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Publisher's Summary

Crashlander Beowulf Shaeffer has long been one of the most popular characters in Known Space. Now, for the first time ever, Larry Niven brings together all the Beowulf Shaeffer stories - including a brand-new one - in one long tale of exploration and adventure! Plus - an all-new framing story that pulls together all of Beowulf Shaeffer's adventures and allows Shaeffer and his family to make a clean start at life once and for all!

©1994 Larry Niven (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    56
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Performance

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    29
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Visit Known Space and you won't want to leave!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The short stories in Crashlander are wonderful examples of Niven at his best. They're humorous, brimming with imaginative ideas, and, refreshingly optimistic about humanity's future.

What other book might you compare Crashlander to and why?

Known Space books like "World of Ptaavs", "Ringworld", and "Protector", as well as the Dream Park series come to mind for showcasing Niven's vivid imagination and optimistic writing.

Did Christopher Prince do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Prince's narration was so bad it would have ruined some of the stories had I not remembered the written version I'd read years ago so I knew how they were supposed to go!

He misread words, trampled on witty phrases, and repeatedly emphasized words wrongly so as to make the following text unintelligible.

A shame really--he has a pleasant voice, but his reading was sloppy, thereby damaging the stories.

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

No extreme reactions other than disappointment at the poor narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I love the story, but narration was poor

I love this 'universe' created by Larry Niven. Sadly the spoken dialog is colorless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Essential for Known Space fans but not perfect

Essential backstory for other Known Space stories, but the narrator made it very hard to lose myself in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Stilted Performance.

What did you love best about Crashlander?

I've always loved the stories involving Shaeffer. They're usually as far out as you can get and span so many other characters and plot points. Very fun.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Christopher Prince?

Christopher Prince was fine whenever he was reading a character's dialogue, but whenever he narrates it ends up sounding like a sports announcer. He needs to relax a little, it's all too consistent.

Any additional comments?

It takes a little effort getting through this one but it's worth it. Pick up the printed book if you have too much trouble with the narrator.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, mediocre reader.

I love the stories of Larry Niven. Beowulf Schaeffer is a serious personage, stepfather of Louis Wu, and much of Ringworld's plot is predicated of these stories.

But this reader has come close to ruining my appreciation for them. His sense of timing is odd, his delivery iambic when it isn't wooden. Worst, he clearly doesn't understand the concept of "operative words".

Operative words are the ones in a phrase upon which the interpretation intended by the author rely. When you say them, you emphasize the words that make them say what the story needs them to say -- you can change the meaning by emphasizing different words. This reader, when he emphasizes operative words, emphasizes the wrong ones for the appropriate meaning.

Take two particular words: dueling stunners, as in "the modified weapons were Jinxian dueling stunners". The proper emphasis is DUELING stunners. Stunners used to duel. This reader kept saying "dueling STUNNERS". It seems trivial , except that the meaning has changed into stunners THAT DUEL. That's not what Niven intended. PEOPLE use the stunners TO DUEL.

His emphasis sounds like "dueling BANJOS", banjos engaged in a duel. In "Deliverance", the a banjo duels a guitar in a song called Dueling Banjos. Reversing the emphasis would change them into banjos you use to fight, like El Kabong whacking you with a guitar.

Once is annoying. Twice is frustrating. Dozens of times makes you want to stop listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

no offense to the narrator

but this had the feel of being read by Siri. I think a little emotion in the dictation would have been great but otherwise the story was solid I'm glad they brought all these stories together into one. I have to say even towards the end The narrator's Voice started to grow on me.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Short stories that fall short

This is the second time I’ve listened to this. Granted, this is an assemblage of short stories stitched together, but it didn’t work. The early stuff such as Neutron Star have some real merit, but it falls apart in the end. I wish I had simply gotten a hold of the out of print Neutron Star. The final two stories were just disjointed for me. Top this with a robotic, out of meter/time and incorrectly inflected performance and this one leaves the listener wanting; even confused.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good Stories

Good Stories, they were enjoyable to read. They helped give you a good sense to the known universe.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Larry Niven storytelling at its best

the story goes well the back story about how Louis Blues Auto. Going to out of the arms control got into the hands of others eventually ended up killing how it would have been up on The Ringworld some of the backstory like who Lewis blue is and where it came from to find it very entertaining to must-read

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

3 good, 1 ok, 1 bad

If you're re thinking about buying this book, you should. The first three stories were really good. However the fourth story was just ok. And, finally the fifth story was bad. The framework of all the stories was excellent. If you enjoy sci-fi you will definitely enjoy the concepts and ideas that Larry introduces.

The problem here is that Larry gives you an excessive amount of details about persons places or things BEFORE he gives you a reason to care about them. This makes for some boring listening at certain parts. Worse than that, at times he blindsides you with a stream of adjectives that do not seem to connect to what you were previously hearing. I literally thought I had lost my place a few times. Further, I think a lot of the complaints about the narration are linked to this. I got the impression, from the narrator's vocal inflections, that he did not understand what he was reading. I can see why, but that's no excuse. (Do some research before hand guy)

All said though this was some excellent scifi. Some of the ideas about hyper space travel, indestructible hulls, auto docs and so forth were intriguing. I don't think you'll regret getting this book, especially at the price.