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The Stars, Like Dust | [Isaac Asimov]

The Stars, Like Dust

Biron Farrell was young and naïve, but he was growing up fast. A radiation bomb planted in his dorm room changed him from an innocent student at the University of Earth to a marked man, fleeing desperately from an unknown assassin. He soon discovers that, many light-years away, his father has been murdered. Stunned, grief-stricken, and outraged, Biron is determined to uncover the reasons behind his father's death.
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Publisher's Summary

Biron Farrell was young and naïve, but he was growing up fast. A radiation bomb planted in his dorm room changed him from an innocent student at the University of Earth to a marked man, fleeing desperately from an unknown assassin. He soon discovers that, many light-years away, his father has been murdered.

Stunned, grief-stricken, and outraged, Biron is determined to uncover the reasons behind his father's death, and becomes entangled in an intricate saga of rebellion, political intrigue, and espionage. The mystery takes him deep into space where he finds himself in a relentless struggle with the power-mad despots of Tyrann.

©1983 Isaac Asimov; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

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3.9 (348 )
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4.1 (185 )
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  •  
    Scifi USA 11-05-09
    Scifi USA 11-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic 1950's boyhood scifi"

    Great story. Great science behind the science fiction - most of which is still not too dated to enjoy today. Though some of the 50's attitudes would grate against feminist beliefs today, but if read in a "Leave it to Beaver" mindset of that time, would still be enjoyable.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 06-23-14
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Classic Asimov with timeless tale"

    The Stars, Like Dust is the 2nd installment Asimov's Empire series, but sufficiently loosely connected to be a standalone rendition. Briefly, the tale takes place in the far distant future with current Earth history a distant memory. Star travel has been mastered and planetary systems are largely settled with humanoid intelligent life. Earth and the rest of the local inhabited worlds are under the tyrannical rule of distant overlords.

    The plot revolves around a young man whose father, a fellow of considerable economic significance, has been murdered. The son embarks on a journey to discover the truth which leads to political intrigue and hints of rebellion. The sci-fi elements are limited to interstellar travel, a "radiation" bomb which was probably the concept for neutron bombs, and "massometers" which can detect gravitational fields. While all this seems rather simplistic, this was released in 1951.

    The narration is excellent with a solid range of voices, appropriate pacing, and good tone and mood. While the story is short by current sci-fi standards, the plot is still quite engaging and rich in complexity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-10-13
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Entertaining Read/Listen!"
    Where does The Stars, Like Dust rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would put The Foundation Series as Asimov's high water mark, this is secondary storyline (Galactic Empire Series) but worth reading/listening to fit into the larger context.I thought it was great but the Foundation Series is excellent. I consider his Non-Foundation books "boyhood science fiction", entertaining and well worth the effort but not as complex. You can almost see the blueprint here for later works by other artists, writers and move makers. Asimov is the original (in my opinion).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Stars, Like Dust?

    I like the way it ended, there was a twist that I did not see coming....


    What about Stephen Thorne’s performance did you like?

    I thought he did a great job! The different characters had different voices, I am always surprised how the best narrators do this....he was fantastic.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's not that type of material (to me). It reminds me of the old Buck Rodgers TV show a little bit, entertaining and a great diversion.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend it to anyone to enjoys SF and wants to fill out their understanding of the Asimov cannon. Good book for a vacation, the beach or just wan to mentally "get away".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-26-10
    SoCal Walker Irvine, CA 07-26-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Fun Sci-fi, 1950's style."

    I don't know if this book was actually written in the 50's, but it has that flavor to it. Anyway, it's a well-crafted story from a master of the genre. Not a monumental, life-changing experience, but an engaging little story, and Asimov's attention to detail always makes his work a pleasure to read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Edwardsville, IL, USA 04-15-10
    Mark Edwardsville, IL, USA 04-15-10
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    "the best science fiction saga"

    excellent quality in sound and continuity, i also like that the book was broken down in 6 min. increments so you could easily find your place,or revue what you listened to when you last stopped. after ripping to cd's (which i found abit tedious)
    i was easily able to transfer it to my mp3 player and still have a hard copy, (you know mp3 players go haywire occasionally)
    ABOUT THE BOOK: this is an addition to my collection, as well as 3 other books i downloaded,(by the same author) and takes me into many long hours at night as i drive(my occupation). Hoping to complete the set! while the book itself stands alone as a short story, it fills in the gaps and the cronological order of man,space travel,robots,and empire. which in my opinion is better then "star wars". of course that is my opinion. And once you start listening to one of these books by Isaac Asimov, you'll, like me want to get another. i suggest you start with "Prelude to Foundation" the beginning of a man called Harry Seldon. 1 of 6 books about "Psycho-history". Happy listening!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Savannah, GA, United States 06-18-12
    Jim Savannah, GA, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2010
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    "The Prose, Like Duh"

    I read this little paperback book back in the 1980's which was still 30 years after Asimov wrote it. Today, another 30 years later, it is almost like time-traveling to experience the idioms and mores of a time long since passed. As a young man, a friend turned me on to The Foundation Trilogy which is not an uncommon way to be introduced to the Professor. In that massive book action was sparse and wrapped-up in all of the psycho-historical, psychological interplay between the characters. The details of a scene or of the thoughts driving an individual were so engrossing it was like it was played on a visi-sonor.

    The Stars, Like Dust…, has a lot of the same attention to detail and intrigue that the larger, perhaps more famous tome wields but it also carries itself like the hero Biron Ferrill; trim and fit - ready for action. The Galactic Empire series fits sweetly between the Robot and Foundations series. There are some small details that drift but on the whole it is an amazing thing to imagine creating a story that spans millennia. RAH is the only other sci-fi master that I know of who accomplished anything similar. That probably only proves my ignorance. It helps a lot to have watched some television from that era while growing up to be able to parse the lexicon as well as the attitudes of the characters. Stephen Thorne lets it all trip off his tongue in a way that feels entirely natural to hear him say it.

    However, there isn't much of a way the recording can be better or worse than the book. It is unabridged and so identical. Sometimes the performer can lend vocal characterizations to aid the story's flow. But sometimes it isn't even necessary. Like while reading, the mind fills in the faces and voices of the good guys, the bad guys, and the ones we just don't know about yet.

    Now, with Audible's 2008 recording, the ability to take this story out of the "dust" on my bookshelves and with me as I go about my day, really lets me know that we are living in the future. There is nothing like sitting down or laying in a hammock and reading, but getting to head out and ride my bike while enjoying this gem from my youth on my Bluetooth headset? Well, I will be lying down for a long time soon enough. I am slowly but surely duplicating my sci-fi library in audio thanks to Audible.


    Works done as dramatizations are always entertaining. Hearing the sizzle of a neuronic-whip or stun pistol can liven up a story. Frequently though that is when the books get edited down to something hardly recognizable. I do prefer the unabridged version in spite of anything a multi-cast version might bring. Mr. Thorne adeptly creates the sense of danger and urgency that the main character is experiencing throughout the story. His portrayal of Gilbert oth Hinriad is hilarious, or rather, "Quite Amusing." As our hero Biron confronts his supposed ally on a barren world, and the woman he loves but had to deny to spring his trap, runs out to rescue him with no adequate life support, it is very hard to not appreciate the melodrama. Ending the book with the rediscovery of the Preamble to the US Constitution was almost as melodramatic. Ya think this is where Star Trek got it - The Yangs and Kohns in The Omega Glory? Very similar.

    The Stars, Like Dust… is what they used to call "Juvenile Fiction", but the place it holds in the Asimov Universe allows it to transcend its pulp origins and play its part in the circle that has no end in eternity.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-13-12
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "well read, well writen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes. anyone who likes ASIMOV will like this. serebeal with quiet humer


    What does Stephen Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    knows when to infosize


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    old is new


    Any additional comments?

    Asilmov is fun juest fun

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-14-11
    02-14-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not His Best"

    According to Wikipedia, Asimov considered this his worst novel. I can see why. It's not aged particularly well (which isn't his fault, of course). While the story itself has its moments, two things really lowered my evaluation. First, the casual sexism on display is really hard to ignore - there's one woman in the whole book and she exists only to provide a love interest for our hero. Second, the ending is a complete howler. To be fair, it wasn't Asimov's idea, but it's still his name on the book, so he gets the blame. Thankfully, he'd go on to do much better.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
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