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The Man Who Fell to Earth | [Walter Tevis]

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Thomas Newton is an extraterrestrial, one of only 300 left on his home planet. Using his superior intelligence and skills, Newton amasses a small fortune and a business empire, but soon must battle unexpected foes: the CIA, alcoholism, loneliness, himself. An utterly absorbing psychological study of one man's struggle to survive on 20th-century Earth.
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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Newton is an extraterrestrial, one of only 300 left on his home planet. Using his superior intelligence and skills, Newton amasses a small fortune and a business empire, but soon must battle unexpected foes: the CIA, alcoholism, loneliness, himself. An utterly absorbing psychological study of one man's struggle to survive on 20th-century Earth.

©2007 Walter Tevis; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (192 )
5 star
 (64)
4 star
 (81)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.1 (123 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (122 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
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  •  
    Paul 02-24-15
    Paul 02-24-15

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not uplifting, but a well told story"

    I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked the novel, but it left me feeling a little down. An alien (Newton) closely resembling a human (in terms of body shape and size, but not all of the details) comes to earth to save the 300 beings left of his species. His species all but destroyed itself in war and ravaged the planet of natural resources. Newton comes to Earth (to save humans from themselves and grab some resources for his species) and is worn down as he begins to realize that all of his efforts are in vain. Also, I can believe that he struggles internally as he begins to realize that he will never see his family again, and that he could never be human.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 06-10-13
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2008
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    "a deserved classic not just of SF"

    Walter Tevis is a great and overlooked writer, look at his work: Man Who Fell.., Mockingbird, Hustler, Color of Money, Queen's Gambit. I wish all of his work was available on audio so he could be more widely appreciated. He is an excellent writer, both stylistically and thematically with some wonderful imagery and symbolism. This is one of Guidall's better narrations, before he got too enamored of his own voice, and though I'd like to hear another version by someone, I can and have listened to this numerous times. & I always find a little more in it than I remembered. think about characters who fall to Earth, Superman, Christ, Lucifer, and of course Icarus and then think about an existential take on that idea and you'll see much more in this. i was struck this time by the anti-superman idea and a loss of identity theme and remembered a line from Vonnegut's Mother Night, "we must beware what we pretend to be, lest we become what we pretend to be."

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 03-03-15
    Aaron 03-03-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fell Short"

    Although I enjoyed listening to “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” I would not classify it as a must read, a classic, or an example of sci-fi at its finest. It is a story of a man--a very intelligent, shy, and awkward man--on a mission. Thomas Newton’s alienness is rather irrelevant because the story is really about everyman’s struggle between excellence and complacency. Will Newton achieve his goals or be overcome by obstacles placed before him by society and his own self-doubt? You must read the book to find out, but don’t expect to be wowed by what you read. Although Tevis sets the stage, develops the characters, progresses the story well to start, in the end, I was disappointed. In other words, the beginning is good, but it peters out about 2/3 the way through.

    On the plus side, the narration was excellent, with good pace, timing, inflection, and overall tone. Each character has his or her own voice, which is consistent throughout. Also, the sci-fi elements (especially the somewhat dated sci-fi elements) are quite interesting. From the 21st-century perspective, it’s interesting to see what a person in 1963 thought 1980 would look like.

    Overall, it’s worth a listen, but shouldn’t jump to the top of anyone’s reading list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank C. Walton York PA 02-24-15
    Frank C. Walton York PA 02-24-15 Member Since 2013

    cool frank

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    "Gr8!"

    Great story. Thought provoking, and interesting characters, with an easy flow
    To capture you attention. Not to technical but visionary.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Homer, NY, USA 05-09-09
    Sean Homer, NY, USA 05-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good read/listen to."

    This is outstanding for its time. I really enjoyed the narrator as well. Good flow to the story it keeps your attention. A must read for the 40 something science fiction enthusiast, for a sample of the beginning of sci fi writing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 05-04-09
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 05-04-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Expected more"

    The narration was good and the story in general was OK, but a bit repetitive; many scenes in which the alien gets drunk.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 06-03-15
    Ben 06-03-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not really what I expected"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book is okay. I was expecting it to be more science fiction, but most of the book was spent detailing boring capitalist ventures, and describing three of the characters' decent into alcoholism. I was mostly just bored.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. J. Cherelin Rochester, NY 05-29-15
    D. J. Cherelin Rochester, NY 05-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Better than the movie"

    I was a teen when the movie came out, and I liked it, though it was slow. But of course the book has a lot more depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 04-19-15
    Kathy 04-19-15
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    "Terrific! Want a sequel!"

    I loved every minute of this book! It exceeded all my expectations except for… leaving me wanting more! The story line is completely believable with reference to our world today and how this amazing visitor was treated. You can't help but feel some sadness for his plight as a visitor to this world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    calscigal 03-01-15
    calscigal 03-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "great story"

    I had never read this or seen the film before but I really liked the story. The narrator kind of faded into the background and was never dustracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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