No one knows the true motives of Kees vaan Loo-Macklin. He's a mastermind criminal who gave up his place at the head of the dark underworld to become a legitimate member of Evenwaith's cities. But soon he was reaching out to powerful enemies - the slimy aliens called the Nuel. Loo-Macklin negotiates an illusory peace agreement and gains precious alien secrets in the process. Is he after peace, power or pure evil? With enemy starships beginning to amass, we won't have to wait long to find out.
©2014 Alan Dean Foster (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
It's great that this title finally gets the audiobook it deserves. The Man Who Used The Universe was probably the best overall book written by Alan Dean Foster, in my opinion.
What makes this book most different from most books by Foster is the meat of the story actually exists, the middle of this book is there to move the central story ahead and not just to extend the length of the book.
Foster has always been a prolific writer with a penchant for original, weird, or otherwise odd premises and characters. This book is a more traditional sci-fi, centered around two star empires, one ruled by the Humans, the other by the ugly, slime Nuel.
The story itself follows Kees Van Loo-Macklin, starting from his first murder and through his rise through the underworld, and then eventually the legal world of commerce. Along the way he mixes an absolute rule of looking out for number one, himself, with an uncanny ability to see ahead and manipulate others into his web and under his control. The question throughout the book is simply...why? what is his eventual goal?
While the writing can be a bit clunky at times the story and premise shine through. If you enjoyed Piers Anthony's 'Bio of a Space Tyrant', then you will likely enjoy this book as well.
The only downside for American listeners is the British accent of the reader, and that only on the names. Kees Van Loo-Macklin first name is pronounced Kays instead of, I would supposed, Keys. Also, the main Nuel character sounds like a british schoolboy. Still, Paul Ansdell does a fine job narrating, and we get used to his accent quite easily.
Well done and worth the credit, after all these years. Hopefully 'MidWorld' will be along soon....
"Like Visiting An Old Friend After Many Years"
Great to see this fine work of Alan Dean Foster finally available on audio. The Man Who Used The Universe is probably Foster's best work as it follows the lifelong obsession of one man from the criminal underworld to the heights of power and influence over Humans and alien's alike. Great performance as well from the narrator.
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