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Way Station | [Clifford D. Simak]

Way Station

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.
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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he has done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

More than a hundred years before, an alien named Ulysses had recruited Enoch as the keeper of Earth's only galactic transfer station. Now, as Enoch studies the progress of Earth and tends the tanks where the aliens appear, the charts he made indicate his world is doomed to destruction. His alien friends can only offer help that seems worse than the dreaded disaster. Then he discovers the horror that lies across the galaxy.

BONUS AUDIO: Way Station includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mike Resnick.

©1963 Clifford D. Simak; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1964
  • All-Time Best Science Fiction Novels (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1198 )
5 star
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4.1 (793 )
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Story
4.2 (781 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Elfrida, az, United States 04-13-12
    Linda Elfrida, az, United States 04-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "If only people wrote like this today"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A very good read. Great ideas and very well written. A thinking persons book. One of the very few I will listen to again.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 10-01-14
    Joseph 10-01-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Timeless"

    A book first published in the 1963 that won the 1964 Hugo Award that has lessons for all of us here in the 21st century. Not a technically flashy story, instead, it focuses on the human and alien personalities and what we can learn by coming in contact with "others" who are quiet dissimilar. Enjoyed this story tremendously!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 03-20-13
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Civil War Soldier meets aliens and lives forever!"
    What made the experience of listening to Way Station the most enjoyable?

    This was a gentle story about a man who met an alien and became an innkeeper for those space travelers that needed a spot to stay during their travels. It was different than most science fiction stories and I liked it's message.


    What other book might you compare Way Station to and why?

    If you think of 2001 a Space Odyssey this book would be a precursor. I would compare him to the obelisk of the aliens in 2001.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the deaf mute girl handles the artifacts and charms the aliens.


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

    I didn't laugh or cry but I smiled a lot. That is why I call this a "gentle" book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 02-06-14
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 02-06-14 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doesn't live up to the Summary..."

    This book was interesting and at times kept me listening, but overall, it failed to contain a decent climax. I really notice a difference between older sci-fi versus the more recent stuff. It's not that it feels dated because of the writing, but the lack of any real suspense or (to me) significant danger that we now expect will keep me from recommending this one. One part had Enoch in conversation with his imaginary friends and I thought the plot might twist into something along the lines of Shutter Island, where he was in an insane asylum and all his alien friends were care takers and I liked that idea, but it never happened. It was neat to see the town engage Enoch because they all new he was old. The characters are somewhat interesting, but not enough that you really care what happens to them. This is a big requirement for a good novel. The narration is good and you can listen comfortably at 1.5X speed. If I would've known what you know now, I would pass on this one. Instead, I recommend 'Replay - Ken Grimwood', 'Lightning - Dean Koontz' and 'Schumann Frequency - Chris Ride' for the best I've read. I really hope this helps. Later.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 05-23-13
    Judith 05-23-13
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    "Plot meets Narrator Successfully!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The ethical and philosophical considerations raised by Simak. This is a gentle book that manages to encompass human frailty, war and a multi-pointed view of what it means to say "alien" in a very, to me, successful fashion.



    Which character – as performed by Eric Michael Summerer – was your favorite?

    It would be easy to say Enoch was my favorite, but truthfully I found all the characters engaging and interesting. Some of the aliens were more human than some of the earthlings!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No...I find breaks to think about the story very pleasant.


    Any additional comments?

    I like this book. I think it stands the test of time better than many science fiction books of that period because of the strong characters.

    The narration worked very well. Enoch's voice was well realized, I think. I recommend the story and the production.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-05-09
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-05-09 Member Since 2011
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    "Love it!"

    I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I've listened to it twice (a rare thing for me to do). I loved the main character who has a sort of haunted quality, if it's possible for one to be haunted by one's own past. Has to be one of the best Sci-Fi books I've listened to. A timeless classic.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Carmichael, CA, United States 06-17-12
    Katherine Carmichael, CA, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spiritual nonsense"
    What disappointed you about Way Station?

    The story had a great premise and a likable and well drawn out protagonist but was ruined by the spirituality the author injected into the story.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Black Rock, AR, United States 04-04-12
    Peter Black Rock, AR, United States 04-04-12
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    "Very original theme, very well read, a great yarn."

    A great story, dated in a technological sense but very original in its concept. I enjoyed it from beggining to end. The story is never dull, always something happening to draw you further along the path to the end of the book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barnes 04-03-12
    barnes 04-03-12
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    "Is this the one with imaginary friends?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes because I like science fiction and time/light speed travel tales and this one fits the bill.


    What other book might you compare Way Station to and why?

    Hopscotch by Neal Stephenson perhaps. Because of the material, not the detail or imagination.


    What does Eric Michael Summerer bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    As with any good narrator, he has a greater repertoire of voices than I could conjour up in my own mind.


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

    It was a good listen but it didn't move me to tears or laughter.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11-03-10
    David 11-03-10 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "A pleasant sci-fi classic"

    I'd give this 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. I used to love golden age sci-fi, but for me, most of it just doesn't hold up today. This was my first Simak novel. I enjoyed the writing and the story, and I can understand why it was a Hugo winner -- in 1964. I wonder how much this novel influenced the writers of Star Trek. Today, of course, four decades later, the interstellar federation which Earth is just on the verge of being ready to join has been done and done and done in every possible variation, so Simak's vision seems a little quaint. Apparently he was known as one of the more optimistic sci-fi writers, and that's apparent here; most of the conflicts are intellectual rather than violent, and the ETs are more alien in form than in manner. It all takes place in a homey backwoods setting and the resolution involves all the species of the galaxy recognizing their spiritual oneness so... yes, a pleasant story, but not a particularly challenging or mindbending one.

    I didn't particularly like the narration; Summerer keeps adding a laugh or a chuckle or a baffled/astonished pause to the characters' voices, which I think substantially changed the tone of some of the dialog from the way it reads in print.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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