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Rainbows End Audiobook

Rainbows End

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Publisher's Summary

Vernor Vinge doesn't write novels very quickly, but when he writes one, it's well worth the wait. His last two novels have won the coveted Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the year. Rainbows End is set in the same near future as his novella "Fast Times at Fairmont High", which won the Hugo Award in 2002 for Best Novella. Set a few decades from now, Rainbows End is an epic adventure that encapsulates in a single extended family the challenges of the technological advances of the first quarter of the 21st century. The information revolution of the past 30 years blossoms into a web of conspiracies that could destroy Western civilization. At the center of the action is Robert Gu, a former Alzheimer's victim who has regained his mental and physical health through radical new therapies, and his family. His son and daughter-in-law are both in the military, but not a military we would recognize, while his middle-school-age granddaughter is involved in perhaps the most dangerous game of all, with people and forces more powerful than she or her parents can imagine.

Filled with excitement and Vinge's trademark potpourri of fascinating ideas, Rainbows End is another triumphantly entertaining novel by one of the true masters of the field.

©2006 Vinge Vernor; (P)2007 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

  • 2007 Hugo Award winner, Best Novel

"This [is] top-drawer hard SF - fast-paced, packed with action, intellectually challenging and, above all, capable of invoking SF's grail: a genuine sense of wonder." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (987 )
5 star
 (308)
4 star
 (345)
3 star
 (220)
2 star
 (85)
1 star
 (29)
Overall
3.9 (460 )
5 star
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3 star
 (97)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (453 )
5 star
 (186)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tamara 07-04-08
    Tamara 07-04-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
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    "Entertaining and fun look at the near future"

    I really enjoy "near future" science fiction, and this book is no exception. Vinge creates a world where we are always plugged in to the net --- and the younger generation is leading the way, as always. It explores this world from the point-of-view of an older man who has received a successful rejuvenation treatment and has learned that his old self was not actually someone he really liked. Cool tech, great characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 05-30-08
    J 05-30-08 Member Since 2003

    Recovering engineer turned entrepreneur, at least until acquired last year. Interested in...well...almost everything except romance novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but not great"

    Rainbow's End was a clever book by Vinge, but does not touch some of his space sci-fi stories. Set in near modern times, it is a pleasant listen, but had none of the mind boggling imagination that I had come to expect with other books by the same author. I do wonder, though, if my expectations had not already been so high if I would have rated it a "5" instead of a "4".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 05-24-08
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 05-24-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good thoughtful sci-fi"

    Fascinating ideas of the near future. Ubiquitous web-presence, holographic technology, Gesture-based wearable computers. Self-driving cars. The manufacture of things has become as cheap as today's chip manufacturing. Even buildings are self-assembling units. Into this world lands a grumpy old poet from our time who's awoken from years of dementia by a new cure...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 05-19-08
    David United States 05-19-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    "Worth Reading"

    I found Rainbow's End interesting and entertaining, so it is worth reading. That being said, I'd rate it 3 1/2 on the scale of good science fiction. I can't quite put my finger on why it wasn't a solid 4 or 5 other than the ending was a bit flat and the story is probably more aimed at a younger audience. The events are a bit too much of a stretch, so you have to suspend logic to some extent. Otherwise, I found the pace, story-line, and plots very interesting and captivating throughout the audio book. I recommend this book to all science fiction and futurist fans.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 05-18-08
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 05-18-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "W.O.W."

    Science fiction at it's best. Constant entertainment (well, it slows down now and again). Very interesting new concepts that keep you going WOW, cool idea. I listen and read a lot of science fiction and this is one of the best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Della Fera Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA USA 03-01-10
    Vincent Della Fera Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA USA 03-01-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
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    "Interesting premise but story disappointing"

    The premise is fascinating and the author devotes a great deal of time and energy to imagining how advances in computer technology might influence society. So much that he seems to have neglected fundamentals of a good story like plot, character development, etc. For all its imagination the story felt flat to me. The characters were wooden undeveloped stereotypes, exposition of the technology dragged the storyline down, all this overlaying a conventional, unoriginal plot.

    Also, Vinge has made the classic sci-fi mistake of overestimating the pace of technological development. The story seems to take place in the early 2030's, but much of the technology that forms the backbone of the story, particularly in the field of human regeneration, seems to have advanced much further than could be expected in a few decades.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chad Suwanee, GA, United States 05-06-09
    chad Suwanee, GA, United States 05-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    Even after reading through some of the the other luke warm reviews, I decided to go with this book. I generally like the techno-geeky genre other's don't relate to. But this story was busy, difficult to follow at times and the author seemed more interested in throwing in descriptions of his universe than developing the plot and characters.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james salem, OR, United States 01-07-08
    james salem, OR, United States 01-07-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "confusing at times"

    Interesting ideas, but there were times it was difficult to keep track of all the characters. I found myself hoping for the end.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-29-08 Member Since 2003

    elbobosan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Great... except for the Story"

    Well crafted characters, undergoing significant development, interacting in a captivating world, moving towards a climax from several directions... Why don't I like this? I asked myself several times during the listen and eventually realized that I was not invested in the story, despite the elements listed above. This strikes me a novel that began as a chapter, designed as the setup for a good piece of scifi, that just got stretched into a story line that I didn't really connect with.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. B. Turner 07-19-16 Member Since 2016

    Retired middle school Science teacher. Into virtual worlds, epic SciFi, Technology & linked Amateur Radio systems.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "This caused me to go on a Vinge binge"
    If you could sum up Rainbows End in three words, what would they be?

    Three words with a 15 minimum requirement…I guess I'll go for alliteration…
    Intensely Interwoven Intrigue


    What other book might you compare Rainbows End to and why?

    True Names.
    Both use their understanding of the I'net as a tool to work toward their goals.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The dancing library and events surrounding it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Discovery of those tracking/helping the main character.


    Any additional comments?

    Reviews without Spoilers (my preference) are challenging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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