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Publisher's Summary

One of the most respected and awarded of all contemporary science-fiction writers, Connie Willis repeatedly amazes her many admiring fans with her ability to create vivid characters in unusual situations. With Doomsday Book, she takes listeners on a thrilling trip through time to discover the things that make us most human.

For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong. When an accident leaves Kivrin trapped in one of the deadliest eras in human history, the two find themselves in equally gripping - and oddly connected - struggles to survive.

Deftly juggling stories from the 14th and 21st centuries, Willis provides thrilling action - as well as an insightful examination of the things that connect human beings to each other.

©1992 Connie Willis; (P)2000 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1993
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1992

"Ms. Willis displays impressive control of her material; virtually every detail introduced in the early chapters is made to pay off as the separate threads of the story are brought together." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope....The best work yet from one of science fiction's best writers." (The Denver Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    1,758
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    1,231
  • 3 Stars
    670
  • 2 Stars
    315
  • 1 Stars
    183

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    415
  • 2 Stars
    153
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    99

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fix, Drop and Slippage OMG

Would you try another book from Connie Willis and/or Jenny Sterlin?

The premise of the story was interesting. The execution, ugh. The first 6 hours went nowhere. The story was in the same spot. I was so tired of hearing Fix, Drop and Slippage. Finally, a bare bones story started to develop but still was not very interesting, as the characters were one-dimensional, very disappointing. The author must believe repetitiveness is the only way listeners could understand her story, as it continued throughout the book.

What could Connie Willis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stop writing the same thing over and over - we get it! Develop your characters. Bring in more historical events.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I had a hard time differentiating the characters. The reader used the same voice for several of the male characters. The intonation was the same for all characters. Very snobby tones.

Any additional comments?

I love unabridged books. But this one was tortuous. I would advise passing on this book.

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.it just went on and on

by the time I was through I was so tired of the story I didn't care what happened I just wanted done.

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Absolutely fascinating!

I loved it. I'm a big reader of historical fiction, and this was a great mix if history and the future.

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Time Travel

I'm a fan of time travel books, this one was pretty decent, takes place in Oxford and bounces between 21st and 14th century, in a place where historians travel through time. One historian is stuck in 14th century mabey forever while the 21st century deals with an unexplained pandemic.

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Loved It

Where does Doomsday Book rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Toward the top of my list.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doomsday Book?

One particular moment isn't really important, it is the way they are weaved together that makes the book interesting and enjoyable.

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

No, I liked to process a bit. You get to look at history in a different way and it deserves time.

Any additional comments?

Well worth your credit.

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Repetitive

There was a constant repeat of information. With a proper edit this would have been a 28 page short story.

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Excellent story, terrible performance

I know this is an excellent story because I read it when it was first published. Foolishly, I bought the Audible version without listening to the sample. The reader is flat, boring, and annoying (quite an accomplishment, actually). I'm sorry I wasted my money, but at least I didn't waste too much of my time; I gave up listening fairly quickly.

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An absolute must-read!!

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

I absolutely love this book! I think this has to be about the 8th time I have read it- and always around Christmastime. There are so many layers to this story, there are sad parts, funny characters, poignant moments. How do we respond in the midst of such tragedy and despair? Where do we find hope and strength? This time I listened to the audio book as I read the story and this added a wonderful dimension to the telling. I never get tired of this book! 5 stars!!

What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

Jenny made this story come alive. I love her voice- and she drew me into the story!

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Great Book and i don't like sci-fi

Would you listen to Doomsday Book again? Why?

Yes i would listen to this book again and plan on it when i get all the books. I am buying book 3 today. I'm not a sci-fi person at all but this book or the whole series is great so far. i still have two books to go. But the charecters are great you really get to know them. And the narrator did an awsome job on the voices.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not sure.

Which character – as performed by Jenny Sterlin – was your favorite?

Kathren.

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

I can't say without given it away. So i'll just say yes.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to listen to book three. I recommend this book to whom ever is into time travel or fantasy.

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Good story, bad writing, tedious delivery

This charming story is crippled by bad writing and a tedious narration. The narrator's clear, strong voice barely changes between characters and suffers from a plodding and inappropriately crisp tone.

But the narrator can not be blamed for the wooden, stilted dialogue or the inexplicably repetitive descriptions of the action. I don't mean that the word choice is repetitive (although it is), but rather the *action* is repetitive, as if the author assumed her readers would forget what was going on after two minutes and would require a summation every other paragraph. Nearly half the book is spent regurgitating the same scenes, people having literally the same conversations a dozen times; the other half of the book is the characters worrying about those same conversations, and playing them out steam-of-consciousness style.

And why is every single person in the future timeline incapable of following a topic of conversion?! Nearly all of the dialogue was punctuated by Mr. Dunworthy prompting distracted, socially incompetent, and seemingly moronic academics who couldn't remember what they'd been talking about for the past ten minutes.

If you can get through the tedium, the repetition, and the overall whining and worrisome tone, there is a good story to be had. The main characters evoke sympathy and earn respect. You want them to succeed, even as you want the book to hurry the heck up and get to the end.