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The Gripping Hand Audiobook
The Gripping Hand
Written by: 
Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven
Narrated by: 
L. J. Ganser
The Gripping Hand Audiobook

The Gripping Hand

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Publisher's Summary

Robert Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read". The San Francisco Chronicle declared that "as science fiction, The Mote in God's Eye is one of the most important novels ever published". Now Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award-winning authors of such best sellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler.

There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered - a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function: Master, Mediator, Engineer, Warrior. Each supremely adapted to its task, yet doomed by millions of years of evolution to an inescapable fate. For the Moties must breed - or die. And now the fragile wall separating them and the galaxy beyond is beginning to crumble.

©1993 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (991 )
5 star
 (301)
4 star
 (373)
3 star
 (234)
2 star
 (65)
1 star
 (18)
Overall
3.8 (885 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (191)
2 star
 (71)
1 star
 (26)
Story
4.1 (873 )
5 star
 (335)
4 star
 (346)
3 star
 (148)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jason 05-26-15
    Jason 05-26-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    4
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    "Very disappointed with this sequel."

    I was very disappointed with this sequel it answered no questions from the previous book in only left more questions

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Warnbro, Australia 08-08-14
    Rob Warnbro, Australia 08-08-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    36
    21
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    Story
    "Old school sci fi"

    A level of detail and philosophy that is absent from a lot of modern sci-fi

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-02-13
    James 04-02-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    44
    3
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    "The sequel matches the first book"
    What did you like best about The Gripping Hand? What did you like least?

    The story is excellent , just like the first book you can get lost in the details and multiple number of characters. Do not expect a summary of events in this squeal, it only mentions events from the first book as the story progresses.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TS Tucson, AZ, United States 03-16-13
    TS Tucson, AZ, United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2012

    tsears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    31
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    "Just not as good as the first"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know who would enjoy this book after the first one. It was a fairly miserable sequel.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven again?

    Probably not.


    What aspect of L. J. Ganser’s performance would you have changed?

    The performance wasn't that bad, the story was the problem.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really. Too silly on an ending, the characters got weak.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I'd liked it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 01-14-13
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    223
    ratings
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    45
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    Story
    "Sequel to "The Mote in God's Eye""

    "The Mote in God's Eye" is one of my all-time favorite science fiction novels. When it appeared it took a truly novel, very anthropological approach to the subject of aliens, and it managed to make the Moties some of the most interesting aliens in the world of science fiction. This sequel picks up the story several decades after the original and spends the first half of the book reintroducing characters, reprising the plot line of the first book, and introducing a few new players (most of them descendents of people in the original). This reintroduction is long, tedious for someone who has read the original, and probably confusing for someone who hasn't. The second half picks up the pace because the Moties are back in the picture, and Pournelle and Niven do a great job of extrapolating the effects that contact with humans would have had on the Motie civilization. In summary, you definitely have to read the first book before you read this one, at which point you should fast forward through the first half of Gripping Hand as fast as your audio player will allow -- or get the WhisperSync version and skim to the middle and THEN listen. Ganser's narration is solid, but not worth the hours of listening required to get to the good stuff.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Calgary, AB, Canada 12-30-12
    Doug Calgary, AB, Canada 12-30-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    87
    7
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    "I was wrong all these years"

    I have never finished this novel despite The Mote in God's Eye being my favorite novel. I don't know if it was my extremely high expectations or I was just judging it too harshly. Well I listened to this and I really enjoyed it and found it to be a decent sequel to "The Mote" I think the reader "who was excellent" really brought the novel to life and greatly enhanced the experience. So thanks Audible I am really glad I listened to this. Well Done!

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crawtrapman central, louisiana 02-29-16
    crawtrapman central, louisiana 02-29-16 Member Since 2014

    crawtrapman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "2nd book not as good as first but still good"

    it feels a little rushed to me. it is a very good performance. the story is great. I just feel it needed another 100 or so pages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 01-29-16
    Doug 01-29-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book"

    A little dated but still a great read. The authors did an excellent job of depicting this unique alien species.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce F. 11-04-15
    Bruce F. 11-04-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    7
    4
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    "Outstandingly Done"

    It was a story worthy of the saga between the Empire of men and the Motes. Worth the time to read and as any good story wished it never ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 07-08-15
    Eric 07-08-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    33
    16
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    Story
    "Confusing dialog"

    Maybe it was the narration, maybe it was the book itself but I found it to be very difficult to follow the dialog at some points. The narrator didn't change his voice or accent very much and at some points there were conversations between characters with no indication of who was talking.
    The story overall was very slow until around the halfway point. It improved significantly afterwards. In general when there was action happening, the book really flowed. Otherwise characters would talk about seemingly unrelated things that had no reason to be in the book. Particularly relationships. Sure real people in real life would probably talk like that, but it didn't help keep the story going.
    The space battles were interesting but ultimately seemed a little too easy for the humans.
    There's an occasional curse word but in general is good for long drives with kids. It'll probably put them to sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mara
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waited for more"

    In short - I was somehow disappointed in the book.

    I had a unique situation, as I already had read the book once in paper format but as the first one (I read the first part of the series after this second part only - somehow started the other way around). So - the first time I loved the book - a lot! Then came a big pause (several years) until I got to read the first book of the series, liked it quite well and decided I had forgotten all about what happens in the second part, so let's read it again!

    Well, somehow now it seemed that the first part was much more interesting and the main reason is that the story there moved much quicker. In this book - the Gripping Hand - half of the book or more you are waiting and waiting for some action to start at last, you are bored to death with descriptions of all the Imperial laws and casts and royals and lords and who knows what. Who cares, really??? Give me the aliens already! And when you get them and you already had read the first book, you don't have much of any surprises there left for them, and there seems to be much less interesting interactions with humans there as it was in the first book. So, maybe reading the first book, spoiled the second one... but it shouldn't be like that... so the only conclusion is that the author went wrong somewhere.

    So - maybe, if you choose to read it as the only book of the series, it will still be a good choice. But I guess, you should better pick the first one.

    I can't rate it bad though, as I loved it the first time I read it. And I liked the narrator, too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Christine J Weston
    10/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen"

    I did enjoy listening to this book however I did get lost in the middle and had to re-listen to several of the chapters to get back on track.
    It was read well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • carl
    9/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the previous book"

    A shame really I really enjoyed the first book, nothing seriously wrong with this title but just not as good as the first

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fukuwarai
    Peterborough
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprising sequel to Mote in God's Eye"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Gripping Hand to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the printed book.


    What other book might you compare The Gripping Hand to, and why?

    Matrix 3. It answers all the hanging questions of Mote in God's Eye.


    What does L. J. Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The reader has a good empathy with the written word.


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

    If it wasn't so long I would listen to it in one hit. But if it was short enough to listen to in one go it wouldn't be as involving or enjoyable. I was happy to listen to this over several days.


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant sequel, I'm just waiting for Hollywood to realise there are good stories out there without having to re-hash anymore fairy tails.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ash
    Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Doesn't pack the punch of the first book..."

    It's not often that I don't finish an audiobook since I drive and run quite a lot, in the end I just drifted away from this. I may go back to it at some point, for some reason I can't really explain I didn't feel quite compelled to carry on and switched back to podcasts whist waiting for my next two Audible credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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