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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 )
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4.0 (602 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James 04-02-13
    James 04-02-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ozgribbo Australia 10-14-13
    ozgribbo Australia 10-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A worthy follow up"

    Pournelle and Niven have written some great stuff and this is a stand out. For once an alien race (the "moties") that is different and self-consistent is portrayed in a sympathetic light. I would recommend that you read "The mote in God's eye" first but not essential. One of the best Sci Fi novels from the recent era.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamica Tucson, AZ, United States 03-16-13
    Tamica Tucson, AZ, United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2012

    tsears

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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.

    3 of 4 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 2010

    Say something about yourself!

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    "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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Calgary, AB, Canada 12-30-12
    Doug Calgary, AB, Canada 12-30-12 Member Since 2002
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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!

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve pasadena, TX, United States 02-22-13
    steve pasadena, TX, United States 02-22-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Maybe its me but I found this difficult to follow."
    Any additional comments?

    It was ok but I had a hard time following the story line a lot of times. There seemed to be a lot of unimportant nonsense mixed in. Perhaps this was the authors method of building depth to the story/characters but I found it derailed the plot.

    The first book was better...however, I found that the author trying to pass creatures that can modify and improve advanced technology as unintelligent animals was more than a stretch.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 01-15-13
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 01-15-13 Member Since 2006

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid, but not revolutionary"

    I enjoyed both the story and the performance, but neither left me begging for more. 'The Mote in God'd Eye' should definitely be experienced, first. Don't expect any new ideas or entertaining twists. It's solid scifi, but that's all.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 11-14-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 11-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "Sure I’m Paranoid, But Am I Paranoid Enough?"

    This has long been my favorite Niven and Pournelle novel. It launches so seamlessly from the first book that surely the story must have been in the minds of N&P all along. This is where the story of the Moties truly begins. Their predicament is explored fully and the solution seems at once surprising and inevitable.

    .Again L.J. Ganser does fine work in telling the story. To my ear he does an especially fine job at portraying the female voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robertjm San Francisco Bay Area 10-23-14
    robertjm San Francisco Bay Area 10-23-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Another good listen from Pournelle and Niven"

    IF YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE FIRST, DON'T GET THE GRIPPING HAND!! YOU WILL BE THOROUGHLY LOST!!

    I had some credits to burn and so decided I wanted to listen to one of the classic series from science fiction. With that in mind, I turned to the Mote in God's Eye and then The Gripping Hand.

    After listening to the fantastic words and performance of Mote, I wondered how they could top it off in The Gripping Hand.

    While being a good effort, it wasn't quite up to the same level as Mote; though still enjoyable.

    First off, the first three hours, or so, seemed to drag on forever. And they have very little, if anything, to do with the rest of the book. Were they tacked on for a higher page count? I don't know. All I know is that I kept waiting for a big tie-in, and it took forever before it finally happened.

    The ending was abrupt. I would have rather they lopped some of the beginning off and added a Chapter 29 before the Epilogue. The Epilogue all of a sudden appears and ties the end up. However, it left me scratching me head a little.

    Once again, LJ Ganser gave a stellar performance. While I haven't listened to a ton of audiobooks, I think I can say he's my favorite reader so far. His ability to switch accents when switching characters at the drop of a hat is uncanny. He even is able to change his delivery of female characters, though it's not as obvious in The Gripping Hand than it was in Mote. Additionally, it's not over the top, like some readers try.

    I'm just disappointed it ended. The third book in the trilogy, written by Pournelle's daughter, takes place on the rim of the empire, and its description leads me to believe has very little to do with the Moties, just as King David's Spaceship didn't either.

    Hopefully, we'll get another one from Pournelle and Niven, though they're hard at work on the sequel to Lucifer's Comet right now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Warnbro, Australia 08-08-14
    Rob Warnbro, Australia 08-08-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Old school sci fi"

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 22 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duncan
    Huntingdon, United Kingdom
    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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