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When Worlds Collide | [Philip Wylie, Edwin Balmer]

When Worlds Collide

A runaway planet hurtles toward Earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed Earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.
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Publisher's Summary

A runaway planet hurtles toward Earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed Earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.

A crackling plot and sizzling, cataclysmic vision have made When Worlds Collide one of the most popular and influential end-of-the-world novels of all time.

©1932, 1933 Edwin Balmer & Philip Wylie (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (494 )
5 star
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3.9 (438 )
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4.0 (437 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cynthia L. Walker Knoxville, TN 02-07-12
    Cynthia L. Walker Knoxville, TN 02-07-12 Member Since 2008

    clwalker IT Admin

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still as good as I remember!"

    I loved this book and its sequel many years ago when I first read it. I am delighted to find it has stood the test of time, as I found the audiobook years later to be just as riviting. It is hard for me to believe it was written in 1931! Of course, there are certain details, prose style and attitudes that bring to mind the era in which it was born. The story itself, however, is timeless, exciting and very well written. I found, despite my familiarity with the story, I could hardly bear to put it down. The characters, while a little larger than life, still resonate today. If you love science fiction, you will love this classic!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence PHOENIX, AZ, United States 02-21-12
    Lawrence PHOENIX, AZ, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is one for the older generation."

    Being a youngster of 73 this book was written a few years before I was born. I remember going to the movie theater, spending my $0.25 for the picture and becoming rapt in it. I enjoyed it so much I actually got the book and read it.

    It must be remembered that this was written before the conditions that exist today but it still applies to people. Listen to it and it will bring back memories of when you were younger.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Seymour, TN, United States 02-02-12
    Diane Seymour, TN, United States 02-02-12 Member Since 2011

    Geepa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AN OLDIE BUT GOODIE"

    Thanks Audible for providing us with this book and its sequel. What most people don't realize is that this book was pubished in 1932 and its sequel, After Worlds Collide was published in 1933. They both have held up fairly well too. So feel free to spend your money, as these are books you'll enjoy. But just remember when they were written and adjust your thinking accordingly.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Norfolk, VA, United States 05-19-12
    Helen Norfolk, VA, United States 05-19-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suspenseful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved listening to When Worlds Collide. I saw the movie years ago and knew the book would be better. I wasn't disappointed. The book is much different than the movie and I am glad. I won't give away plot secrets because that would destroy some of the suspense. It was written in 1933, between the world wars. I hated to turn it off to do anything else and often didn't. The book starts out broad and then narrows in on specific characters and events as the story unfolds. You start rooting for certain characters right off. You want them to survive and you want them to get their hearts desire. Cole Hendron is a scientist working to build a rocket ship to save a remnant of the human race and take them to an unknown planet in hopes of finding a way to help the human race survive.
    Hendron is altruistic but determined to pick the best and brightest to take with him on this journey. But first they have to find a way to build a rocket ship strong enough to make the journey through space from the Earth to the new planet. They also have to survive what devestation will come when the 2 planets heading toward Earth approach and the other people on Earth who want what they have built. The suspense carries right through to the end of the book as we wait to see if Hendron will succede in saving his remnant or if the forces confronting them will overcome all their efforts.

    I definitely am recommending this book as a great read. They say the science fiction writers that went into WWII were never the same, that is those who survived it.

    Read the sequell and remember the state of the world around WWI and then WWII and you will definitely see their influence. After Worlds Collide continues the story begun in When Worlds Collide and is definitely worth the time.


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

    The nuances of language that only a good reader can bring to any story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When I realized that the book had different sub-plots than the movie, I was thrilled because I knew the excitement would be greater as the story unfolded for me without me knowing what to expect next.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry Cannington, Australia 03-07-12
    Garry Cannington, Australia 03-07-12 Member Since 2011

    I work in IT, I love reading, I love Writing and for those daily travels too and fro I love to listen to Audible books too

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great classic of Sci-fi"
    Would you listen to When Worlds Collide again? Why?

    I had seen the movie and read the book and now listened to it and I was just as impressed with the audio as I was the book. Peter Ganim performance was good. This is a recommended listen for those that like classic science fiction.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom chanhassen, MN, United States 02-04-12
    Tom chanhassen, MN, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great early sci-fi book"
    Where does When Worlds Collide rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    unique based on its age


    Any additional comments?

    this book was written in the hey-day of sci-fi pulp with authors like ee doc smith.
    so considering it age the science is dated, the dialog is dated but it was one of the first sci-fi books i read. so from that stand point this book is 10 stars.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-04-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-04-14 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THEY WANT OUR WOMEN"

    What a Concept!!
    THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING UP IN SCIENCE.
    Scientists spot two rogue planets in the outer solar system, heading toward Earth. The planets are going to enter our orbit. One planet is earth like and the other is a massive giant. The giant will hit and destroy our moon and eight months later hit and destroy Earth. At first the general public does not believe it, but they will soon find out.

    GIVE ME 5 CENTS FOR A CUP OF COFFEE.
    Written in the early thirties this is very dated. It is also written in that style. The first couple of chapters are like, Hey we know something really important, but let's build up the suspense first, then we will tell you and not until then. Their are like two parts of the book. The science part I love, which is rogue planets, frozen atmospheres, apocalyptic events, etc...

    The Other Part
    What was annoying was the main character Tony. He is a big cry baby and super melodramatic. He whines to his girlfriend constantly. His girlfriend of three years, who gives him a kiss once a year at Christmas. He is way into her, but she don't seem to be too much in to him. At one point he is upset cause their are more men then women going to colonize another planet and he may have to share her. He is very upset about that. Later they have a battle and several men die and now there are more women then men and he may have to procreate with several women. That is alright by him.

    I gave the story three stars because of the melodrama, but the concept of the story makes it worth listening to. I also want to listen to After Worlds Collide, when they explore the new planet.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Durango, CO, United States 03-09-12
    Michael Durango, CO, United States 03-09-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "2012, but better"

    It is the year of the end, but this is far better than the movie. The sociologic anachronisms are a little camp, but the story has aged very well. If you enjoy this type of older, science fiction-adventure story, read "Space Prison" by Tom Godwin. It is available for free on Kindle. You will enjoy it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    timetobuy 02-04-12
    timetobuy 02-04-12 Member Since 2002

    tvzz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great early sci-fi book"
    Where does When Worlds Collide rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    unique based on its age


    Any additional comments?

    this book was written in the hey-day of sci-fi pulp with authors like ee doc smith.
    so considering it age the science is dated, the dialog is dated but it was one of the first sci-fi books i read. so from that stand point this book is 10 stars.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 06-01-14
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 06-01-14 Member Since 2013

    the world's fastest fat man

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really Took Me By Surprise"
    What did you love best about When Worlds Collide?

    I like stories which have a lot of 'what ifs' stories which make me wonder what would I do, how would I feel if that was happen


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending is great and makes it difficult for me to decide to buy the follow up story. I don't want to ruin it for myself!


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

    He certainly did a good job reading it, the style and the wording in the book must have made it difficult at times for him. Peter Ganim is not my favorite narrator but that does not mean he is terrible!


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

    It certainly resparked my interest in the genre of the book again. But no emotional response to make me laugh out loud or cry.


    Any additional comments?

    It was interesting listening to a book written so many years ago in regards to space travel and commentary on future life and culture

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 35 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • s
    Hinckley, United Kingdom
    12/14/12
    Overall
    "World Smashingly Good"

    I knew this story from the 1951 film, but this book and the narration just blows the celluloid attempt out of this solar system. A masterpiece of imaginative storytelling, writing and narration that I couldn’t stop listening to, I was spellbound. For the last half I sat all afternoon, not noticing the winter darkness enfolding me, listening to this exciting piece of science fiction set in that exciting period when adventures beyond our atmosphere were still an adolescent mix of theory and fact, with that possibility of fanciful flourish.

    It was all brought magically to life by that spell weaving voice of Peter Ganim whose voice secured the heroes in their alpha male roles and brought the professors prior to Sputnik and post nuclear dawn sciences to life in true 1940s style; you could almost picture him narrating dressed in a trench coat and trilby. I have found in audio books there is a very real need to marry the writing style, the story and the narrator into a holy threesome and in this instance, in my view, they are going to live happily ever after.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • scotty
    cannock, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Great Film. Better Story."

    OK, this is really bad science but timely and it's a great story. The characters are larger than life and so is the target.



    Lyra and Bellus are a twin pair of rogue planets that are just about to close pass the Earth, loop around and wallop us. But! If we're lucky and clever we can launch Arcs to send life to the world that doesn't hit earth... Listen on...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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