Inherit the Stars

Narrated by: John Pruden
Series: Giants, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (587 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair, and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was 50 thousand years old - and that meant this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed.

©1977 James Patrick Hogan (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Pure science fiction…Arthur Clarke, move over!” (Isaac Asimov)
“Hard science fiction with a lovely vengeance but done so well that almost no scientific background is needed to understand and enjoy it…Highly recommended.” ( Analog)
“Intellectual action portrayed as excitingly as any space war - a truly absorbing read and a reminder that learning is one of the greatest human adventures.” ( Publishers Weekly)
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Science, Logic make good scifi

The author represents what is best about science fiction. I've let the world pass me by and I really don't seem to care. Hogan knows how to write science fiction the way it was meant to be and which no longer seems to be.

There's very little character development as such but there are characters and their thoughts about the world are what matters most of all. One of the values of science (and even a value we all have within us) are that the facts we have about the world within a domain of interest of a problem needs a best explanation in order to explain them, and often, there can be more than one explanation that can be equally understood. As for this story there are anomalous facts about 'alien' life forms on the moon which start to challenge our understanding of us as human beings. What could be more intriguing?

My wife and I listened to this one together and I'm glad. Books like these not only offer entertainment with a somewhat exciting story but at the same time load the listener up with the proper way to understand science in general and evolution in particular.

I just really like James P Hogan and this period of scifi writing which ends up being better than 90% of the junk that is published today (Sturgeon's Law applied to books in general and scifi in particular). I'm an anachronism and I seem to value the older scifi books more than the stuff I come across today. Don't even get me started on today's movies, but if you want to talk about movies before 1945 than we can have a pleasant multi-day conversation!

6 people found this helpful

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

The Best of the 3 Giant books...

If you could sum up Inherit the Stars in three words, what would they be?

I first read Inherit the Stars 35 years ago... and I can honestly say that it was one of the inspirations that lead me to become a scientist. In a fit of nostalgia, I bought the audio book (along with the two direct sequels to the trilogy). Although the book feels very dated and sexist, it is still an enjoyable story without diverting too much into new age phooey (like the later books in the trilogy... most notably Giant's Star). The narration is passable at best.

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Pruden?

I would not seek out any particular book that John Pruden narrated

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, tedious read.

Imaginative story. It was obvious that book written many years ago as cigarette smoking was prevalent, no female main characters and outdated slang used. Most of book is a tedious read as details (evidence) is uncovered with little character development or dramatic plot turns. The descriptive language is quite bland. The story’s resolution is worth the effort of reading to completion.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It Has Aged Surprisingly Well

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Written in the mid 70s, this book stands up surprisingly well. almost 20 years before Alcubierre theory was known, and Quantum physics was still relatively unknown, this story still managed to travel pretty well. Where it fails is the lack of DNA and it's views on women. Apparently even the 60K year old astronauts were a little unenlightened when it came to gender stereotypes.

Would you be willing to try another book from James P. Hogan? Why or why not?

Probably not. This one was interesting, yet I crave the more current science and extrapolation. This was cutting edge Sci-fi at the time, I'm just looking for the current edge.

What didn’t you like about John Pruden’s performance?

It was really slow. I had to listen to it at 2X speed or I would not have been able to bear it.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

If it was made into a movie today, I probably would.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for something to listen to, and are not offended my a mad-men era mentality towards women, give it a go.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH

THE MATHEMATICAL THEORY THAT HAD GROWN OUT OF MESON DYNAMICS INVOLVED THE EXISTENCE OF THREE HITHERTO UNKNOWN TRANSURANIC ELEMENTS.
Most of the book is in the math and science speak as above. I could open the book to any page and come up with sentences similar to above, but don't let that stop you from buying the book. I was a B student in High School taking mostly speech and drama type classes, yet I found myself listening intently to this story. I did not always understand the math and science, but did understand more then I thought I would and I loved the wonder of discovery. I loved the working out of the Universal Mystery. The discussions on Evolution, Man's Origin, space travel, Ice Ages, Galaxy Rotation and Theory jolting opened my eyes and my brain.

THIS WAS ALL VERY EXCITING, BUT ALL IT PROVED WAS THAT A WORLD HAD EXISTED.
The book takes you step by step through the scientific process. It made me feel that this is actually how real scientist would handle the mysteries they are handed. Like usual the solving of one mystery leads to a bigger mystery. What I liked even more was the questioning of the known facts. One thing I really gleaned out of this was how we must try not to get stuck on the supposedly known. To think out of the box so to speak. The main thing I remember from 8th grade science is that a Theory means unproved. Today Evolution and Global Warming are still Theory. (species have changed through out history, but it has never been proven that One species ever evolved into another Species.) Scientist, journalist and even your next door neighbor are so convinced today that these theories are fact, that they have closed their minds to other possibilities. It is keeping an open mind and questioning the norm, which helps the main scientist solve the many mysteries in this book.

IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH
Do not expect character development or a love story. I did find it amusing that several times when contemplating a question, someone would announce IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH. Lunch seem to be very important to these guys. I liked this book well enough that I will be getting the next book in the series.

29 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

if only a book could have been an idea...

The idea is Amazing, Fabulous.
The story is boring to death.
the story should have been a short story, and than it would have been grate.
but it's not...

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great story, good narrator, inconsistent accents

love Hogan's work. narrator did a good job of sharing the story as opposed to reading the book. only quibble I have, and it's not limited to just this book ... if there's a British character, either do a consistent and recognizable British accent for that character throughout, or just ignore it entirely and read all characters in the same accent, please. it's a challenge finding narrators who can do a range of accents and do them credibly, but it's distracting to have inconsistent accents.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great hard science SF book.

This is a great series about near future with a great mystery that becomes more complex with great twists that are totally unexpected.

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Where's the plot?

This book is simple to summarize. Deep thinking. I wanted to like it but there was no plot. It's mainly narration of a bunch of researchers trying to figure out a mystery. Halfway through I put it down and haven't touched it since.

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A Blast from the Past

I read this when I was in my early teens. Paperback with the orange space-suited Charlie on the cover. Back then it was futuristic... I mean flying cars and moon bases! Right?

Anyway, it still holds up after almost 40 years! I liked the science back and forth, and the mystery of where did Charlie come from, how'd he get there, etc. As good as I remember. And with the advent of audio books I could listen on the way to work and get my memory refreshed on all the little bits I'd forgotten.

Now I'm reading (ummm... listening to) the other 2 books - just as good! With even more of the world of Charlie and the future earth filled out. Don't pass this one up. Take a spin down memory lane and re-discover an old favorite.

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  • a m wrightson
  • 05-19-20

A classic of its kind

Watch out for the tech that is routine now & was fiction then... Reading not so good but didn't spoil the book for me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-20

A must read for any sci-fi fan

If you're going to listen to anything sci-gi make it this book. A pure pleasure.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 03-08-18

Dated

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Sorry but I found the dialogue dated, the storyline predictable and the narrative wooden. Not quite as bad as listening to paint dry but I would recommend listening at x1.25 to lessen the boredom.

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  • Paul S.
  • 01-22-15

Ace!

Thought it was going to be hard going... Kept with it and was enthralled. Will be reading the next in series next.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-15

Very Good

Any additional comments?

A very good story from start to end, well read in my opinion. I shall buy more of James Hogans books.

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  • Chris Doms
  • 06-07-17

Procedural, boring, repetitive

What would have made Inherit the Stars better?

Less repetitive technical details - MOVE ON WITH THE STORY, PLEASE! Also, more character personality.