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The Gripping Hand | [Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven]

The Gripping Hand

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.
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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

3.8 (686 )
5 star
 (184)
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3.8 (613 )
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Story
4.0 (602 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    gary Tecumseh, MI, United States 02-28-14
    gary Tecumseh, MI, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    Story
    "Ah...yeah."
    Would you try another book from Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven and/or L. J. Ganser?

    Yes. It would be nice to have a story to finish this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Story was unsatisfying. I enjoy the Mote universe, but this was nothing near as good as the first book. This was mostly a story of narration, the characters monologging about what was happening instead of actual events occurring. Ending was unsatisfying, little plot, and almost no intrigue.

    I did enjoy Ganser's reading, however; this was my first book with this narrator and I look forward to hearing him again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marcus Berwyn, IL, United States 02-01-14
    marcus Berwyn, IL, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intrafalactic politics and space war."

    A follow on to The Mote in God's Eye. The Mote was a great book. This book, I presume, was meant to draw readers of the Mote. Uf you are interested in monet power empire and space shoot 'em ups, this book is for you. Better yet, read The Fall of the Roman Empire. Fewer scientific errors. No compelling characters here, just interspecies politics and fantasy ship to ship space battles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Famous Pennsylvania 12-08-13
    Jonathan Famous Pennsylvania 12-08-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good follow-on to Mote in God's Eye"
    Would you listen to The Gripping Hand again? Why?

    Simply put, if you read and like The Mote in God's Eye, you'll want to read this. If you haven't read Mote in God's Eye, you need to read that first. This is a fair follow-on to the original story, not as original (it would be difficult to be), but a good what-would-come-next type of story.


    Any additional comments?

    My only. Complaint. Is that the writing style... is more fragmented, than that of Mote. Clearly one author had a larger part in the first book, and the other this one. I preferred the style of Mote, as this one had a lot of choppy scenes and sentence, enough to become mildly distracting. But the quality of the story is excellent enough and does more than compensate for that weakness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck Baker Augusta, Maine United States 11-18-13
    Chuck Baker Augusta, Maine United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Great story/ shakey performance"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator seriously needs to work on emphasis in the phrasing of sentences. Quite obvious mistakes and they change the meaning of the script. Needs to read for understanding of the dialog.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, narrator has decent character definition. Wish he understood what was being read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia Aldridge San Francisco, CA 10-14-13
    Olivia Aldridge San Francisco, CA 10-14-13
    ratings
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    16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible cash-in on brilliant Motie universe"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A strong story with compelling characters and dialogue.


    What could Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Spent more time on development of good characters and less time dragging out boring conversations irrelevant to the core story arc.


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

    Voices for characters were not unique enough - often I lost track of who was talking, especially in three-way conversations. I can't imagine that these conversations would be unambiguous in text without "said x", "x responded", etc, conversation structure crutches, so I assume that they intentionally removed them for the audio presentation - which would have been great if the narrator could keep the voices consistent and distinctive.


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

    The universe was neat. The Moties are still a very cool idea for an alien civilization. The elevator pitch for this book's core story arc is awesome, it's just the characters and dialogue and pacing draped around that core arc that are terrible.


    Any additional comments?

    For calibration, I would give Mote in God's Eye four stars. I've liked other work by these authors; just not this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dayton 10-08-13
    Dayton 10-08-13 Member Since 2002

    - Dayton

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the Authors, Book is a flop"

    I've been a fan of the Niven/Pournelle team forever. But apparently even the best have their bad turns, and The Gripping Hand is theirs. It's probably okay if you're still under the thrall of The Mote, so you don't notice how bad this one is. Otherwise though, this book does NOT stand alone as anything worth reading. Sorry, but that's just how it is.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tod Coppell, TX, United States 01-29-13
    Tod Coppell, TX, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not as good as the Mote in God's Eye."
    Any additional comments?

    The story is a bit slow and seems especially drawn out at the end. The characters are not particularly well developed except for the main 2 or 3. Several of the situations that caused major plot events seemed implausible. If you liked, The Mote in God's Eye, this one falls well short of the mark set by the classic.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 01-08-13
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 01-08-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Uninspired"

    I generally enjoy Niven/Pournelle books (Niven more so) ... but this one was rather uninspired. Nothing new was introduced, the characters weren't so interesting, there was no internal conflicts ... just recycled stuff to get the page count up so they could get paid.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert McKee Clinton, OH United States 04-04-13
    Robert McKee Clinton, OH United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2008

    A driver that likes to listen to books instead of the radio.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun listen"

    It is fun to listen to science fiction of the past compared to the technology of today.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Sholund Reisterstown, MD, United States 03-09-13
    M. Sholund Reisterstown, MD, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, not the greatest delivery"
    If you could sum up The Gripping Hand in three words, what would they be?

    While listening I found it difficult at times to follow who was involved in the plot at what race (human or Motie) that person was. It didn't see like there was much distinction in the narrator's voice when it came to the different characters; It's the same narrator but I liked the narration he did for "The Mote in God's Eye" much better. I'd have to listen to both again to make a good distinction.


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

    Not necessarily.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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