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Gravity  By  cover art

Gravity

By: Tess Gerritsen
Narrated by: William Dufris
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Publisher's summary

Emma Watson, a brilliant research physician, has been training for years for the mission of a lifetime: to study living beings in space. Jack McCallum, Emma's estranged husband, has shared her dream of space travel, but a medical condition has grounded and embittered him. He must watch from the sidelines as his wife prepares for her first mission to the international Space Station.

Once aboard the space station, however, things start to go terribly wrong. A culture of single-celled organisms known as Archaeons, gathered from the deep sea, are to be monitored in the microgravity of space. The true and lethal nature of this experiment has not been revealed to NASA. In space, the cells rapidly multiply and soon begin to infect the crew - with agonizing and deadly results.

A recovery attempt ends in catastrophe: the NASA shuttle crashes, killing all onboard, and the space station is left dangerously crippled. Emma struggles to contain the deadly microbe, while back home, Jack and NASA work against the clock to retrieve Emma from space.

But there will be no rescue. The contagion now threatens Earth's population as well, and the astronauts are left stranded in orbit, quarantined aboard the station - where they are dying one by one....

Written with an exacting eye, Dr. Tess Gerritsen ensnares the imagination with Gravity, her most steely, unforgettable thriller yet.

©2010 Tess Gerritsen (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

"She is better than Plamer, better than Cook... yes, even better than Crichton." (Stephen King)

What listeners say about Gravity

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fast Paced Thriller

Gravity the book is NOT to be confused with Gravity the movie---as they are not related in any way. As Tess Gerritsen says, "if the movie is based on my book, nobody told me about it." The stories are similar in only one way --both about a female medical doctor on a space station.

Tess Gerritsen is well-known for her medical thrillers, and this one is no exception. It kept me interested from the first heart pounding opening scene (I literally was holding my breath) which starts out far from space--on the ocean floor. A scientist is studying extremophiles, which are organisms that live in extreme conditions, and the ocean floor in this particular area qualifies--180 degree temperature near the funnels that come up from volcanic activity below. Claustrophobics --be warned!

The space station crew are all doing research of one kind or another on different effects of anti-gravity on organisms, which cannot be done on earth. One of the experiments goes terribly wrong, and the resulting illness which starts as blood red eyes and gets worse from there, starts infecting the crew. Dr. Emma Stone does what she can with her limited supplies, but is not able to pin point the cause of the illness until too late to contain it. I can only say that it would be better to die immediately, than to go through what the virus does to the body.

Overall this story is well written and gives the listener a lot to think about. It is a mix of science fiction and scientific biology -with a theory about what could possibly really happen. There are some "human interest" areas - yet not enough depth to care much about most of the people--but that isn't what this book is about.

I would have given 5 stars, but knocked one off for some of the narration. When the narrator was reading particularly tense or scary parts, he turned into a speed reader- I guess to convey the "gravity" (ha) of the situation. Also, not the best with women's voices. However, the overall narration was good, and I would not let it keep you from listening to this interesting thriller.

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28 people found this helpful

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

Gravity Sinks

I purchased this title with few expectations. It struck me as a “candy novel”; something that can be fun, but contains little nutritional content. That’s all I was looking for when I selected this novel, since I was looking only for a “filler” while I determined what I really wanted to read next.

For that reason, I was pleasantly surprised as the story began to unfold; the author was able to weave together an oppressive, eerie, claustrophobic atmosphere that pulls the reader in completely. The narrator, William Dufris, took this mood to the next level; elevating the story to a whole new experience that would have been impossible to achieve by just reading the text of the story. It was great.

As the story progressed, it leveled out into a plot that was good, but didn’t fulfill the full promise the start of the book hinted at. I still enjoyed the vast majority of the book, despite the fact that (for me) it began to get too far-fetched by the time we reached the point that some of the story’s mysteries were beginning to be explained. The book is currently listed under “Mysteries & Thrillers”, and would be far better categorized as “Fantasy & Science Fiction”.

The end of the story, however, was executed so poorly that it felt much like the story had been handed off to a different author to complete; an author whose past credits were limited to Lifetime Original Movies. I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the end of the story, and it was bad enough that it did impact my final opinion of the book in full. Even as a fun filler book to enjoy on a summer day off, I don’t feel I can recommend this based on the last few chapters. It’s a shame for a story that started off with such great promise.

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23 people found this helpful

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

Riviting Book

I've enjoyed many of this author's detective Rizzoli novels and so was surprised at this completely different style of book. It's a fast-paced thriller with the characters in severe jeopardy as a mutant life-form contaminates the orbiting space-station. The multi-layered story encompasses the hazards of space travel, biological science, medicine, governmental secrecy and the power of human love. There is enough accurate medico-scientific detail to make the scenario scarily convincing and I couldn't stop listening as the riveting story unfolded.
The narrator William Dufris conveyed the anxiety-provoking tale with panache,

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21 people found this helpful

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

Enjoyable science, awesome ending!

STORY (sci-fi) - Emma is a scientist aboard a space station, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband Jack is an earthbound physician. When a mysterious alien infection kills members of the space station, Jack and NASA try to figure out how to rescue and/or cure the astronauts. I liked the shuttle launch, the space station setting, the lab tests and the medical procedures throughout the story. The author is a doctor, so the medical stuff is probably pretty well-founded. I also enjoyed the characters, especially the relationship between Emma and Jack.

The alien infection does some pretty gross things to humans, so the listener must be okay hearing some guts and gore. The story is fairly suspenseful, then rocks into high gear for the finale.

PERFORMANCE - Good job.

OVERALL - There is no sex in this book but there is a sprinkling of F-words, used mostly in stressful situations. The symptoms and death throes of the infected astronauts are, as I said, pretty gross. If you're okay with that and a little cursing, I think anyone who likes sci-fi would enjoy this book.

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19 people found this helpful

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

Medical, semi SiFi thriller nicely written

Tess Gerritson works are usually 'Robin Cook' types of 'medical mystery with a touch of romance' novels, but this novel dips subtly into Science Fiction with action taking space on an International Space Station.

Gerritson is a doctor so her medical terminology is realistic sounding, however, she doesn't get too carried away with it. This was my first audio book of hers and I believe I enjoy her work much more listening to it rather than reading.

Character development is well done,We get to know the protagonists and antagonists- though Gerritson isn't one for a lot of involvement in what characters are secretly thinking..shes more plot and medical stuff orientated in her writing.

The plot is exciting and builds to the tense ending with the addition of more and more medical information as the novel progresses. Throw in a couple of NASA shuttle launches to the space station, an independent 'little guy' builder of shuttles trying to get investment funding, an unknown disease discovered on board the station, the unexpected death of a station team member who seems secretive, and a suspected terrorist plot and I had just about everything necessary for a 7+ hour listen that kept me involved.

One note though...Audible lists this as being read by Campbell Scott, but it was actually read by William Dufris. Dufris narrated the book well though I personally prefer Campbell Scott's narrations of any book. In any case, the narration was well done and though Dufries seemed very excited in the exciting parts, it wasn't overly dramatic.

Well worth the credit.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gravity

Any additional comments?

Audiobook close to eleven hours of listening, narrated by William Dufris. If you are looking for a book based on the movie of the same name, this is not the same story. The movie is regarding space junk slamming into the space shuttle. This book is the story of a deadly pathogen that has infested the International Space Station.

This is a worthy listen. Tess Gerritsen did a considerable degree of research, or if not, has a terrific imagination. Technical errors will slip right by the average reader (listener), or anyone not schooled in medical science or space station environmental detail.

The lead character is the team doctor, astronaut Emma Watson. Her husband has washed out of the astronaut program due to a minor health issue and has the typical male reaction … they’re in the process of divorce. In an effort to make the space station profitable, NASA is providing zero gravity experimental expertise to private companies. Astronauts conduct and monitor experiments in close collaboration with these companies and their scientists. One such project goes horribly wrong. Is this an accident, terrorism, a personal vendetta? Under the threat of a world pandemic and space station employees becoming infected, NASA fights not only the pathogen, but the United States military. From 19,000 feet below the ocean surface to orbiting the earth 250 miles above, thrills abound. Nice tension, unexpected events. Lots of goo and gore. Thus is the thrust of Gravity.

Very little profanity, always appropriately timed. No gratuitous sex scenes, a clean read.

Dufris is an excellent narrator. Great job with male and female voices alike.

Don’t hesitate to provide as a gift. Stayed up too late! Enjoy.

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6 people found this helpful

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

Nail biter with slightly disappointing end

The action flowed and pulled me through, I found myself looking for chores to do as an excuse to listen more. The character development was amazing and you really got the sensation of the cramped quarters of a modern space station. The science was fun and didn't ruin the suspended disbelief.

My one negative comment is that the end seemed a little lackluster, otherwise this story would have gotten 5 stars all the way.

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6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Thriller

If you could sum up Gravity in three words, what would they be?

Fast Paced, Thrilling, Realistic

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack is the person left behind however he remained strong.

Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

My first one... but won't be my last. He has phenomanal story telling capabilites.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - Felt like I was watching a movie.

Any additional comments?

What a great story and told so well by William!

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5 people found this helpful

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

The sense of isolation was quite real

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

Yes. I really liked this book, the author really conveyed the sense of isolation and tension that would be experienced on a space shuttle. As usual, Tess Gerritsen tells a great nail biting story.

Which character ??? as performed by Campbell Scott ??? was your favorite?

Campbell Scott did an excellent job on all characters going beyond and above the listening experience, right down to yawning when required in the script, you really felt you were listening to a movie with many actors playing the parts not just one person reading the book. Well done.

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Exciting, not as great as Stephen King claims

Any additional comments?

Although it has the same name as the Sandra Bullock movie and features a female astronaut lost in space, it bares no relationship. It’s a medical thriller set on the space station where a mysterious illness causes everything to go wrong that could go wrong. I read it because Stephen King listed it as one of his favorite books. It was solid and exciting from start to finish, but not great by any stretch. Bechdel test: pass.

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3 people found this helpful