A journey of discovery that will shake the foundations of everything the people of Earth have ever believed...
Diaspar is Earth's last city - surrounded by deserts, on a world where the oceans have long since dried up. It is a domed, isolated, technological marvel run by the Central Computer. Diaspar has conquered death. People are called forth from the Hall of Creation; they live for 1,000 years and then are recalled, stored in the Central Computer's memory, to be born thousands of years later, over and over again, with memories of earlier lives intact.
No one has entered or left Diaspar since anyone can remember. Its people have an unreasoning dread of the unknown, of the world outside the city. And no child has been born for at least 10 million years.
Until Alvin. He is unique. He has no past lives, no past memories. He also has no fear of the outside world. In fact he has an overwhelming curiosity, a drive to explore, to see what lies beyond the sterile boundaries of the city.
When he finally escapes, he discovers a place he could hardly have imagined: a country called Lys. Its people are telepathic. They know life and death. In Lys, Alvin finds friendship and love. And he begins his fateful journey to the stars and back. On his return he brings with him something so strange, so alien and powerful, that it will change the world forever. But for better or worse, not even Alvin can guess.
©1956 Arthur C. Clarke/Scovil Chichak Galen; (P)2009 Geoffrey T.Williams
I loved the story but found the production of the audiobook rather annoying. Some characters' voices are so distorted they are difficult to understand. Other times there are huge discrepancies in volume between narration and dialogue, which makes it bothersome to listen to with headphones. There is also frequent background noise and music which I find incredibly distracting. If these issues don't bother you, give this a listen; otherwise, it might be better to seek out a different production or read the text version.
It was good to find a work of the old masters that I had not read. The supreme story and incredible full cast performance make me recommend this above most anything else you can get. It will be hard for me to go back to more modern and less accomplished authors and then Clark. It is great adventure and like most Clark deals with the great existential questions of life. If you like that kind of thing you can't do better than this. There is no great romance or love affair, or space battle, no villain who needs to be concocted to create drama. Instead we have an incredible civilization, fully imagined and entirely reasonable though completely alien. Enjoy.
The good: I really enjoyed the narration, sound effects, and voice acting for different roles. The story starts out strong with an intriguing world setting to explore.
Unfortunately, the story winds up progressing in a boring way, with lots of deus ex machina and not much interesting character or society development. Many of the conclusions seem "just so" and the story doesn't dig into the issues it raises.
Overall, would not recommend.
In this book Arthur C. Clarke creates a fascinating world of the far future. As I listened I was seeing images of it in my mind. I felt I was exploring this world.
The story is captivating and entertaining. This is the type of book that I couldn't put down when I read it as a youngster in the 1950's. It was a delight to find it had the same effect on me now.
Yes - I have it on CD
None it a good stand alone book
Traversing the stars
Multiple voice actors and sound effects bring to life this classic sci-fi story. Well done narration. You could easily listen to this audio book every year.
If you like Arthur C Clarke then put this on your list but not at the top of your list. It was worth the cost so I am not disappointed in that regard.
Most interesting was the young mans thoughts, trials and tribulations in adapting to his new home and how he became motivate regardless of the hardships.
Least interesting was the description of the technology. Arthur C. Clarke is usually more creative and realistic in his visualizations. This one I don't think he was properly motivated. To "Avitar'is" for my taste.
As it goes, he was not the worst nor the best. I am more interested in plot and continuity that voice performances.
movies are NEVER as good as one's imagination. No, I would not go see a movie of this book or any other for that matter.
The story is very much a morality tale on what happens when Man ceases to look out into the universe, ceases to grow & ceases to advance; stagnation, mechanisation and a slide into decadence. It's a theme of many of Clark's books but this one doesn't quite hit the mark. The inhabitants of the city (of the title) have immortality, freedom from all phyiscal needs and the elimination of crime, disease & all social ills. This lack of strife eliminates all desires for expansion but also eliminates everything you can hang a story off!
The obvious comparision is "Childhood's End" which deals with the end of Man in a much better and more interesting way.
It could have been a performance. There's no emotional content and the variation between characters was attempted by varying the squeekiness of the reader's voice in subtle shades.
The book describes one man's struggle to break Man out of the decandent Nirvana he has trapped himself in. To prevent spoiling the plot, any follow up book could only be his continuing struggle to break Man out or Man's attempt to break back in! The book is a message not a story & having delivered the message, it's done where it is.
The story is a classic of science fiction, but the unprofessional narrators are not worthy of Arthur C. Clarke's vision. Children might still enjoy it, as they might not be so bothered by the amateur sounding performers.
This book is the progenitor of any number of science fiction stories involving escape from a highly controlled city in the far future. Logan's Run and Alastair Reynold's Terminal World are just a couple of examples of its influence.
A better choice for narrator would have been John Lee, who narrates the Alastair Reynold's science fiction novels so well.
Yes -- actually, when I offered it to my teenaged son to listen while cleaning his room, I told him the same thing: The book is good enough to overcome the annoyingness of the acting. When he was finished, he agreed.
Just Williams, please! Ditch the rest of 'em!
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