Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.
A few words from Neil on Dimension of Miracles: "Dimension of Miracles is probably not [Sheckley's] most famous book…. but I think it's probably his best-loved book. It's about the joys and tribulations (mostly the tribulations) of winning the lotterythe galactic lotteryaccidentally. And wrongly. Tom Carmody is awarded a remarkable prize, is taken half way across the universe to collect it, finds himself hopelessly lost, and needs to find his way home again to Earth…to this Earth, not an alternate, weirdo Earth. He's got to get back. And the price is high.
In its style of humorand even in some of the jokesDimension of Miracles is very obviously a precursor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas actually hadn't read Dimension of Miracles until very shortly after Hitchhiker came out, when people pointed him to it, and he told me that he found the experience almost shockingit was like reading himself. He was a huge admirer of Bob Sheckley and a huge admirer of this book, and in later life, I had the privilege of introducing both of them.
Now the challenge for me with a book this funny, this strange, this perceptive was to try and find a narrator who was as iconic, somebody who could deliver the goods, somebody who could give you a book like this as it deserved to be given. And the first, and the last, and actually the only person to come to mind was John Hodgman. So I asked John, and he said yes! And he did it; he pulled it off. Listening to Johnnot just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through herehe does it delightfully, he does it brilliantly, he's really, really funny. And so is this book. Enjoy your journey through a Dimension of Miracles."
Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home. Meanwhile, his removal from Earth has caused a predatory entity to spring into existence - one that pursues and aims to destroy him. Carmody is on the run, and he ends up transporting from Earth to Earth - different phases and realities of the planet, which of course is not the time or condition he expects.
©1968 Robert Sheckley (P)2013 Robert Sheckley
Ronda Del Boccio, The Story Lady
This book is such fun. Yes, it reminds everyone of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy even though it was written before. I love the humor, fun characters, and especially the ending.
The whole part about creating a budget planet - EARTH. Absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud HEARTILY many times.
The planet maker scnee was a blast. Loved the whole book.
I loved the resolution in the end. This isn't a "moving" type book, but that end satisfied me.
If you like humor and don't mind irreverent books, read tis one.
This book is funny as well as thought provoking. If you loved Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy you will really appreciate this book.
A wonderful journey that just makes you want to listen for hours. A must read/listen, actually a must listen by John Hodgman only, he is perfect for this. A very talented man.
All of it!
The narrator made it wonderful - how dare you say he detracted
No, not really
Listen to this book darn it!
Genius. Hilarious. Perfect.
As I said in my title, this book is the Hitchhiker's Guide's precursor. I can't imagine what Douglas Adams must have been thinking and feeling while he was reading this for the first time, apparently after Hitchhiker's had been published. They share so much of the dry, irreverent, metaphysical humor that it is hard to believe that Adams had never read Dimensions before. If you like Hitchhiker's Guide at all, GET THIS BOOK!
Absolutely everything. Neil Gaiman hit the nail square on the head when he asked John Hodgman to narrate this book.
I loved this book. I found it to be funny and witty and thought provoking. The story was suburb and the characters were charming and well rounded. I started listening to it again as soon as I finished it the first time and I plan on getting any and all other Robert Sheckley books that Audible has to offer.
this is very much a pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel. it has much in the way of the odd ball events and satiric jabs at society etc. that pop up in Adam's work. while i found it very much like HGG and enjoyed it, i did find myself wishing for a little more of the manic Adams movement and wordplay etc. Hodgman is passable as a narrator but could have read with a little more gusto. still all in all good and i do like the ending but a couple scenarios perhaps go on a bit too long. can't give it more stars simply because it is done better by Adams.
It's hard to believe that this was written before Hitchhiker's Guide. All of the tropes that we ascribe to Adams are here. The weary time traveler, the morose robot, the finicky planet builder (Oh Slartybartfast!), and the cynical humor that leaves you chuckling after the book is over. It's a gem and I'm glad that Gaiman added it to his collection. Hodgman's narration is the icing on the cake.
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
I really loved the story and the narration was great. Additionally, there was preface by Neil Gaiman and a post interview between Gaiman and Hodgman. That was a real bonus. I really love Neil Gaiman presents I get to enjoy things I normally would not have tried. I bought the book because John Hodgman was narrating. The story was universal and timeless. Pun intended.
A lot of people are comparing it to Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy, which it is on the same vain as far as tone and comedy. I see more the comparisons to Voltaire. I feel like Carmody and Candide had similar journeys. Everywhere they went was "the best of all possible worlds" or was it.
I got this book because of John Hodgman. What is so great about listening to him is when he narrates it is performance. His characterization are both ironic and funny it made the story very entertaining.
Where the prize is not always the prize.
I really loved this adventure. Neil Gaiman really knows how to put together a story with a narrator to get the best of all possible experiences. I definitely recommend this and if you like it then I would suggest Year Zero for narration and Candide for story.
Hilarious. Now I'm searching for all the Robert Sheckley I can get my hands on. This is social satire sci-fi that takes several jabs at American culture of mid-20th century. John Hodgman's narration is superb. He could read obituaries and I'd be rapt.
I live every day as if it will be my last. This is why my clothes are wrinkled. Let's face it. Who wants to spend their last day on earth ironing?
I think that I would like to revisit this book in the future, but my seemingly endless list of things to read may not permit it. This is a book that is short enough and entertaining enough to be listened to again.
My favorite character is the computer whose error sets the story in motion. His soliloquy on the metaphysics of making mistakes struck the right chord.
I liked John (and I'm a PC) Hodgman's perfomance of Tom Carmody. He could easily have slipped into a smirking portrayal of this character, but instead, he turned him into the everyman that I could relate to.
There were a few insights into the human condition and various philosophical and metaphysical discussions. However, if you are looking for enlightenment or an epiphany of some sort, you haven't read the synopsis if this book.
Neil Gaiman has done readers, science fiction fans, and those who appreciate absurdity a great service by bringing this story to the attention of readers and listeners everywhere.
The story is a laugh out loud romp through the physical and metaphysical universe, and the preface and post-reading interview with Neil Gaiman add to the experience.
Neil Gaiman has found another pearl. I laughed my way through this book. I'm making my way through NGP's selections.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.