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.
It is an older book (I read it decades ago), and it does not hold up as well as many others (such as, for example, The Forever War). Simak ultimately is an optimist, and perhaps such optimism seems particularly naive today. But the coincidences needed to resolve the central story are just too far-fetched.
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.
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!
No...I find breaks to think about the story very pleasant.
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.
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.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
This book is built on a wonderful idea. After reading the good reviews I decided to give it a listen. I wish I hadn't.
For me, the worst part was the dialogue. I know this was written in the sixties or something, but I'm pretty sure no one in the last 6 decades talked like the characters in this book. The narrator did nothing to smooth this over. Who am I kidding? The narration was bad. Mr. Summerer didn't have a lot to work with, but I think he did an awful job just the same.
I gave the story four stars because in the hands of a good author it could have been an amazing book. As it is, the story was the reason I finished the book.
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.
Social Scientist and Researcher; mostly retired but conducting longitudinal research into social issues especially the media and social networking. Avid SF and alternative history fan; enjoy a good crime yarn and have become something of an addict for audiobooks.
I grew up with the science fiction authors Robert Heinlein, Eric Frank Russell and Cliff Simak. Way Station won a Hugo award and arguably, it is amongst Simak's greatest works. Without revealing too much of the plot, a US Civil War veteran is orphaned on a farm and starts to receive strange visitors. As the years pass, he doesn't grow any older and this arouses a certain amount of hostility in the local community. The way station of the title is the farmhouse of Enoch Wallace, the keeper, who is a very human character and whose interaction with citizens of the galaxy, is more comfortable than that which is the price he pays for being human but seemingly immortal. When the crisis comes, Cliff Simak's belief in the good in people comes to the fore and we are richer for the telling of the tale.
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.
I read this book more than 40 years ago when I was very naive, believed in things like mind reading, wanted to believe in some kind of God but unhappy with religion, and when I longed for happy endings. At the time I loved the book but it didn't have enough substance for me to remember almost anything of the story. So I wanted to relive the wonder I felt in my youth but instead was disappointed. The story is very dated from the writing style, to the lust free characters, to ideas that in the light of science and experience seem childish, and even in the plot leaves much to be desired. Might be a great book for the young but for science fiction fans that like ideas to challenge them, that want characters that are believable, and that like their imaginations to be stretched then they need to look else where. Was a good book in its time but more suited for the comics than for exciting listening.
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