army always makes for some fun times!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 156 results PREVIOUS1216NEXT
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  • J. K. Hardin
    London, UK
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Flawless"

    Disaster fiction at its best. Lucifer's hammer spends exactly the right amount of time building toward the cataclysm, and then continues to grip the reader all the way through. A page turner, so to speak, which I find rare for a book of this length.

    (Also, personally, this satisfies my itch for post apocalyptic fiction, too, with the added fun of seeing how the 'apocalypse' happens.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Wirral, United Kingdom
    12/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comet one Earth none"

    The film they should have made instead of Armageddon.
    The story follows the struggle for survival against nature and barbarism to retain civilization, after a comet hits the Earth.
    Niven and Pournelle at their best.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tara
    Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Best-of genre"

    I keep coming back to this book again and again. It's brilliantly written and a pleasure to read. The story is told from several different viewpoints and the characters all feel real and believable. The disintegration of society and way people's lives change after the hammer are well done. A little 1970s-ish in places, but not in a bad way. I expect I'll be reading this again (and again).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gareth
    Beaumaris, United Kingdom
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "Pretty good for a pre-silicon novel."

    Science fiction does not usually age well, and this epic written before mobile phones, internet and laptops is strange and hard to get used to initially. But read in the same way as H.G.Wells or other historic science fiction it does pretty well. The introduction of the characters is somewhat long winded, but once the action starts it's a rip roaring listen. I liked the ideas behind the post apacalypse survival stuff suggesting how quickly humanity could return to the laws of the jungle. It has a few holes in the plot, but not enough to affect it in any great sense. Recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Skelmersdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    11/2/10
    Overall
    "Better 2012 than the film"

    I enjoyed this book very much, I liked the way it plays out in the end, it wasn?t a happy end or sad but I could imagine it happing this way, worth getting.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • P. Skippings
    England
    12/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Post-apocalyptic entertainment at its best!"
    What did you like most about Lucifer's Hammer?

    The story kept moving and the various threads set up at the start of the story were woven into a believable whole towards the end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A solid and reasonably detailed look at how the earth and humanity would be impacted by a comet strike. A fascinating topic to me and very well written by the authors.


    Have you listened to any of Marc Vietor’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but his performance was good compared to other readers.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but that was pretty unrealistic given the 24.5 hours required for that!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darryl
    Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "An Older Story with Current Themes"

    This a story of the time! Tsunamis and earthquakes, whilst triggered this time by a meteor shower, gives a powerful image of what would happen. It's scary stuff, because it is based on scientific facts and we can all see just how devastating such an event would be. Scary also is how soon people revert to looting, violence and the law of physical might. It is survival of the fittest all over again. You cannot help thinking that we really have not moved very far forward in our evolution. It will make you think about much we rely on technology that is fragile and useless when fuel is not available. How good would any of us be in building from scratch? Where would the raw materials come from? What would you do with the raw materials anyway?
    I certainly want to read more books from this legendary duo and luckily Audible has them available.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Stella OMara
    UK
    3/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to Lucifer's Hammer the most enjoyable?

    This is the ultimate 'end of the world as we know it' novel. A great story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Putney, United Kingdom
    1/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Was totall engrossed"
    If you could sum up Lucifer's Hammer in three words, what would they be?

    Epic, memorable, brilliant


    What did you like best about this story?

    The length - I love a long story and this is a real epic.

    I agree with other reviews though - the lead up to the event doesn't need to be as long. Also some battles were missed out, I would've liked to have experienced those.


    What does Marc Vietor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Accents. Very good accents.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It's coming


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. Just wish it had gone on longer. Have read a few in this genre and it's up there with Earth Abides as my favourite but this has more action. Earth Abides being more philosophical

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Francisco J. Elenes
    Lake Oswego, OR USA
    9/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A 1970’s take on the End of the World"

    Before Deep Impact, before Armageddon there was Lucifer’s Hammer.

    The novel is Crichton-nesque in its foundation in real science and level of detail; they carefully build the story and it teaches you a lot about comets/meteors and the havoc they can cause.

    It was told from a 1970’s perspective; but good story telling doesn’t go out of fashion and it actually it’s a bit interesting looking back it after 40 years it ages well, almost a period sci-fi piece.

    The Authors Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle are very well read and they disperse at the beginning of chapter insightful quotes from various other authors throughout the book. It helps make for very interesting reading, and I think I’ve added several new books on my to-read list.

    It does start slow, but you need to have little patience while he builds the characters for you.

    After the strike the second story begins, and it is as riveting as the telling of the strike and preparation for it are. It held my attention to the end.
    An Interesting and satisfying read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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