Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley has little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. Then he learns that he has been assigned a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worse, the R stands for "robot" - and his positronic partner is made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!
© Isaac Asimov; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
this is probably the best book ive heard on audible in over 2 years of listening! excellent story, beautifully performed. an excellent listen. pls can we have more of asimov read by this narrator? move over scott brick, your throne is taken!
I'm a voracious reader who unfortunately spends a lot of time on the road. Audiobooks make my life a lot better.
The Caves of Steel is a classic Asimov robot novel. His utterly transparent style of writing can be off-putting to some folks who prefer a more literary style and a lot of flowery prose. With Asimov's writing, there is no "overhead"; it's as if the text goes straight down a pipeline to your brain. This is a great reading of this excellent book. Yes, some of the characters are thin, but the interaction between Bailey and Daneel, which is really what the book is all about anyway, develops slowly and in a very complex and, to me, satisfying manner. The hopeful tone for the future, which is common in Asimov's work and something he shared with Gene Roddenberry, is a welcome change from some "doom and gloom" authors. I enjoyed this book when I first read it MANY years ago, but hearing it read was at least as good as the original reading.
Just a side note: when I bought the book, it was a single volume containing BOTH this book and The Naked Sun and I think it would be great if both books were offered for a single credit.
AND: need all 3 books of the original Foundation Trilogy. I'm certainly not going to download part 1 until all 3 are available.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
After giving 3 stars to the last couple 70s scifi I've listened to (Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Hellstrom's Hive), I was prepared to have to do the same for this but I was pleasantly surprised.
The narrator is very good - his characters all sound different and he's consistent so you'll know each time he changes voice which character he's being.
The story is not just scifi, it's a detective story set within a futuristic world, and a pretty engaging detective story at that. Sure, there are some moralistic tones throughout (i.e. there is commentary/criticism on population overgrowth, food shortages, etc), but they don't overcome the story itself.
In all fairness, I'd probably only give it 3.5 stars but since that's not an option and it's significantly better than other 70s scifi I've heard, and I actually do plan on listening to more in this series, I gave it the 4 stars.
I read this book many years ago when I was a kid. I loved all of the 'I, Robot' series which Asimov eventually tied into his 'Foundation' books. What an incredible achievement! The Caves of Steel is a good murder mystery, and a good yarn. I enjoyed hearing it again. I would recommend it.
In my teenage years, I really enjoyed Asimov's Robot books. When this title appeared at Audible (and on sale!) I snatched it up. The length is perfect - listen in two evenings, after work, or in a long afternoon.
The reader does a very good job using different voices and reading meter for the characters. He does this with tone inflection, surprise, suspicion at the right places, and other narrator skills that help a beloved story come alive.
"I, Robot" is really the first of Asimov's robot books, but this one is the first novel, so it is really Number 1 and 2. I came to know Elijah Bailey like a good friend, and his partner R. Dannel Olivaw has enough character to shown him more than just a robot. Come join their first adventure together! See Elijah battling prejudice, which could be likened to all prejudices that society needs to overcome. At the same time, we see what a good friendship can mean and give to us.
Caves of Steel is one of the better examples of classic Science Fiction from the early days. Asimov is truly a master with his forward thinking story lines that have been followed and copied by later masters of Sci-Fi like K. Anderson, Bova, Bear, Frank Herbert and others. He was writing this stuff when no one else had even envisioned these storylines. This is good stuff.
Back in my youth, I useto lock myself in my room to complete an Asimov book over a lazy weekend. The Caves of Steel brings back great memories. I love being able to revisit the stories. I drive a lot and being able to make my drives more enjoyable with this book is AWESOME! I am an avid pod cast listener, TWIT network and friends, and I am conflicted with having to make a choice between keeping up with my podcasts or listening to my books. Its good to have choices.
Asimov wrote many great books, the Foundation series is perhaps one of the finest sci-fi series written to date. His other major works include the robot series of whitch The Caves Of Steel is a very important addition. As far as a detective murder mystery goes it's pretty basic, but the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing the world and characters to life. Definatly worth your time.
I originally read the Robot books, The Caves of Steel, the Naked Sun and The Robots of Dawn when I was a youngster in college in the early 80s. 1983 I think. While I listened to Caves of Steel, I remembered how I loved these books then. In face, Robots of Dawn is the book that turned me into an Asimov fan. I read many of his books after the robots, and they were all good. But the robot books will always be special to me. They were wonderful then, and they still are. I hope Audible will make many more of Mr. Asimov’s books available.
This audiobook is terrific I really enjoyed it. Its a few years since I read this story and I had genuinely forgotten the surprise ending. It was well acted(read)and with the expection of the voice of Baileys wife which was a bit irritatingly whinging all the characters came to life and were really believable. The actor speaking the part of R.Daniel was fantastic, just as I always imagined an advanced robot would speak. The landscapes of the city and the examples of the culture changes due to overpopulation and separation of the spacers were just as powerful as I remember from first reading Asimov's Bailey series. Buy it now. All Science Fiction fans will love it. In fact you can't call yourself a Sci-fi fan if you haven' read it! Try his other Elijah Bailey books too.
"Classic thriller from the author of "I, Robot""
I find the world that Asimov has constructed, with the Three Laws of Robotics indelibly programmed into the positronic robotic brain, to be a very satisfying scenario for a murder thriller.
Robots are just starting to be introduced as menial workers in human society, and are primitive machines. Elijah Bayley is assigned a partner for the enquiry, who turns out to be a new model of robot designed to be indistinguishable from a human.
The politics of the time described in the book mean that a proportion of the human population of Earth, only just supported by the world's resources, resents the replacement of human workers with robots. There are plenty of twists and turns to the plot, and the ultimate conclusion is satisfying enough.
I thought there was plenty of food for thought in the background too - how would a population be housed and fed, what would their society be like? For a book written in the 1950's, it hasn't dated too badly.
Narration is great, no complaints there, and the quality of the recording is good. I enjoyed it, and I'll probably listen to another in this series before too long.
"Slow to start with but brilliant later"
This is a very good book from the master of sci-fi and although it took me a while to get into the story I loved the last 10 chapters. It has a lot of suspense and action and as always the philosophical questions of Asimov come to surface. I highly recommend it to any fan of Asimov, sci-fi and not only.
"classic robot detective"
A wonderful narration of a sci fi detective classic. I love that Asimov's stories are so timeless and so prescient. A real treat.
"Not for me."
I'm a massive nerd. Love computers, robots, SIFI and all. Since Isaac Asimov is considered the father of humanoid robots, I needed a listen!
Sadly it was not what I expected from a robot-based science fiction. Every minimal robot/future story and much more depressive average man (in the future) going through a less than normal experience at work.
The whole tone of the book was sad, upsetting, not fun or interesting at all. Rather disheartened really, I was hoping for much more, maybe that contributed to my negative opinion of this book.
The characters are well designed but uninteresting, too real... Lots of distrust, heartache and highlighting everything wrong with, no-effort, it will do, relationships.
Specifically I'm referring to the main characters marriage and his general conversation/manor towards his wife.
Did not enjoy this book, there was not anything good nor bad to say about the voice recording.
"A great sci-fi murder mystery"
Yes, it's great to listen in the dark so as to better visualise the scenery. This is a fairly dystopian future where mankind has dig so deep and so overcrowded the earth, that people never see the light of day. Instead they live in the caves of steel, where a better job gets you extras like a bigger apartment, or the luxury of being able to eat at home sometimes!
Many years before, some settlers left earth and populated 50 other planets. They are now almost ashamed of earth, and send back a colony to try to help the move out and further expand the human race, but suddenly one of the colonists is murdered, leaving our hero to reluctantly investigate despite having to risk seeing the open air. Even worse than that, he has to work with a robot - he hates robots as they take jobs from people.
This is a great crime novel written by one of the best and most prolific writers ever. Asimov was a scientist, and wrote many text books, this really shows in his plausible futures - no dragons or magic here, just good hard science fiction. And it's all the better for being so.
The sequel, the naked sun is just as good and needs to be read just after this.
I loved his representation of the humanoid robot, R Daneel Olivaw
Yes, many times ;)
This is a great first sci fi book, for those who haven't been enticed before, but like a good murder mystery
"A classic Sci-fi"
Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov is a classic sci-fi novel and the first of a series involving, New York Detective Elijah Baley and Robot 'R' Daneel Olivaw. It is set around the murder of a leading 'Spacer', a citizen of an earth colonised world. Asimov paints a vivid picture of an over populated Earth, whose citizens live in vast enclosed mega cities and the aloof off world 'Spacers' from former Earth colonised worlds! In this novel you have the interplay between Baley and the humanoid robot R Daneel, as they try to solve a murder, whilst also dealing with the resentment and distrust that Baley and Earth citizens as a whole have against both Spacers and Robots! As you get deeper into the story, you realise that solving the murder is just the tip of an iceberg and could have consequences for the whole human race! The narration is excellent and the story will grab you from the start, twisting and turning until the surprising endind!
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.