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.
One of the best SF novels I've ever read - full of the wonder and awe of a small child looking up at the star-filled sky at night and dreaming of beings on other worlds. This novel certainly takes its place as one of the most imaginative and powerful works in the genre. Simak's concept of an extraterrestrial "way station" being set up in an isolated Wisconsin farmhouse is both simple and profound. What goes on there will amaze and inspire you. Not full of action and suspense, but quietly inspiring and thought-provoking.
For a science fiction book written in 1963 this novel holds up remarkably well. Like much of the genera from the 60's it reflects hope with regard to the future of humanity; it is whimsical and sweat in spots. The main character is a solid decent human being who represents us well to the
rest of the galaxy; and Simak represents him well to us the reader.
This book is a gem coming from the era where the
trilogy meant Lord of the Rings or maybe the Foundation books. Back when a well crafted science fiction story most often was only one book. It is solid and I would recommend it to all.
I was somewhat hesitant to download my first audible book. I also wasn't sure I wanted to hear one of my all time favorite books growing up being read to me in the voice of someone else. I was extremely impressed. Quality of download and clarity were wonderful. I was very pleased and this made my long travels for work much more enjoyable. Almost hoped for rush hour jams!
Summary: The CIA investigate a reclusive "young looking man" who lives in a remote farmhouse in Wisconsin - he claims to be a Civil War veteran and he's called Enoch...
It turns out that there is more to this mysterious man that meets the eye - in fact, in Enoch's backroom - there's a way station for the Galactic transport network - and he one of the station masters!
Insights: A warm and well written book that won a Hugo Award. Although written in the 60's, it's philosophy is that you cannot judge a person (well aliens as well) by it's cover.
A quiet classic.. recommended!
I really need to start proof reading my Reviews before I post them.
I do like some emotionally raw books that makes me notice the amount of dust that I have in my apartment, that keeps landing in my eyes. Lately I have been bombarded with emotionally poignant stories, from other sources; **SPOILERS** Harry killing Susan, Senator Wen killing Holly, Claudia being shattered with Jinx death, and then the whole Prometheus movie trailers. **END SPOILERS**
Way Station highlights the best of humanity.
There are emotional conflicts and some bad stuff does happen. If the bad stuff didn't happen, the story just wouldn't be worthwhile. All stories need conflict, consequences and emotional resonance.
This story does have the conflict, consequences and the emotional resonance in spades. But at the end of the story, it also leaves room for some hope and some affirmation that life isn't just about loss.
Clifford D. Simak left me feeling inspired.
During my adolescence I was absorbed in speculative science fiction. Not only was it an escape from the strictures of the Christian community in which I lived, but a philosophic tendency that was more akin to my true nature. Writers like Simak, Silversberg and Heinlein broadened my world view and fired my imagination. Many decades later Simak remains a favorite and I was thrilled to find WAY STATION available on audio. It has aged incredibly well and remains and wonderful and absorbing narrative. Gentle, spiritual and pastoral, this novel is an affirmation of the human experience. Simak is a fine writer and considering the age of this book, he was also a man of broad vision. A lovely audio experience, well narrated and produced. For fans of this genre, an absolute must have!
Aware of comparing novel styles in the past with current works, e.g. a Edgar Allen Poe versus a Dean Koontz novel of today, I still feel that there was more wrong than right with it. I was intrigued with the concept of person becoming a host for wayward space alien travelers for a couple of centuries. And, for the first quarter of the story, I found it interesting and novel.
Then the repetition began where the author would continue have the protagonist over-think almost every situational encounter ... over and over and over. Then the repeated instances where the protagonist endlessly waxed philosophical on every situation where a decision branch was encountered.
I was most disappointed with how it ended, leaving many of the important issues unresolved. Did Lucy actually decide to go? How did CIA gin sing guy assuage Lucy's parents? What happened with the meeting with earth's leaders and did it have any positive effect on ending the pending war drums?
It was frustrating to spend that much time on a novel and come away with no further movement on the whole premise of the novel, humankind's encounter with aliens.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
Good: The Mizar Math reminded me of Foundation by Asimov. Virtual Reality games in 1953. Long before Star Wars, we hear about The Force. He walks alone theme. Only seven hours long. Audio was better then reading the book.
Average: Enoch is a good man and good things happen to good people. Enoch is not ambitious and does not stand up for mankind too well, and if he was in a Heinlein novel he would get beat up a lot. The pace of the book is slow.
If your a big Heinlein fan I don't believe you will get into this book. If you like more easy listening, simple, then you may really like this. The first page of reviews are very positive, but if you look at the ratings, more people gave it a four then a five and there are lots of three's and some lower.
The premise is a little far fetched, (not surprising based on the 1964 writing date), but the ideas in the story were good and the thought provoking nature of some parts excellent (No wonder it won the Hugo)
My son liked it too, he's 10, and demanded I get all the other Simak books.
Narration was very well done.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (classic sci-fi) - Way Station is a thoroughly enjoyable book. It was written in the sixties, but it's still forward-thinking even today in 2014. I suppose that's why it's won numerous awards and has become a sci-fi classic. The basic story is that for over 100 years a human, Enoch, has operated a way station on earth for aliens from a multitude of other planets to stop. He gives them a place to stay and sometimes entertains them. Some visit repeatedly and have become dear friends. Throughout the story you will "meet" various aliens, each with his own special appearance and characteristics. Eventually, Enoch unintentionally becomes involved in an incident of intergalactic importance. This incident threatens his life, his way station and the future of the human race.
While the story is very good, it's a little slow at times. The intergalactic incident is unique and interesting, but there's not a lot of action and it doesn't rise to the standards of today's thrillers. (Not necessarily a bad thing).
PERFORMANCE - Good job, but nothing special.
OVERALL - There is no sex or inappropriate language and only some mild violence. I'd recommend this book for mature male or female listeners, but younger listeners might find it boring.
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