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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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If you love Douglas Adams, you'll love this too!

Galactic fun from an American writer who is the parallel of Douglas Adams!
Just as smart, philosophical and amusing as the Hitchhiker's Guide books.

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  • NancyL
  • Oakland, California
  • 07-22-15

Wonderful reader and fabulous story!

I was not familiar with this story or with Robert Sheckley, and I am SO glad I snagged this story. Fantastic reader matched to a great story.

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  • Eric
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 07-02-15

Fantastic!

This story is hilarious and Hodgman is great. I really enjoyed it. Recommended of you enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

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Glad I found it

I bought it based on Neil's recommendation and glad I did - excellent work, positive in the end, interesting twists along the way. The reader used lots of different voices which I thought worked well and didn't sound forced like some others I've heard.

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Thanks for the recommendation Neil

I loved this book, laughed out loud until my face hurt. Intelligent, witty, and very well narrated. I was not in the mood to laugh when I started this book, but decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised, and my mood was instantly altered. Highly recommend

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Delicious

Would you listen to Dimension of Miracles again? Why?

Yes, I would. It was very close to perfect.

What did you like best about this story?

The feeling I had when I finished the book was the feeling you have after a perfect meal - every taste bud satisfied. The resolution of the story was perfect.

What about John Hodgman’s performance did you like?

It was pitch perfect, so 1950s in just the right way.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed out loud more than once.

Any additional comments?

Thanks Neil for sharing your love for this book. By now everyone knows how close this book is to the hitchhiker's guide. Think Arthur Dent with a lot more spunk. But if that makes you hesitate at all, believe me, enjoying this book is not going to take anything away from the guide. I'll listen to or read everything Sheckley has written!

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DNA

You wouldn't think Douglas Adams hadn't either written or read this before HHGTTG. It's just as witty, whacky, and good.

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Interesting, clever, but not a classic

This felt like a less-funny, more American Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was very interesting at times, very dated at times, and not quite funny enough most of the time.

Hodgman was well-paired as a narrator, and he did as much with it as he could.

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Very preachy

It was presented as Douglas Adams like humour, but it ended up being just very very preachy. Really really long sections of the author pontificating on their view of the world with very little humor or wit. Parts of it read more like a manifesto then a story

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Couldn't get into it.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I really wanted to enjoy this book because it was recommended by Neil Gainman an author I truly enjoy but I just could't get into it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Sheckley again?

Maybe

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Hodgman?

No one really.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dimension of Miracles?

I didn't even finish it.

Any additional comments?

No<br/>