Red Dwarf: Better Than Life

Narrated by: Chris Barrie
Series: Red Dwarf, Book 2
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (613 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Red Dwarf - Better Than Life is the second and final instalment of this hilarious sci-fi comedy.

Narrated by Chris "Rimmer" Barrie, Better Than Life finds the crew trapped in a mind-boggling computer game that is threatening their lives and safety of the ship. One by one, they enter the game to rescue each other - and one by one, they become trapped! Holly will have to use his mega brain to solve this one.

©1994 Grant Naylor (P)1994 Laughing Stock Productions

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What listeners say about Red Dwarf: Better Than Life

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Would give 11 stars for this performance!

Chris Barrie's performance is among the best I have heard. Hilarious and touching, a tour-de-force!

4 people found this helpful

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Chris Barrie, need I say more?

The story is good, but the narration is spectacular. Chris does very good voices for the whole crew, don't miss this one.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

As much fun as I remember it

I watched the TV show years ago and my recollection of the plot has faded significantly. After they solve a problem I usually think "a-ha, I remember now" but fortunately I have forgotten enough that the story seems fresh to me again. It's great hearing the crew again as they revisit their old roles in this dramatized version of the book. If you liked the show then you will enjoy this book - it is the same plot lines as the TV show but it was like putting on a favorite old sweater. It just felt good.

3 people found this helpful

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Great!

Chris Barrie was perfect. He brought it all to life. Wish there were 10 more!

2 people found this helpful

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Simply Amazing Sequel Book

Red Dwarf: Better than life

Narration again by Chris Barre Himself who Played Rimmer in the Original BBC TV Show, does an unbelievable job, and despite only him Narrating he does the voices of Holley, Lister, Cat and of Course Rimmer beautifully.

"Red Dwarf" serves as a companion novel to the British science-fiction television series produced by Grant Naylor Productions,  by Doug Naylor and Rob Grant.

The plot of the book loosely adapts episodes from the Seasons 3-4 of the BBC Show, and uses the novel format to explore the characters backstory more than they ever could in the half-hour episodes while expanding existing scenes far beyond the means available to them on the television series' budget and runtime.

Red Dwarf Started in 1989 and just finished production on Series XII Releasing in 2017

Fans of the show will enjoy this, though they should read it after watching the series as it contains spoilers, and reenacted scenes from the Show with more details, and it will appeal to those who enjoy similar works such as

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
And "Dr. Who"

Highly, Highly Recommended..

1 person found this helpful

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Where are the other two books in this series!!!

I love the show and I love these two books. I hope that they bring the rest of the books into the Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing story and performance like the last book.

Took a star off for the annoying music at the beginning and end of each chapter. It's very loud and gets old fast hearing it twice. I like to turn on the timer and drift off to sleep with finished tittles. I recall going for the volume button on the first listen as well. It's the only negative point that comes to mind of an otherwise fun and enjoyable story.

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Awesome

The narrator does a very good job on all the separate voices. You would think it had 5 narrators. The story is so good, and the ending was perfect.

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Meh...

Loved the first one, love the series, narration is great. But the writing is nothing short of weak and cliche... sad.

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I only bought this because Chris Barrie read it

The story was so enjoyable that I miss listing to it and I feel like I've lost my new friend forever. I was annoyed that the writer had cockroaches eat inedible trash, while their are organisms that do so, they aren't one of them. It also bothered me that the acid rain didn't destroy the olive branch. The illicit sex scenes were revolting, I really wanted my 12yr old to hear this but maybe I can skip over those parts since they don't add anything to the story line anyway. I also hate the callus dismissal of G-d's role in the creation of the universe as a fundamental base for the story line. It's pretty typical in this dark age, but still disappointing. So, I found my friend to be likeable but disagreeable in a few aspects.

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  • Christopher Wilton
  • 01-05-11

Excellent Sci-Fi, but...

if you go into these books expecting something to match the TV series you will be sadly disappointed. Instead clear your mind of any preconceptions about Red Dwarf and approach this book as pure sci-fi. You'll find it fascinating, imaginative and not without its humorous moments. But don't expect the series to translate into prose literature, it just doesn't work like that. Instead treat the literary Dwarf as a continuum unto itself and you'll find it amazing, especially when read by the multi-talented Chris Barrie.

26 people found this helpful

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  • janet
  • 11-15-11

Very funny.

What a brilliant book. Despite stealing some of the jokes and plotlines from the TV series, it really feels quite original. The darker take on Better Than Life is the highlight of the book, especially when it concerns Rimmer.

Since this is the novel Red Dwarf universe, some of your expectations will be broken, as Rob and Doug really mix things up. It is much darker in tone than the series on a whole, alterted characterisation and twists may take you by suprise.


The main reason to download this is just to hear Chris Barrie. The man is a genius. You'll sometimes forget it's him, and become convinced Craig Charles and Robert Llewellyn have joined in the reading.

All in all, very funny, and well worth a download. Great follow up to Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, would love to see Backwards and The Last Human added to the site soon!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Sally R
  • 02-11-16

love it, Chris Barrie is brilliant

just looking for more but I don't think they did any. Really enjoyed this book and the first, good choice for any dwarfers out there.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ara
  • 03-31-15

A book of two halves

The story picks up in Better Than Life, which I'd felt had been adequately in the first book. I wanted to be back on Red Dwarf, but had to spend time listening to the continuation of the BTL story- it's not all bad, but I got rather tired of it. When the crew finally get out of BTL, the story becomes much more interesting: full of imaginative storylines, many of which are covered in the TV series in some form. A really enjoyable second half, with a very moving ending with a real lack of cynicism- which I sometimes thought the TV series needed more of, hugely enjoyable though it was. Expertly read again by Chris Barrie- such a talented performer- I wish he was given more breaks on TV. Thoroughly recommended for anyone who enjoyed the TV series.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Howard
  • 12-23-12

OK for fans

Chris Barrie's reading makes this a great book. He brings authenticity to the characters. So we keep all the personality that we know from the TV cast whilst bring a whole new feel to it as coming from rimmers view.



The story is not as good as the first book but the reading and chaacters make up for this.



A must have for all "Dwarf" fans

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-17

Shame about the jingle interruptions

The theme seems to play at the start and end of each chapter, so it gets repeated if listen straight through. Otherwise great production.

2 people found this helpful

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  • BFG
  • 03-02-16

Funny and well read by Chris Barrie

Chris adds his own charm and great mimicry to the voices and sound affects that make this enjoyable to both new and avid Red Dwarf fans.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Diluare
  • 02-04-16

Brilliant

I can't wait for the next installment, this was brilliantly read and different from the television series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • PB
  • 03-07-18

Annoying smegging music

Like a stupid DVD box set, you're subjected to the red dwarf music at the start and end of each chapter. I don't hate the music but don't want to hear it in an audio book. I don't want any music in any audio book. Why do it? Why ruin a perfectly good story with a crappy interlude, it's not as if you're going to take the opportunity to quickly dash out and buy one of those stupid potted ice creams. Pointless.

3 people found this helpful

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  • AtikAtak
  • 01-11-18

Great reading, annoying music

Really well read book, but the sporadic music played at the start and end of chapters is really annoying. A tinny, cheap version of the tv show music. Sometimes for 5 seconds sometimes for 30 seconds.. WHY??

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aaron
  • 05-18-15

Better than life - Funny as hell.

What a great listen. I had fun following the gang of Red Dwarf around the Universe through their series of mis-adventures. A fantastic way to pass the time with great laughs along the way.

2 people found this helpful

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  • greg
  • 12-06-17

bit short

I really like the tv series and this book was just as entertaining as those.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trisha Moss
  • 07-16-20

Not as good as the first book

Sadly this book was nowhere near as good as the first one. The story was all over the place Chris Barrie was still brilliant though, which was all that kept me listening.

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  • Shelley
  • 05-28-20

Fantastic!

I enjoyed this just as much as the original book. So many hilarious moments and very entertaining!

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  • Reza
  • 05-14-20

more cartoonish than first volume

interesting but not just as good as first volume. A bit too much of cartoonish events. Performance is extraordinary.

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  • kate
  • 10-17-19

The boys from the dwarf....

....come to life in incredible finality by the iconic multitalented Chris Barrie. They are all there, though voiced by Chris alone, punching through space in that big, red, red, big, clenched fist of metal as well as also bouncing around as sound waves, singing Christmas carols in Bedford falls and mounting fire-breathing racing yaks. The only negative is that it isn't 10 times as long! Thank you Chris and those hard working audio production chaps for this wonderful gem of a listening experience.

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  • Steve K.
  • 10-05-18

Awesome, bit short tho

As another review said...bit..short. Could have done without all the soundtrack stings too. Loved it!

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  • Jack Shennan
  • 08-12-18

if you're going to write about something

and everything and love growing young, I can imagine that you would begin the chrysalis with the idea and work backwards towards such perfection.

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  • Christie
  • 09-12-16

More brilliance

Awesome. The only thing that annoyed me was the sheer volume of the chapter music. Totally too loud. Other than that, brilliant book, thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Cage
  • 07-30-16

Amazing

As a huge fan of the TV series, I was pleasantly surprised to find the audio reading by Mr Barrie as good as the show. Barrie does a phenomenal job impersonating all the main characters voices. So much so its almost impossible to believe he is the only one reading it.