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Blasphemy  By  cover art

Blasphemy

By: Douglas Preston
Narrated by: Scott Sowers
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Publisher's Summary

In Douglas Preston's Blasphemy, the world's biggest supercollider, locked in an Arizona mountain, was built to unlock the secrets of the very moment of creation: the Big Bang itself. 

The Torus is the most expensive machine ever created by humankind, run by the world's most powerful supercomputer. It is the brainchild of Nobel Laureate William North Hazelius.

Will the Torus divulge the mysteries of the creation of the universe? Or will it, as some predict, suck the earth into a mini black hole? Or is the Torus a Satanic attempt, as a powerful televangelist decries, to challenge God Almighty on the very throne of heaven?

Twelve scientists under the leadership of a famed Nobel Laureate are sent to the remote mountain to turn it on...and what they discover must be hidden from the world at all costs. Wyman Ford, ex-monk and CIA operative, is tapped to wrest from the team their secret, a secret that will either destroy the world - or save it.

The countdown begins....

©2007 Splendide Mendax, Inc. (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Blasphemy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    568
  • 4 Stars
    531
  • 3 Stars
    361
  • 2 Stars
    135
  • 1 Stars
    79
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    392
  • 4 Stars
    230
  • 3 Stars
    90
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    12
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    342
  • 4 Stars
    209
  • 3 Stars
    131
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    25

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This makes

I'm not a fan of most of Preston's novels, Tyrannosaurus Rex being a notable exception. But I had a great time with this book. It is both a ripping good yarn and a thoughtful exploration of the old science-versus-religion debate.

Preston's long list of compelling caricatures and characters includes televangelist preachers, former Green Berets-turned-jesus-freaks, aloof brilliant scientists, sleazy inside-the-beltway politicians, an oddly prescient Russian computer nerd, an itinerant mad pastor, a Navajo shaman, steely-eyed FBI agents, a Jack Abramoff clone, an emotionally shattered ex-CIA agent, and talking computer connected to an artificial singularity. Hell, even L. Ron Hubbard makes an appearance. With a cast like that, how can you go wrong?

And at the center of it all, Preston poses questions: Was religion an evolutionary necessity? Can we reach adulthood as a species without leaving revealed religion behind? Are the paths of religion and science converging? Is science not really religion in the end?

Good stuff.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Mixed success

I gave this five stars just to offset the hypersensitive types who over-reacted to the message about uninformed zealots. It also takes on megachurches and some of their less well-behaved and thoughtful preachers,members and hangers-on.

This book is actually quite pro-religion; it's got a problem with mindless fundamentalism of all stripes. And sorry, it's no "homage to L. Ron Hubbard."

There are many intriguing ideas in the book, and that makes it well worth the time. I urge you to seriously consider it.

Here are some of the problems...

As for the story: yep, too many stereotypes. This could have been a better book given more time, care and editing. The writing is fine, but too many plots twists are telegraphed("Hey, I just noticed this cliff...").

It took me an hour to get past the sub-par narration. There's at least one jarring mispronunciation ("mantilla" like "ill" rather than "tree") and some of the voice characterizations might have been done differently. They served to emphasize the stereotypical nature of the characters rather than deflect that feeling.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Science v. Religion

Note: That my title is NOT science v. GOD. If you thrill to physics mysteries: dark matter, string theory, subatomic particles, 'the big bang', quantum mechanics & all huge mysteries on beyond human understanding (like God.)You'll LOVE this book. If a devout (fill in blank) religion, you may hate it. Well enough narrated, excellently edited I couldn't put this one down. WHAT was happening??? The clever interweaving of Navajo creation myths (which on a quick computer search do jibe with the story) an unpredictable plot. And as a previous reviewer said.. "It's only a book" (a FICTIONAL book, I'd add ..so lighten up.) True faith shouldn't be threatened a by mere thriller. Again fifth stars reserved for "required reading." If I could give it 4 1/2 stars I would because it's darn close. Finally the author is expert at relating key physics ideas (a big Stephen Hawking theory) in layman's terms without insulting us. No small feat! That passage alone was worth the credit.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

What a disappointment.

For years I have been one of Preston's most avid fans, affording him status as one of my rare "Automatic Authors," writers whose books I automatically buy without even reading the description, so I take no pleasure in writing this review.

First, the narrator is terrible at everything except the narrative. Character voices sound like something out of a low budget teen movie.

As for content, the overall story is the only reason the book gets even two stars. It's an interesting overall premise with abysmal execution. The characters are hackneyed caricatures.

Most disturbing is the seething hatred of Christianity that boils just below the surface throughout the book. Atheistic fervor = good. Navajo mysticism = good. Politicians = good. Then there are those dang old evil Christians. Aside from a casual Catholic who in the end doesn't have conviction enough to challenge an all-out attack on the core of Christianity, every single Christian is depicted as either a fraud, a whack-job, a murderer, or a terrorist. No matter what you think of Christianity, for Preston to portray such a massive group of his fellow citizens in this way is absurd and totally lacking in believability. It's so over the top as to make obvious the fact that he did zero research aimed at creating believable Christian characters.

As a Christian myself, I found Blasphemy to be utterly offensive, but I also am extremely dismayed to see such poor craft of writing from one of my favorite writers. I read many many novels that have characters and story elements I may disagree with, yet I can still appreciate the quality of craft. This one is a sad failure on virtually every front.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling!

I never write reviews but I have to say this is the best thing I've listened to in five years on audible. The reader is amazing, the story engrossing. I laughed and couldn't stop listening. I was sorry when it was over.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A WASTE

If you are a Christian, especially one who takes their faith seriously, then stay away from this book. You are being warned. I’ve read/listened to most of the Preston/Child books and they have all been somewhat entertaining but this book moves from being the characteristic suspense/detective/thriller to a bashfest on Christians using every negative stereotype that can be conjured. There is even the stated comparison of Christianity to the practices of al-qaida. This book follows on the heels of Tyrannosaurus Canyon with the main character being Wyman Ford, the ex-monk, ex-husband, ex-CIA operative, and apparently ex-Christian; however, this book is not nearly as well written. It’s obvious that Preston is paying homage to L. Ron Hubbard and scientology but at the expense of those who dismiss those beliefs. As for me, this book literally is “Blasphemy”.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

It is a blasphemy

I have read other books by Preston and enjoyed them. The book reviews were very positive, so I looked forward to this book. I has extremely disappointed. The first thing one notices is the stereotypic one-dimensional characters. From mad scientists to an all-knowing unresponsive shaman, to the greedy unethical politicians and star-crossed lovers, this is one fiction cliche after another. The reading of the story seems to exacerbate the pain of the poorly written, boiler-plate story. I tried to make it to the end. I made it about 2/3 of the way, but the pain was just too intense.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Blasphemy

This unfortunately is another book bashing religion. The author is convinced that science is the only true religion. Consequently, his characters are stereotypical and simplistic. If it wasn't for the unique twist at the end of the book the plot would be laughable. There is an interesting interview with the author at the end of the book. It shows the author is convinced that "science" has demonstrated the origin of man and the fallacy of religion.
I wish I had been warned that this was such a predictable anti-God book.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Its entertainment ...

I enjoy the pace and passion of this book. I agree with a few other reviewers that the characters are exaggerated for effect and could have been less stereotypical. However; this is entertainment, not a social commentary on the human condition. I have to give it a 5 as well to offset those who don't seem to get that. The over the top portrayal of the evangelist and real fears that the future is not covered in their "book" must hit to close to the bone for christo fascists. I can't believe someone actually thinks that scientist "try to disprove the bible". I think you have a twisted sense of your beliefs and absolutely no idea about real science. I bet these are the same people who think there is actually a debate with science and so called "intelligent design" and don't recognize that 0.01% of the fringe are being given 50% of the coverage by a sensationalist media. I am a scientist. Scientific method has everything to do with the physical world around us and nothing to do with the spiritual one. They are not mutually exclusive. Get over it and enjoy a good story.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A good read

Until I read the reviews, I was not completely sold on purchasing this book. After seeing the emotion evoked from as another reviewer described as "hypersensitive types" I couldn't help myself and had to find out. I found the story fast paced and highly entertaining. It had me chuckling and shaking my head at the absurdity of human nature that drives us humans into obsessive actions. So all I can say is if you take your religion seriously, then don't get your panties in a knot - it's just a story!!! - and an entertaining one at that!

12 people found this helpful