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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, March 2013 - "With audiobook narration, there are certain voices that fit perfectly with a genre. John Hodgman may now be the go-to guy for the droll-everyman-navigating-his-way-through-the-universe story (already nailing it in 2012’s hilarious Year Zero). Hand-picked by Neil Gaiman (whose charming audio introduction perfectly sets the stage for what’s to come) Hodgman lends the right amount of nerd-cred to this adventure, which was originally published in 1968 and is a clear forerunner to Douglas Adams’ classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve had a chance to hear an advance excerpt of the audio, and I just have to know how Carmody, the unsuspecting winner of a Galactic Lottery, makes his way back to Earth in one piece." —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2014

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.

A few words from Neil on Dimension of Miracles: "Dimension of Miracles is probably not [Sheckley's] most famous book…. but I think it's probably his best-loved book. It's about the joys and tribulations (mostly the tribulations) of winning the lottery—the galactic lottery—accidentally. And wrongly. Tom Carmody is awarded a remarkable prize, is taken half way across the universe to collect it, finds himself hopelessly lost, and needs to find his way home again to Earth…to this Earth, not an alternate, weirdo Earth. He's got to get back. And the price is high.

In its style of humor—and even in some of the jokes—Dimension of Miracles is very obviously a precursor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas actually hadn't read Dimension of Miracles until very shortly after Hitchhiker came out, when people pointed him to it, and he told me that he found the experience almost shocking—it was like reading himself. He was a huge admirer of Bob Sheckley and a huge admirer of this book, and in later life, I had the privilege of introducing both of them.

Now the challenge for me with a book this funny, this strange, this perceptive was to try and find a narrator who was as iconic, somebody who could deliver the goods, somebody who could give you a book like this as it deserved to be given. And the first, and the last, and actually the only person to come to mind was John Hodgman. So I asked John, and he said yes! And he did it; he pulled it off. Listening to John—not just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through here—he does it delightfully, he does it brilliantly, he's really, really funny. And so is this book. Enjoy your journey through a Dimension of Miracles."

Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home. Meanwhile, his removal from Earth has caused a predatory entity to spring into existence - one that pursues and aims to destroy him. Carmody is on the run, and he ends up transporting from Earth to Earth - different phases and realities of the planet, which of course is not the time or condition he expects.

©1968 Robert Sheckley (P)2013 Robert Sheckley

Critic Reviews

"Hodgman, probably best known to geeks for his appearances on The Daily Show and his role as the PC in those Apple commercials a few years back, has a dryly intelligent deadpan that wonderfully counterpoints the absurd adventures of Thomas Carmody, a mid 20th-century New York everyman who’s invited to a galactic center to collect a sweepstakes prize." ( Locus)

What members say

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So fantastic

This is the second time I have listened to Dimension of Miracles. John Hodgman does a fantastic job, he is perfect reading this story that while reminiscent of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it predates Douglas Adams story. So good. Thank you Neil Gaiman. This is a five star audiobook all the way around.

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A well crafted adventure with an unexpected depth

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

Yes, certainly. The reader is ambushed in quite unexpected places with humour but there is also depth and meaning to the encounters the protagonist is subjected to. The imagination that went into this was remarkable. Tom is at times quite surprising. And then there is the prize who may well be the star of the book even though he/she/it has only a few lines.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dimension of Miracles?

As many reviewers have pointed out, this book is hauntingly similar in many ways to Douglas Adams' famous 5 book trilogy - "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". And as a fan of Douglas Adams, the convergence points stood out for me.

What does John Hodgman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nuanced voices for the characters. They're all good and lend a little more character to the players.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending is brilliant and not telegraphed as you might have expected is a less imaginative novel. It would be a spoiler to say more than that the ending will leave you thinking.

Any additional comments?

There are places where I felt the concepts were explored excessively and if I were reading this rather than listening I'd have skipped ahead. However, the prose is elegant and very obviously the author composed his dialogues very carefully. I was reminded somewhat of Gene Wolf's characteristic polished prose and felt that I would like to go back and admire some of those sentences for the care that went into them. That's one of the weaknesses of an audio book - you enjoy the prose as it passes but you don't easily get to savour it. This is a book where savouring is probably worthwhile.

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Great

Not only is this book satirical, smart, and funny, but the narration is wonderfully done. This book has so much wonderful absurdity that is a wonder that Sheckley is able to keep up such good pacing and never allowing it to feel too ridiculous for the listener to not become disconnected. There is the shape shifting prize that picks and chooses when it will be helpful and it is not really sure why this prize would be given away in the sweep stakes. We meet the engineer who created the earth for God and that it wasn't his best work. For anyone who is a fan of Adams or Vonnegut or really great books this one is a must.

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Quiky story, in a good way.

Very well written and preformed. Both the writing and narration combined marvelously to enhance the humor of this story.

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Entertaining but poor ending

An overall really enjoyable listen that should appeal to fans of Douglas Adams. The book raced by, but suddenly and unexpectedly slammed on the brakes near the end with a rather tedious segment. Sadly never recovered, and ended more with a whimper than I would have liked and expected.

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Excellent find!

As a Douglas Addams fan and sci-fi enthusiasts, I loved this old book. It's quite forward thinking even if it was written in the 60s!

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Love the logic talk!

If you like the quick banter of West Wing and the Logic talk of Mall Rats you will love this book! It is Syfy in the fact it takes place in different dimensions, but it is more intellectual than science fiction. It is funny, creative, and makes you think, but not so much that your head hurts. Enjoy!

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Laugh Out Loud Brilliance! Perfect Read!

This was the best book and audiobook I've listened to in a while, with an outstandingly perfect reading by John Hodgman. Truly great.

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A fun novel

This accidental world traveler story was a delight, all the more so considering it was published back in 1968. The satire is sometimes off but more times than not, it is grinningly humorous.

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A great absurdist classic, read by the amazing former literary professional

This book is a classic. If you love SciFi in the likes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll love this. The great John Hodgman also narrates much better than you would expect for a living PC, his panoply of voices giving each character a distinct personality, also read at a pleasing cadence. 5/5 stars in my book!