The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".
©1991 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
When I read reviews like: Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read,' my expectation are high to say the least. Well I must be missing something because this book was not much of anything.
We spend the first half of the book getting everything set up. Then BOOM! Everything starts happening, action, excitement, mystery, and all. And then, 20 minutes later, it all stops. I mean really stops! The second half of the book absolutely nothing more happens. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. But nothing.
I live and breath sci-fi so it's not the genre that wasn't working. THe narrator was below average, but I don't blame him. He definitely did not add anything.
Most of the positive reviews appear to be from people who read the book 20 years ago and this was a wonderful blast from the past. Good for them. As for me. I recommending passing on this book.
I read this book based entirely on Heinline's recommendation. I found it to be one cut above a comic book. The characters were stereotypical as in Dr. Horvath and cardboard thin. The book could have been at least a third shorter. The pacing seemed very uneven. The narrator made almost everyone speak in the same halted and stiff speech. I didn't want to finish it but I had to find out what happened even though the solution of the blockade seemed unimaginable and anticlimactic. AND it took way to long to get to. Comic books move right along.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
Lord how I have tried to like this book but failed totally. The characters are confusing, the environment has no context whatsoever and it just rambles. I am not sure why I bought it, length porbably, so there is a lesson...a long book may give you more bang for your buck but quality over quantity is now my maxim.
I have been trying to listen to this book, but have found the narrator to be an obstacle.His diction is clear, but he seems to have no understanding of what he's reading. Everything is read with the same militaristic inflection, like a drill sergeant reading boot-camp rules.
I think the narrator was perfect for this book. His narrative voice fit the tone and style of the story and his character voices were quite well done. He did a good job with accents and interpreting moods and vocal inflections from the text.
The story was interesting but took quite a long time to get to rolling. At times it seemed as though the authors had been writing separately or would edit the other writer's previously written paragraphs. There were occasions where it felt as though something was thrown in to remind the reader that "hey this is SCIENCE fiction". For example in describing an aspect of a naval ship's defense systems: "...an efficiency proportional to the cube of the incoming velocities..." was like stubbing your aural toe on a long walk.
The human race in this story felt as though they lived in an interstellar British Empire from a century or so past. As you go through the book you learn that there had been rises and falls in the human race and it made the social attitudes (and technological anachronisms) a bit more easy to understand. However, the humans all seemed to be conveniently ignorant, irrational, or simply foolish. Scientists making assumptions and drawing conclusions that made me grit my teeth. Military commanders making choices that no sane person would make. All of which allowed the story to progress of course. It took nearly the entire story for the humans to smarten up and within a very short period of time they figured everything out. The alien race felt overly intelligent. My greatest complaint is that they were able to pick up the human language and communicate without a flaw in a matter of months from a handful of people. The aliens lost their "alien-ness" early on.
In general I liked this story but everything about it seemed very contrived. Almost as if the authors were working on a puzzle; the picture was there they just had to make it all fit together.
I really enjoyed listening to The Mote in God's Eye; the story line still has relevance, and the first encounter scenario was well done. Worth a second listen!
I could not take the narrator's voice and style of reading for more than 10 minutes. My advice; listen carefully to the sample and decide if you can take that tone and style for 20 something hours.
As for the book itself, I can't tell. The narrator was an insurmountable roadblock to enjoying this book.
[almost]All SciFi, all the time...
If you are into hard sci fi then this book is not for you. If you are into good narration, then this book is definitely not for you. He is terrible. His scottish accent is painful to hear.
Dan Simmons' Hyperion and Endymion blow this book away in my opinion.
I am not one to re-read or listen to books a second time, however the story was excellent and it wouldn't hurt my feelings if I had to hear it again.
There are some similarities to the Hyperion cantos in which the Ousters are a semi-mysterious threat. Oh, and probably the most significant comparison I can think of would be the Ender's Game series, the mystery of the Buggers and the Pequeninos. Are they for sure an enemy? An Ally? A mix of both? Ulterior motives?
I enjoyed the Moties.
"Seek and you shall find...."
Excellent novel, especially for fans of hard sci-fi.
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