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Publisher's Summary

The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct and the half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind, but the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory.

Man has handed over stewardship of the Earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on Earth, living in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters, or the need to repulse enemy incursion.

VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line, one of the Metro's best stations and secure. But a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro to alert everyone to the danger and to get help. He holds the future of his station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.

©2007 Dmitry Glukhovsky (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Eh. I made it to the end.

It's okay. Nothing stellar about it. If you're wanting a decent end of the world story that shows how superstitions, mysticism and oral history shape a society then this is what you're looking for.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Almost gave up, glad I finished

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Overall I am glad that I listened to this book. There were some points when I was second-guessing my selection and not enjoying the story due to some elements of the writing. As an example, the author at times rambles off into characters' daydreams or deeper thoughts, which, while interesting, are not always particularly consistent or believable for the character in question.

For example, some of the lines of thought explored by the main character seem far too sophisticated for the level of education and experience he is described as having, and seem to come through more as the author's own opinions on those subjects rather than the idle daydreams of a young man. The same occurs with some of the dialog of other secondary characters, wherein they are presented in one manner, then suddenly they are espousing a point of view that does not seem consistent with what had been presented beforehand.

Those complaints aside, there are some genuinely unique and memorable scenes in the book, and the story finished strong, which made up for my complaints. I am glad that I did not give up on the story and ask for a replacement book (which I was close to doing, about half way through).

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The author's use of Russian location names, while adding to authenticity, is very difficult to follow in an audio-only format for a listener who is not familiar with the language. Many of the metro station names are very similar and often mentioned in relation to each other in quick succession (e.g., sentences along the lines of 'first they went to station A, then from there to station B, and from there made their way to Station C,') which can make it difficult to follow. This likely is not an issue in print form.

Also, the author has a strange habit of using second-person phrasing when describing the experiences of the protagonist, which will bother the English grammar nerds out there (e.g., a scene in which Artyom enters a dark area, and the narration states something along the lines of 'it is so dark that you cannot see anything').

Which character – as performed by Rupert Degas – was your favorite?

Artyom is the main protagonist and also is the most realistic in terms of being a flawed character. Rupert Degas' performance of all the characters was varied and impressive, and the accents applied were very convincing to a listener with little exposure beyond the Hollywood version of a Russian accent. It was seldom difficult to tell which character was which as the performer gave each their own unique tones, inflections, and mannerisms.

Any additional comments?

There is a technical error early in one of the chapters wherein the brief "music" clip that bookends each chapter plays again, overlapping with the narrator's audio. I believe it was around chapter 10 or 12 when it occurred.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Jameson
  • Wall, NJ, United States
  • 11-30-13

Fantastic voicework and great story

What did you love best about Metro 2033?

How immersive the story was, how absorbed in the world I'd become whenever I would resume listening. Haven't felt that way with a good book in a long time, I credit the author and the voice actor for their ability to convey the heart of such interesting characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Khan, because, He's Khan.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where the young boy who is with the old man attacks the Reich soldier and is killed, artyom through anger sacrifices himself on principle, in the presence of death.

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

Yes, fortunately it's very long so I couldn't. I love consistently great books that take forever to finish its so worthy of your time

Any additional comments?

Rupert Degas is my favorite voice actor to ever do an audiobook. I've listened to like 30-40 audiobooks in my life and never have I been so drawn in and convinced by a full on performance of dialogue. Let me just say this, if this man doesn't do the 2035 audiobook when that comes out I will be ridiculously upset. Also, if you get a chance, try out the games they somehow manage to be phenomenal as well. This author has got something special with this world and I'd hate to see him let it go just yet, it's dying for more stories, begging for them, like a call, coming down the tunnel.

33 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Mutants on the metro!

A nuclear war in 2013 wiped out most of the population of the world, and the remnants living underground in the Moscow subway tunnels believe they are the only humans left alive. Each station in the old metro is now its own little city-state. The main character, a young man named Artyom, is sent on a quest to another station. Along the way, he meets Nazis, Communists, Satanists, monks, cannibals, cultists, flying monsters, and mutants. The ending is ironic and grim, as befits a Russian novel taking place after the bombs fall.

Apparently a big cult phenomenon in Russia, which has spawned sequels and video games, Metro 2033 reads a lot like an old-school post-holocaust fantasy, with a man of the new world journeying through the wreckage of the old one, missing the references that are left for the reader to recognize. It also reads a lot like an old-school dungeon crawl, which makes it both repetitive and fun, though I'm afraid the repetitiveness caused me to tune out at several points in the story as I listened to the audiobook.

Artyom's quest basically consists of going from one station to the next, finding each ruled by some twisted microcosm of the old world (the Red Line, the Fourth Reich, the Watchtower, etc.), escaping, and moving on, acquiring and losing companions along the way.

It's not hard to see how this would adapt well to a game. The writing was often psychologically deeper than your typical mutant-haunted post-apocalyptic tale, but the descriptiveness of the prose seemed to fall a little flat in translation. It's definitely a little different in tone from a Western sci-fi novel, even though it conforms to the genre fine. Had it been a little bit less of a dungeon crawl, I would probably have enjoyed it more, but after the third or fourth narrow escape from underground morlocks, I began to simply become impatient for the climax. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of references and in-jokes that didn't translate well into English.

I was not a big fan of the narrator, who was not terrible, and had a properly deep, sonorous Russian voice, but his tone was flat and he frequently dropped his voice so low that I could not hear his words while driving unless I turned the volume all the way up.

37 of 44 people found this review helpful

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ehhh

story is slow moving and the ending is just about as satisfying as George Orwell.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Great Performance, Sluggish Story

It starts off fine and is certainly not a bad story but I felt it really began to drag towards the middle and by the end I was certainly well-ready to be done with it. Great concept mired by preachy repetitive aesops. The performance, however, by Rupert Degas I can say nothing bad about and I felt was very well done.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Why the comedy accents?

In a book where all the characters speak pretty much the same language, in this case Russian, what is the point of having the reader inject Cold War spy movie accents in all the dialogue?

Would these producers also portray Asian characters by mixing up their L's and R's? It is pretty much the same thing.

Despite the odd choice I enjoyed the book, though the author is in the habit of getting lost in monologues that often fail to lead anywhere, and the plot feels unplanned, wandering along in the dark much like the lead character. The scenes, splintered as they are, can be quite powerful though.

Not sure if I will continue to the sequels, but if I do, it won't be for a while.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A bit tedious

Concept is interesting, but story is hard to get through - drags and is a bit tedious.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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tangents

This is a very nice book, but the author often runs into long twisting tangents that do not move the story along. other than these tangents, the book is very interesting and I would say a good read.
Summary:
A young man, Artyom, has grown up living in the underground metro station of VDNKh after a nuclear war has ravaged Moscow.
Above ground mutated creatures now rule. some of these creatures, the "dark ones," have started invading the metro and may soon overrun the underground.
Artyom soon finds himself on a mission to save not only his startion but the last of the human race. He must travel the underground metro to deliver a message that may just save everyone. Along the way many people help Artyom, and he learns what life is really like. When he reaches the Center of the metro, he experiences what life use to be like, but he also learns many secrets that shake his faith in mankind.
Artyom must fight to survive and save his people. As he begins his journey home, he uncovers many dangerous secrets and saves many lives. He becomes more than just the boy who started this journey, he becomes a man.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Plodding

Had to finally give up. Too long for the content -- and I like long books! If I lived in Russia probably would be more captivating with references to the familiar. As another reviewer noted, no women at all. Would have liked a female protagonist or two just for variety and perhaps helping to flesh out the characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful