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Pastwatch Audiobook

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

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Publisher's Summary

In a not-too-distant future that is not quite ours, there has been a major scientific breakthrough. It is a way to open windows into the past, permitting historical researchers to view, but not participate, in the events of the past.

In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

©1996 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A bold and compassionate alternative history filled with believable historical and fictional characters." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (878 )
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4.2 (568 )
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4.4 (565 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dan Sheboygan Falls, WI, United States 04-29-12
    Dan Sheboygan Falls, WI, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nice characters, but..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I like the point about slavery being better than human sacrifice. However, a population of hard working immigrants who valued freedom is what made America an innovative bastion of capitalism. Slavery couldn't have ended without capitalism to take its place. I doubt the immigrants would have come to America if they knew the land was occupied. Therefore Capitalism would have stalled and slavery would have returned.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-20-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Ok."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Orson Scott Card draws people into the story from the start, but I don't know if it was the subject matter I had a problem with - the fact that the main characters spend the entire novel going back and forth over a moral dilemma that, when you get to the end of the book, seems pointless - or the fact that Card keeps throwing Christianity into our faces, the book just didn't sit well.

    It's not a bad alternate history, and the "changing the past from the future" idea is an interesting one. I felt like we spent too much time in the future and not enough in the past, and too much time considering the moral implications of change.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Orson Scott Card again?

    I like Orson Scott Card's style, but this just wasn't one of my favorites.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Scott Brick is an excellent narrator, and did a very good job with this story. His deep voice is the perfect for Christopher Columbus.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas United States 04-10-12
    Nicholas United States 04-10-12
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    10
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wealth of knowledge spread into a story"
    Where does Pastwatch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Listening to this book was a memorable experience, and ranks in my top-15. Not the absolute best, but definately up there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It provides believeable insight into our past, and personalizes events that shifted society as we know it. The concept sets a stage to deliver interesting concepts, wrapped up with an empotional story.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Gabrielle de Cuir


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Makes back to the future seem amature


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roleigh Edina, MN, United States 10-15-11
    Roleigh Edina, MN, United States 10-15-11 Member Since 2014
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    "One of the few books I've enjoyed twice"

    There are very few books I have read that I'll read a second time. This is one of them. When I recommend audiobooks for people, I recommend this book as the first to listen to. Now only if my second favorite book was available in audiobook form (The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 06-20-11
    Amazon Customer United States 06-20-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Card supasses himseslf"

    Orson Scott Card is incapable of writing a bad book, and Stefan Rudnicki is incapable of rendering a bad naaration. Pastwatch is a masterpiece even by their lofty standards.
    The historical research alone which went into the writing of the book is breathtaking.
    Card has crafted one of the most compelling and brilliant plots I have ever read.
    Don't start listening at night if you expect to get to work the next day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Houston, TX, United States 05-15-10
    Toni Houston, TX, United States 05-15-10
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    "Problems with both plot and narrators"

    Spoiler alert! Since one problem is with the plot, I may be giving twists away.

    I don't usually like alternate history, since the past is immutable. But I'm an ardent fan of the Ender and Bean novels about the future. Orson Scott Card thinks deeply about all he writes, and I was interested in his take on the Europeans' arrival in the Americas.

    Problem is, we get multiple alternate histories in Pastwatch. The brilliant scientists in the story have evidently never heard of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    I willingly suspend disbelief for most novels. This one contains too many improbabilities for me and perhaps for the like-minded.

    The narration is also inconsistent. I'd listen to Stefan Rudnicki read anything, but some of the other narrators are not very expressive.

    But I'd have held on if not for the improbabilities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SILVER SPRING, MD United States 03-06-09
    Amazon Customer SILVER SPRING, MD United States 03-06-09 Member Since 2006

    CYNTHIA THURSTON

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An incredibly entertaining, imaginative listen"

    Always like this author but the blend of history, socialogy, anthropology, and sci-fi was great! What the world might have been like if only a few little things had gone differently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Norwalk, OH, USA 02-16-09
    Joe Norwalk, OH, USA 02-16-09
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    "Great book"

    This book comes very close to being as great a story as his best book Ender's Game; however, it is totally not related to the Ender's series. It happens in our far distant future with people having equipment that allows them to watch the past. With the invention of the next generation of equipment, stronger and more sensitive to viewing the past - someone in the past in a drug induced dream becomes aware that the future is watching them. This really starts the storyline moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. 05-28-08
    John S. 05-28-08 Member Since 2015
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    "Pastwatch"

    Excellent book as I come to expect from Orson. His ideas and storytelling ability make for a very enjoyable read. He merges history and science fiction to give us some thought provoking views on how our world might be, both in the future of the book and in our own reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Schulkins Los Angeles, CA USA 04-14-09
    Michael Schulkins Los Angeles, CA USA 04-14-09 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OSC goes PC, in a big way"

    If you think the world would have been better off if Western civilization had been stopped in its tracks in 1492, then you will probably like this book. If you think Western civilization is a scourge upon the Earth and everyone (else) needs to live in a mud hut or the planet is doomed, then you will absolutely LOVE this book. I can't believe that not one of the reviews of Pastwatch I read on Audible even mentioned the looney ideological premise upon which it is based, which I believe I have accurately characterized above.
    Do people really believe such things? I suppose they do. Or at least it's very fashionable to say you do as you drive around in your car talking on your cell phone. Perhaps I am just not "open minded" enough to swallow this sort of guff, even in a science fiction story. Maybe the world would have been better off without Shakespeare, Newton, and Locke, without science, reason, democracy and other such Western novelties. Maybe it would have been a kinder, gentler, cleaner, and saner world if instead the glorious Aztec civilization had dominated the world. Eat your heart out, European dogs! No, somehow I don't think so, but if you do, or like to feel good about yourself because you do, then this book is definitely for you. Enjoy. For those who don't, be warned, it's gonna be a trying thirteen hours.

    12 of 27 people found this review helpful

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