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.
the story is just dated - narrator is a ham
it doesnt hold up - had high hopes, but feels like a story from the 70s
he's a ham - artificial delivery
The detail and believabllility of this hard science fiction story. The story kept me on the edge and I could hardly turn it off.
It reminds me of books by Stephen Baxter. Everything dealing with space travel is based on fact or theory.
I liked the parts about the watchmakers takeover of MacArthur and the Midshipmen's plight on Mote Prime. I
It made me think.
A must ready for Space Opera and Hard Science Fiction fans.
A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.
I read another review that said the narrator made the story impossible to listen to, but I didn't believe it. I bought the book anyway because I love Niven and Pournelle-- but that reviewer was right!
I know it sounds ridiculous, but the narrator's voice sounds like a drill seargent reading a shopping list and after about 10 minutes of listening to his droning I simply couldn't follow what was going on-- from changes of location to which character was talking. Apparently a few other people had problems with it that weren't as bad as mine, but I feel like I've wasted my money on a book that I can never listen to.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
I got this during the $4.95 sale, mostly because Howard Tayler recommended it during a Writing Excuses podcast (thank you, Audible, for sponsoring Writing Excuses!) I don't remember why Tayler recommended it--I liked it because it's semi-hard sci-fi that's a little out of my normal reading zone, with intriguing aliens and enough fi in the sci to make it fun as well as plausible.
First published in 1974, The Mote sometimes sounds a bit dated to the modern (female) reader, not because of it's science, but because of the cultural mores of this projected human society. (Very 1974). Pournelle and Niven help with the willing suspension of disbelief by offering acceptable reasons for their predominantly white male cast of characters, however.
And yes, I was totally yelling at the characters! Sure, I was yelling at them for making what I saw as bad (though contextually sound and character motivated) decisions, but I was yelling at them as real people, which I think says a lot for Niven and Pournelle's ability to create characters realistic enough to elicit said yelling (in the privacy of my own car, of course). I wasn't yelling for all 20+ hours of the narration, though--the tension waxes and wanes, making this a long listen that you can enjoy indulging in slowly.
Some reviewers state that perhaps the negative reviews are a result of a book that was written in the 70's. Sorry but that is no excuse, Star Trek was in the 60s and did a far better job of handling a future society. However what bothered me was that there was far too much chit chat in the book that not only did not move the story forward but added very little into character insight.
And the social mores inparted in this book are disturbing. One part of the book deals with the aliens inspecting a male body and yet no mention is made of the male genitalia. However when the female is inspected (unseen by the reader) some time later in the story she complains that she was raped (metaphorically speaking of course).
Haldeman's Forever War was writing around the same time as this book and it still rings true. It is astounding to me that Mote in God Eye is regarded as a Sci Fi Classic.
I give this book two stars because I do find the aliens interesting and intriguing.
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.
It is to SciFi Books as "Forbidden Planet" is to SciFi movies. The overall story is good but it is terribly dated. Makes me feel like Flash Gordon is going to suddenly jump out. The story is good once you get through the first half of the book (if you can make it that far). The SciFi though is so dated it's beyond sad. For a sufficiently advanced civilization you have what would seem are complete idiots for sailors. If you ever watched Forbidden planet and laughed at the "crewmen" and their actions this book is exactly like that. You would think people in space would be intelligent people but this book portrays most of them as dumb as bricks. Throw in monarchy as a form of government and you have a really dull book. The story was ok but I just couldn't get past how the "future" looked. It would seem people get dumber in the future vs. smarter. This book might have been good 30 years ago but in this day and age it's more of a joke.
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.
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