©2007 Walter Tevis; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
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.
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."
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.
Great story. Thought provoking, and interesting characters, with an easy flow
To capture you attention. Not to technical but visionary.
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.
The narration was good and the story in general was OK, but a bit repetitive; many scenes in which the alien gets drunk.
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.
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.
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