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Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus | [Orson Scott Card]

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

In a not-too-distant future that is not quite ours, there has been a major scientific breakthrough. It is a way to open windows into the past, permitting historical researchers to view, but not participate, in the events of the past.

In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

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Publisher's Summary

In a not-too-distant future that is not quite ours, there has been a major scientific breakthrough. It is a way to open windows into the past, permitting historical researchers to view, but not participate, in the events of the past.

In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

©1996 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A bold and compassionate alternative history filled with believable historical and fictional characters." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (547 )
5 star
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4.1 (255 )
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Story
4.3 (252 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-20-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Just Ok."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Orson Scott Card draws people into the story from the start, but I don't know if it was the subject matter I had a problem with - the fact that the main characters spend the entire novel going back and forth over a moral dilemma that, when you get to the end of the book, seems pointless - or the fact that Card keeps throwing Christianity into our faces, the book just didn't sit well.

    It's not a bad alternate history, and the "changing the past from the future" idea is an interesting one. I felt like we spent too much time in the future and not enough in the past, and too much time considering the moral implications of change.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Orson Scott Card again?

    I like Orson Scott Card's style, but this just wasn't one of my favorites.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Scott Brick is an excellent narrator, and did a very good job with this story. His deep voice is the perfect for Christopher Columbus.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarissa Blytheville, AR, USA 09-17-09
    Clarissa Blytheville, AR, USA 09-17-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "OSC is a never ending fount of originality"

    WOW...more original worlds from Mr. Card. Amazing. Very thought provoking..love historical fiction and SciFi..this fits both. Amazed as always by him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kellan 10-06-08
    Kellan 10-06-08 Member Since 2013
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    "Brilliant Imagination"

    I'm not sure why people listen to audiobooks if not for the incredibly entertaining imagination that lurks behind the story. This is classics Orson Scott Card he went and once again redefined his genre this is Science Fiction at it's best. He went and made a book that looks at what our history could have been had things happened differently. His theory is sound, and I'll admit a little long winded at times but it quickly evolves into an incredibly intriguing narrative.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy campione 09-12-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing slant on how societies evolve"

    Very enjoyable. Loved the way this book asserts how the actions of the few at pivitol moments can impact the fundamentals of society. Any history buff will support this contention. And the sci fi aspect was ingenious.

    Only criticism I have is Card's deep character development was missing, but he had a lot of ground to cover, and the overall result was great. Well worth listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Whittier, CA, USA 06-26-08
    John Whittier, CA, USA 06-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A lot of History and very little Science Fiction"

    I will have to agree with the others that gave this book a low star rating. It wasn't until 60 minutes into the book that we got into some juicy science fiction. But it was short lived. The story telling is good with great characters being produced. I just wanted a lot more science fiction in my James A. Michener story telling of Columbus. I will tell you I have not finished the book because I am not drawn back to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette United States 05-07-08
    Annette United States 05-07-08 Member Since 2004

    I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OSC Good one"

    I know i've said he's let me down before but i'm a sucker for a good, moderately reasonable time travel tale. This one is very interesting and actually hits on a smart moral point. Intention versus results.I kinda dug it. Especially nice was the more conciliatory look at the Spanish conquests as religiously driven from the point of view of they did think it was a positive move despite the greed, violence and intolerance... interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey voorhees, FL, USA 03-16-08
    Corey voorhees, FL, USA 03-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Read"

    This book like all other booksd by card has one difficulty. He insists on choosing names for his characters which are very confusing and hard to follow until 15% into the book. Once you get past that and remember who everyone is and the names of the places, The book is 5 stars. I would read it again I liked it so much. PLEASE MR. CARD, name things a little simpler, just a little, lol.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Daigle Louisiana 03-03-08
    B Daigle Louisiana 03-03-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Orson S. Card attempts to meet Harry Turrtledove"

    Not a bad book at all, this investigates some interesting concepts of the alternative reality genre. My biggest compliant is that it did not well flesh out the society of the future in which much of the book is set. A great deal of the story line pivots upon events about which only the sparsest of background data is offered. It makes you want so much more, but the possibility of a sequel there is nullified...perhaps a pre-quel?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil R Hinger Brewster, Wa USA 01-15-08
    Phil R Hinger Brewster, Wa USA 01-15-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wonderful"

    The concept of this book is marvelous, and is done in a way that makes one think of other possibilities. I have read this book when it first came out and now I have listened to it and both are fantastic. My only wish is that Mr. Card would do more books with "Pastwatch", for the concept could be used in numerous areas of history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Twp. of Washington, NJ, United States 12-08-09
    Judy Twp. of Washington, NJ, United States 12-08-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very enjoyable"

    I enjoy Orson Scott Card and found this book to present some interesting views on time travel.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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