Dreams Before the Start of Time

Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
3 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a near-future London, Millie Dack places her hand on her belly to feel her baby kick, resolute in her decision to be a single parent. Across town, her closest friend - a hungover Toni Munroe - steps into the shower and places her hand on a medic console. The diagnosis is devastating.

In this stunning, bittersweet family saga, Millie and Toni experience the aftershocks of human progress as their children and grandchildren embrace new ways of making babies. When infertility is a thing of the past, a man can create a child without a woman, a woman can create a child without a man, and artificial wombs eliminate the struggles of pregnancy. But what does it mean to be a parent? A child? A family?

Through a series of interconnected vignettes that spans five generations and three continents, this emotionally taut story explores the anxieties that arise when the science of fertility claims to deliver all the answers.

©2017 Anne Charnock (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

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Read A Calculated Life instead

The emotional distance you feel from the main character in that novel makes sense, and it was a quite unique book. But this novel is about people having/creating babies, forming families, and how thoughts, norms, and technology surrounding the two change over five generations. But Charnock, I think, is a little more interested in ideas and concepts than character development. And since this spans five generations in seven hours, there are way too many to characters to fully develop them and to keep them completely straight (it would be easier reading than listening). So I didn’t really connect with any of them emotionally.

Still, I was engaged enough to keep listening (on 1.25 speed). The writing was solid as was the audio narration.

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No drive. No arc. No spark.

A collection of broadly connected needle drops in people’s lives. Well crafted and touching, but conflicted in its methods. It’s only obliquely science fiction. Perhaps , it’s the message that people’s motives are unchanging, even as they adapt to new technology. Fine, but this book lacks tension; creates no burden to care what happens to several generations of characters.

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  • janet.lewis1@btinternet.com
  • 08-22-18

Confusing

Understanding is not assisted by narrators speaking style.

I never got to grips with the plot - it certainly felt like a dream that made little or no sense.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tea
  • 01-02-20

Avoid!

Struggled to finish. The narrator is awful and the storylines are so disconnected I struggled to care about any of them!

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  • Jueboo
  • 09-01-18

How tech could impact our everyday lives

best book I've read in a while. love the way it describes stuff we do everyday and imagines how tech innovations could change that but also bring us full circle. also gave me, an oldie, a good insight into how the young adults might think now