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Metro 2033  By  cover art

Metro 2033

By: Dmitry Glukhovsky
Narrated by: Rupert Degas
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Publisher's summary

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct and the half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind, but the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory.

Man has handed over stewardship of the Earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on Earth, living in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters, or the need to repulse enemy incursion.

VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line, one of the Metro's best stations and secure. But a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro to alert everyone to the danger and to get help. He holds the future of his station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.

©2007 Dmitry Glukhovsky (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

About the Creator

Dmitry Glukhovsky, born in Moscow in 1979, graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in journalism and international relations. He worked as a TV journalist in France and Russia, and reported for German and Israeli Public National Radio. Glukhovsky is fluent in English, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, and Spanish. Because of his outspoken position on the Putin administration in general and the war against Ukraine in particular, he was sentenced to eight years of prison. The writer lives in exile. The idea to create the internationally acclaimed science-fiction series Metro goes back to his youth: He started it at the age of 16, spending hours in the underground on his way to school. Glukhovsky´s first theater play, The White Factory, is a major success in London. He also engages in the TV, film, and gaming industries as a script writer.

What listeners say about Metro 2033

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

If you plan on buying this book because of the game, consider something else.

This was, by no means, a disappointing book. It was well written, translated beautifully, and narrated perfectly. However, and I say the following as someone who happened across this book solely because of the video game, the book has almost nothing to do with the game except for the underlying premise: stopping the dark ones.
This is not an action packed book. There are no shootouts or hordes of mutants that come to attack the protagonist. In fact, Artyom doesn't even venture up to the surface until, what would be 300+ pages in, and aside from the first ten pages, only one mutant is seen before that. (Although, the surface sections are by far my favorite. There's a lot of horror and suspense there) Instead, this book is about the devolution of human society, and the desperate clutching of its beliefs. Religion and politics reign heavy in this book, and can be discussed at some length. The one and only problem I have is that sometimes these beliefs can really drag on. Particularly the "Great Worm" ideology.
I would recommend this book to someone as a thriller/horror novel that can really make you reflect on the human race as a whole, and how we have the capacity to be absolutely horrible, or even wonderful at times. I enjoyed the book, but if you're looking for action, save your money.

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136 people found this helpful

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

I SPIT ON YOUR ABYSS

HANSA LEAGUE
A great concept was talked about. The story starts by explaining about all the wars. Each depot is run by a different gangs and they usually war with the other depots. We are told their are mutants and rats. We are told a lot and the characters do a lot of dreaming. Each group has mushroom farms. There are some pigs, but mostly they live off of mushrooms. If the author would have shown us a few mutants, instead of talking about them, this could have been really good. I quit around 5 hours, so maybe they came out later, but I think five hours is long enough to wait.
WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE
Woman are only in the background. No main women characters, none. I could not get into this book.

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90 people found this helpful

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

Almost gave up, glad I finished

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Overall I am glad that I listened to this book. There were some points when I was second-guessing my selection and not enjoying the story due to some elements of the writing. As an example, the author at times rambles off into characters' daydreams or deeper thoughts, which, while interesting, are not always particularly consistent or believable for the character in question.

For example, some of the lines of thought explored by the main character seem far too sophisticated for the level of education and experience he is described as having, and seem to come through more as the author's own opinions on those subjects rather than the idle daydreams of a young man. The same occurs with some of the dialog of other secondary characters, wherein they are presented in one manner, then suddenly they are espousing a point of view that does not seem consistent with what had been presented beforehand.

Those complaints aside, there are some genuinely unique and memorable scenes in the book, and the story finished strong, which made up for my complaints. I am glad that I did not give up on the story and ask for a replacement book (which I was close to doing, about half way through).

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The author's use of Russian location names, while adding to authenticity, is very difficult to follow in an audio-only format for a listener who is not familiar with the language. Many of the metro station names are very similar and often mentioned in relation to each other in quick succession (e.g., sentences along the lines of 'first they went to station A, then from there to station B, and from there made their way to Station C,') which can make it difficult to follow. This likely is not an issue in print form.

Also, the author has a strange habit of using second-person phrasing when describing the experiences of the protagonist, which will bother the English grammar nerds out there (e.g., a scene in which Artyom enters a dark area, and the narration states something along the lines of 'it is so dark that you cannot see anything').

Which character – as performed by Rupert Degas – was your favorite?

Artyom is the main protagonist and also is the most realistic in terms of being a flawed character. Rupert Degas' performance of all the characters was varied and impressive, and the accents applied were very convincing to a listener with little exposure beyond the Hollywood version of a Russian accent. It was seldom difficult to tell which character was which as the performer gave each their own unique tones, inflections, and mannerisms.

Any additional comments?

There is a technical error early in one of the chapters wherein the brief "music" clip that bookends each chapter plays again, overlapping with the narrator's audio. I believe it was around chapter 10 or 12 when it occurred.

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79 people found this helpful

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

Mutants on the metro!

A nuclear war in 2013 wiped out most of the population of the world, and the remnants living underground in the Moscow subway tunnels believe they are the only humans left alive. Each station in the old metro is now its own little city-state. The main character, a young man named Artyom, is sent on a quest to another station. Along the way, he meets Nazis, Communists, Satanists, monks, cannibals, cultists, flying monsters, and mutants. The ending is ironic and grim, as befits a Russian novel taking place after the bombs fall.

Apparently a big cult phenomenon in Russia, which has spawned sequels and video games, Metro 2033 reads a lot like an old-school post-holocaust fantasy, with a man of the new world journeying through the wreckage of the old one, missing the references that are left for the reader to recognize. It also reads a lot like an old-school dungeon crawl, which makes it both repetitive and fun, though I'm afraid the repetitiveness caused me to tune out at several points in the story as I listened to the audiobook.

Artyom's quest basically consists of going from one station to the next, finding each ruled by some twisted microcosm of the old world (the Red Line, the Fourth Reich, the Watchtower, etc.), escaping, and moving on, acquiring and losing companions along the way.

It's not hard to see how this would adapt well to a game. The writing was often psychologically deeper than your typical mutant-haunted post-apocalyptic tale, but the descriptiveness of the prose seemed to fall a little flat in translation. It's definitely a little different in tone from a Western sci-fi novel, even though it conforms to the genre fine. Had it been a little bit less of a dungeon crawl, I would probably have enjoyed it more, but after the third or fourth narrow escape from underground morlocks, I began to simply become impatient for the climax. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of references and in-jokes that didn't translate well into English.

I was not a big fan of the narrator, who was not terrible, and had a properly deep, sonorous Russian voice, but his tone was flat and he frequently dropped his voice so low that I could not hear his words while driving unless I turned the volume all the way up.

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57 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

Fantastic voicework and great story

What did you love best about Metro 2033?

How immersive the story was, how absorbed in the world I'd become whenever I would resume listening. Haven't felt that way with a good book in a long time, I credit the author and the voice actor for their ability to convey the heart of such interesting characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Khan, because, He's Khan.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where the young boy who is with the old man attacks the Reich soldier and is killed, artyom through anger sacrifices himself on principle, in the presence of death.

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

Yes, fortunately it's very long so I couldn't. I love consistently great books that take forever to finish its so worthy of your time

Any additional comments?

Rupert Degas is my favorite voice actor to ever do an audiobook. I've listened to like 30-40 audiobooks in my life and never have I been so drawn in and convinced by a full on performance of dialogue. Let me just say this, if this man doesn't do the 2035 audiobook when that comes out I will be ridiculously upset. Also, if you get a chance, try out the games they somehow manage to be phenomenal as well. This author has got something special with this world and I'd hate to see him let it go just yet, it's dying for more stories, begging for them, like a call, coming down the tunnel.

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42 people found this helpful

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

Eh. I made it to the end.

It's okay. Nothing stellar about it. If you're wanting a decent end of the world story that shows how superstitions, mysticism and oral history shape a society then this is what you're looking for.

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27 people found this helpful

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

ehhh

story is slow moving and the ending is just about as satisfying as George Orwell.

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

Difficult, but well worth it!

What made the experience of listening to Metro 2033 the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the game to a VERY high degree, and the book just brought up those memories of sitting in a dark room almost wetting myself due to scares! It has an amazing story, well written and very well thought out.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think my favorite character would be Artyom (the protagonist). He is naive in a sense and throughout the book you really get attached to him. He doesn't seem stupid, doesn't seem overly smart. Overall, a very realistic character.

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

No, I've never listened to any of his other performances but after Metro 2033 I will definitely be picking up another book he narrates.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Tagline?
Metro 2033 - Earth's last stop (?)

Not very good with taglines and to be honest, if this was made into a movie (and made correctly) it really doesn't need a catchy tagline. The title is enough!

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15 people found this helpful

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

A bit tedious

Concept is interesting, but story is hard to get through - drags and is a bit tedious.

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14 people found this helpful

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

Great Performance, Sluggish Story

It starts off fine and is certainly not a bad story but I felt it really began to drag towards the middle and by the end I was certainly well-ready to be done with it. Great concept mired by preachy repetitive aesops. The performance, however, by Rupert Degas I can say nothing bad about and I felt was very well done.

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