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Publisher's Summary

Deathworld centers on Jason dinAlt, a professional gambler who uses his somewhat erratic psionic abilities to tip the odds in his favor. He is challenged by a man named Kerk Pyrrus (who turns out to be the ambassador from the planet Pyrrus) to turn a large amount of money into an immense sum by gambling at a government-run casino. He succeeds and survives the planetary government's desperate efforts to steal back the money.

In a fit of ennui, he decides to accompany Kerk to his home, despite being warned that it is the deadliest world ever colonized by humans... DEATHWORLD!

Deathworld is one of the classics of the Golden Age of science fiction, born in the pages of Astounding Science Fiction under the editorship of John W. Campbell, Jr.

©1960 Harry Harrison (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Deathworld

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not as good I remembered

I read this many decades ago in my youth. Now, I bought it as part of many SF books to introduce to my son. Unfortunately, it was not as good as I remembered. The characters were flat. The plot did not really build to a satisfying climax. I bought book 2, but it was so boring, that I couldn't finish it. I guess I wasn't very discerning when I was young.

8 people found this helpful

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Good basic sci-fi

Not anywhere near as good as the Rat books but a good basic sci-fi story. You won't be overwhelmed but you won't be disappointed either.

4 people found this helpful

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Good ole fashioned sf

Didn't know what to expect. Good story over 55 years old. Good narration. A little sexism however those were the norms back then. Looking forward to the next in the series.

4 people found this helpful

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an interesting story

A gambler is convinced to help a stranger increase his fortunes. they go to a casino and win big. then the gambler decides to return with the stranger to his home world.

the gambler attempts to adapt to the strange and deadly world and questions what the natives will not. he learns what they refuse to and decides to try and change things.

full of action. characters seem a bit hollow at times. I'm an avid fan of Harry Harrison. I think the narrator has room for improvement. his performance was good but some of the characters seemed rushed.

3 people found this helpful

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I listened to the trilogy in one weekend!

this book captured my interest in the first 20 minutes. the books are shorter than I would normally get but definitely glad I grabbed the trilogy.

1 person found this helpful

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Weak Story

The story started out well: entertaining and moved along quickly. Shortly after Jason’s arrival on Deathworld, however, it became implausible and preachy. The performance is excellent but the material is weak. I will not be listening to the second book.

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Just don’t

Stay away, this book is all over the place.. not sure if a 12 year old wrote it but the dialogue, characters, settings are all just moment to moment cartoons with barely any cohesion

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Good book, nice story

As others have already mentioned, the story looks naive sometimes. I assume the characters wouldn’t change their beliefs, which they have formed in a lifetime, overnight.
But the book has pretty fascinating story and good narrator performance

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Classic - that says it all

I started reading sci-fi during / at the end the golden age. This book belongs to that time period. A return of sorts - I must have read this, but translated, and don’t remember it anymore.

The good about it: it is written in a way that makes you feel that the author is exploring something, not consciously repeating tropes or working a formula.

The bad about it: the character development is somewhat lacking - really, is the main character Jason now an eco-type or a confused soldier? How naive can he be to assume the town folks wouldn’t mow down everything in their way? Plus, all if it is very male-centric. Not in a really bad way (there are way worse examples), but it is noticeable, by today’s standards.

These older books also always give you the option to think about where in more present media these may have shown up. For this book, echoes were maybe to be found in Avatar, and just a little in Riddick.

Overall good, but I may not listen to the other two parts of the trilogy, which are usually judged to be less compelling…

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Slow start but it picked up quite a bit by the end

Performance was good though I felt like I was listening to a western as opposed to a science fiction. Story started a little slow and by the end had become very interesting and enjoyable. An exploration of mankind's conflict with lifeforms so different from ourselves that we cannot hope to understand them combined with the age old conflict of mankind vs mankind. Would recommend.

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  • Julian Griffin
  • 10-19-20

great ripping yarn, with twists and turns.

absorbing, interesting, clever, filled with ideas and plots. Can highly recommend to all sci fi enthusiasts, indeed on the strength of this I have just purchased books 2 & 3.

2 people found this helpful

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  • P. M. Mitchell
  • 11-19-16

One of my favourite Harry Harrison books

a all time favourite of mine - this set of books along with the stainless steel rat books I rarely grow tired of.

2 people found this helpful