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Hominids Audiobook

Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. A computerized guardian spirit, however, doesn't eliminate cross-cultural confusion; permanent male-female sexuality, rape, and overpopulation are all alien to Ponter. Nor can it help his housemate and fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains why Ponter Boddit is his favorite among all the characters he's created.

Hunt and gather: listen to more in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.

©2002 by Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2003

"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1642 )
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4.2 (954 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 02-16-15
    Geoff Kane Mesa, AZ United States 02-16-15 Member Since 2012

    Avid listener

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    "Excellent!"

    I initially bought this book because it was on sale. I really didn't know what to expect and figured I might as well try it as it was a super low price. Boy was I glad I did!

    It was truly an excellent story that was entertaining, extremely well narrated, and brought up some interesting philosophical questions about the nature of people and quantum physics.

    I recommend it highly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 10-31-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 10-31-14 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Universe is Better Than Your's..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hominids to be better than the print version?

    Probably. Audible does a great job here. I have not read the book, but his might be a good example where the audible version is better than the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I could say the lead character. I found him engaging and interesting. He reminded me of the primary character in the Ursula LeGuin book, The Dispossessed. He had a sanguine approach to the difficulties he was faced, yet did so with courage. I wonder if Sawyer was influenced at all by LeGuin.


    What does Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I had not read Sawyer before and I think many readers will enjoy him. The story is fast paced and elements of it were like a TV show or movie. The narrator did a great job conveying this sense of action and kept the story moving.


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

    Portions of the book reminded me of Asimov and "The God's Themselves". This story and Hominid is essentially a backdrop for a discussion of quantum mechanics and elements of string theory. I found this interesting. The hard science elements of this book were not over wrought, and made it intelligent writing on many levels.


    Any additional comments?

    Sawyer is a popular author and far be it from me to criticize him. At times I felt like the book was careening to a climax, something which I find to be a contrivance in a lot of current science fiction. My guess is the modern reader compares these types of stories to TV and will be bored., I my opinion it felt a bit rushed. A considerable amount happened in a short span of time. So the net here for the reader considering this book is if you like a story that is terrific, fast paced and non-stop you will be rewarded. If you like a story that provides backdrop, characterization and more depth this might not be right for you. I don't say this in a dismissive way. I personally enjoy these types of books occasionally and I enjoyed Hominid very much on this occasion. I am glad I read it, I found it interesting and it was worth the credit. I am just not sure I will return to Sawyer's universe in the short term.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 05-28-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 05-28-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Neanderthal in Canada? Cool"

    I really enjoyed this book. The concept of a parallel universe where Neanderthals evolved to be the dominant species instead of us was interesting. Nothing really too technical in here, more of a stranger in a strange land story. Adding in a murder trial and a budding love story just raised the level a notch or two. A very good story matched with a very good audio performance led to a book that kept me engaged throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlyn 05-11-13
    Caitlyn 05-11-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A worthwhile listen"

    Hominids fell short a star for me only because the sci-fi elements were overly detailed in some aspects, but lacking in others. It was also a little funny to me that the people who first encountered the Neanderthal came up with the parallel universe theory so quickly.
    However, once you get over the leaps and lulls in the technical aspects of the story, Sawyer presents a perfect opportunity for his characters to juxtapose our society with his fictional Neanderthal society. Many ideas about gender and justice are presented in this book that I found very thought provoking.
    Overall, this book was a fast, easy listen. I’d highly recommend it as an enlightening read.
    A word of warning: There’s a rape scene in the beginning of the book. Much to the chagrin of my American Airlines neighbor, I scowled & white-knuckled my drop-down tray for a full 10 minutes. Now that you know, you might want to reserve that part for home listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Murray McEwan Tisdale, SK, Canada 12-05-12
    Murray McEwan Tisdale, SK, Canada 12-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Why do we do what we do?"
    Where does Hominids rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best books ( part of a series) that I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found that the story was sort of a summary reflection on human civilization, more specifically, why are the rules of our society what they are? An alternative is offered, and is presented logically in the form of a captivating story. I found it to be thought provoking and I have to admire the author's skill at weaving all the threads together. I think it is more than just a story.<br/><br/>Having said that, it is a great story, and you can ignore the philosophical discussion if you wished, and still enjoy it. <br/><br/>I would classify the theme more along the lines of a romantic novel, using the sci-fi aspect as a very good reason for the story to take place. The story is upbeat and positive. Lots of humor in it as well.<br/><br/>The narration is excellent: the characters are readily recognised by the vocal inflections used, which seem quite consistent throughout. Some other books I listen to, I get confused by characters that have different names but sound the same, like it is being read from a book, but that is not the case in this performance.<br/><br/>Be prepared to buy all 3 in the series!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Orlando, FL, United States 10-18-12
    Scott Orlando, FL, United States 10-18-12
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    "A great book from Robert J. Sawyer"

    This is one of those books that really makes you stop and look at how we fit into the overall picture. I LOVE these types of books. You may, or may not agree with Sawyer's take on humanity, but it really makes you step back and evaluate where the human race is, and where we are going...

    Jonathan Davis was a treat to listen to as well. Well done!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 01-14-12
    Michael DAYTON, OH, United States 01-14-12 Member Since 2011

    MIke Charette

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    "Wonderful Story, Thank you Robert J. Sawyer!"
    What made the experience of listening to Hominids the most enjoyable?

    This is a wonderful story, I was very emotionally drawn into the story. I felt real fear when Ponder, the Neaderathal, was shifted into our universe, in pure darkness, swimming in a cavern of water, (fighting for his life) which was then shrinking. I liked the Candian perspective, and I loved the discriptions of the Nearderthal world, which were insightful, and imaginative, The alibi alcoves and such, Beautiful! Its as good as Enders Game, or Pohl's Gateway! Loved the ending, very satisfying, I give it a 93 out of 100.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ponder, though this is not as good as Heinlien's Stranger in a Strage land, this is a Great book, Good for you Robert J. Sawyer!


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer – was your favorite?

    All, except, he does have a weak Jamacian accent, though not that big a deal. He was very emotional, and exceptional in his reading! Wonderful!


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

    The part whare Ponder comes to our Universe in the Nitrino tank, and the ending I almost cried! This guy is a relly good writer!


    Any additional comments?

    I laughed at the product placement, though I am paraphrasing,

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jho Bishopville, SC, United States 01-10-12
    Jho Bishopville, SC, United States 01-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Entertaining and Educational!"

    I've always been interested in Evolution and have enjoyed fiction focusing on Neanderthals and our relationship with them way back when. I really debated whether or not to take a chance on these books (I'm half way thru the 2nd book, Humans, as I type) and I'm so glad I did. I love the actual science and feel like I'm learning so much. I love the characters too. Ponter and Mary are carrying the story so well. This idea of what could have happened or might still happen has me "thinking" so much about religion and politics and life in general. I love it when a book makes me think like this. Can't wait to finish Humans and then start on Hybrid. This author, Mr. Sawyer, must be one fascinating MIND.
    Bottom line is... Go for it! Take a chance. Not many will regret the opportunity to think outside the box. It's really a treat to be so entertained while learning so much.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Montclair, NJ, United States 11-07-12
    Michael Montclair, NJ, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2016
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    "OK but flawed"
    Any additional comments?

    Overall this isn't a bad book...the narration was super. Jonathan Davies doe a great job at bringing each character to life.<br/>where i have a problem is parts of the story. For example (not giving away any story here) our Hero (Ponter) accidentally travels through a portal to a parallel universe and the 2nd or 3rd thought out of anyones mouth is "oh he must be from a parallel universe'"...i don't know, maybe, just maybe you explore a couple of other concepts first? And did we really need to experience a characters sexual assault? This did not enhance the book one bit for me, as a mattter of fact it diminished the story...i still cannot see where it fit into the story at all.<br/>Also, i am really bored & tired of authors who feel the need to lecture us on all of the ills of modern society and worse: on our violent & foolish history, by having some fictional visitor bemoan, chastise & condemn us for our actions. it just seems a cheap shot and i expected more from a Hugo nominee....maybe i won't use these Hugo's as a basis for my choice of books anymore. I know i am not going to bother with any more of this series.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Schaumburg, IL, United States 10-19-12
    Amazon Customer Schaumburg, IL, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2017

    Kugelblitz

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    "Overhyped"
    Would you try another book from Robert J. Sawyer and/or Jonathan Davis and Robert J. Sawyer ?

    I really don't see what other people do in this novel. The premise itself I found excellent. The author really started well, but the novel really turned into a vehicle to cram the author's social ideas onto the reader. That wouldn't necessarily be so bad if it were not for the fact that the guy posits caricatures of people to criticize them. For instance, he uses an allegedly Catholic character to contrast with his atheist neanderthals, and yet NOTHING that comes out of that character's thoughts and words reflects any reasonable representation of what a lifelong Catholic would think or believe. It was almost like the characters were taken as cartoon characters from one of the vapid New Atheist books. Yes, I realize bitter atheists will thumb down my review because they only vote for their dogma over any criticism, but this book truly was a poor attempt at positing a valid alternate society. For instance, if you read one of Orson Scott Card's novels, even the characters with whose beliefs he would never agree are given a fair place. In short, this is NOT a 21st century Stranger in a Strange Land. To do so it would need accurate human beings with which to contrast the alternate ideas. Instead you get a lot of straw characters that have little to nothing in common with the beliefs of actual people. If it were not for that, I think the novel would have so much more merit.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect of the story is the depth with which the author developed this alternate society. He developed a basic naming language to make it more realistic. He built a solid culture and everything. The least interesting aspect is that he failed to accurate represent homo sapiens.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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