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Publisher's Summary

Only a few know the terrifying truth - an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun... They know the truth - but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy - but who will believe?These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.

©1980 Isaac Asimov (P)2014 Random House Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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WE ARE NOT MACHINES

MELTING IS A PUTTING TOGETHER OF THE MINDS, TOO
This is consider by some to be Asimov's best stand alone novel and I will have to agree. It was also important to Science Fiction readers as, it was a return to fiction for Asimov. After having been a prolific writer of Science Fiction, he wrote very little Science Fiction in the 50's and 60's to concentrate on non-fiction. This is also one of the few novels of his, that includes aliens. No aliens will be found in his foundation or robot series.

The alien world he invents here is the best reason to get the book. It is unique, but very understandable and interesting. Melting seems to be very similar to sex with three people, but Asimov would not be so crude as to call it so. It last for hours and involves every part of the body.

The physics can get thick in parts and the story does drag in parts. Overall it is a five star book.

I personally am not a fan of the Brick, while many others love him. For me this book would have been a lot better with a different narrator.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • thomas
  • charlotte, NC, United States
  • 09-02-14

Asimov's Best Stand Alone Novel

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

I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction. Asimov is the master and this is him at the top of his game. Intrigue, imagination, cleverly written and thought provoking

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods Themselves?

I found the depiction of the creatures in the parallel universe very touching. It was an interesting way to comment on humans, but in an indirect manner.

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

I enjoy Scott Brick. The Asimov series used William Dufris for the Robot Series and he did a good job as well. Scott has done most (unfortunately not all) of the Galactic Empire and Foundation Series and he does a superb job. His strength is not in performing different characters but in adding gravity to the dialogue. You will have to keep track of the characters closely, but overall Scott is excellent.

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

No way too long.

Any additional comments?

This is my last book in my re-read of the Asimov Series after many years, and it dawned on me why he is not given more credit as a writer. These stories are intended to entertain. They are detailed, clever and help you escape into another world. Although they have commentary on the human plight and our interaction with each other there is no pretension of climax or overly dramatic ending. Unlike much of what we see on TV and movies, the stories are more to be savored than change your life. Asimov wrote these to amuse himself primarily, and as a reader you almost wish they would never end. I cannot recommend them highly enough for someone looking to escape into a place that makes you forget about the everyday. To me that is what entertainment ultimately is, and why I think Asimov is underestimated and not given enough credit. Kudos Audible, great job.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 12-03-17

Early Asimov was much better!

I'm a huge fan of narrator Scott Brick. This is the first time in listing to over 100 of his books I have given him a negative rating, but his voice and low emotion style are wrong, wrong, wrong for this material.

Early Asimov novels, especially his Foundation series, had him competing successfully with Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke in the battle of 20th century science fiction titans. About age 35 in the mid-1950's he decided he would rather teach science to the general population than write science fiction. Approximately 15 years later he returned to writing science fiction. This 1982 novel (The Gods Themselves) is an example of his lackluster writing during the second part of his science fiction career. Meanwhile both Heinlein and Clarke continued to improve their craft to the point that Asimov really does not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the two real titans. Robert Heinlein is clearly my all time favorite author of the genre.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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classic sci-fi

3.5 stars. This is definitely what I would consider "hard sci-fi" and is for the physics minded reader. It is split into 3 parts which were apparently released as novellas. The first part takes place on Earth where scientists discover the possibility of a parallel universe where physics doesn't follow the same rules. The second part takes us into that para-universe. The third part takes place in the near future on the moon where there has been colonization. Liked the first part, loved the second, and got a bit bored with the characters in the third.

As a classic, it holds its own and doesn't feel too dated. Great science and concept but I was disappointed that the characters seemed a bit one dimensional

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstin
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 07-06-15

Wonderful concept of alien creatures.

If you could sum up The Gods Themselves in three words, what would they be?

Captivating, Thought Provoking, and Different.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I became most attached to the alien creatures. Especially the Dua the emotional. I suppose the inner struggle of feeling different from everyone else and unable to really connect.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

I love Scott Bricks narration.

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

No I didn't have any extreme reactions, but I was wonderfully surprised by the ending of this book. Very thought provoking and interesting way to look at the structure of self and the meaning of identity.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Drags at times but some interesting parts too.

It took several attempts to get through this one. It drags on at times. Normally Scott Brick does a fine job reading but on this one he speaks as though every word is dramatic, there's no excitement and no difference between the characters. Some interesting concepts were advanced in the book though.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Pre environmentalism

Interesting spin on environmentalism.
I thought the pari- universe was more interesting than our own.

Unique depiction of soft one sex.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Almost Didn't Make It Through

I approached this book with absolutely no knowledge of the story, or the way it was laid out, in terms of the three books. I was very absorbed by the first book, "Against Stupidity...", the story of two universes that find a way to share a technology that apparently provides infinite free clean energy for the entire Earth and, presumably, similar benefits for the other universe. I was getting very involved with the intrigue of that first book when, all of a sudden it ended, and book 2, "...The Gods Themselves", began. Not having a clue where this book was going, the change totally threw me. It was a completely different story with seemingly no connection whatsoever with the first book. I actually thought for a while, that a completely different novel had been accidentally appended to the audiobook!

This different story seemed to go on and on and on, seemingly with no end, and absolutely no apparent connection with the first book. It started getting so monotonous and repetitive that I just about gave up. So I decided to read some of the positive reviews to see what I could possibly be missing. The reviews convinced me to persevere and, I've got to say, this is definitely one of those times when the positive reviews got it right. The second book finally connected with the first book wonderfully, and I became just as transfixed with the second part as I had been with the first.

The third book, "...Contend in Vain?", wasn't as strong as the first two, but it certainly resolved the entire book very satisfactorily.

While not one of Asimov's best - that would arguably have to be "The End of Eternity" - I am so glad I decided to get through the difficult part, because it became very rewarding and enjoyable. Narrator Scott Brick, as usual, is masterful.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Asimov's most innovative novel

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gods Themselves to be better than the print version?

The audio version may be better than the print version because who doesn't love listening to Scott Brick? The man could read a phone book and I'd be riveted.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods Themselves?

The second section of the book, taking place in a different universe with the triad of Odeen, Dua and Tritt is amazing. Alien marriage, sex, reproduction and maturation is handled deftly and creatively. The characters really shine, especially Dua.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Dua attempts to communicate with humans to warn them. Her message is touching and thrilling.

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

When the message from the alternate beings is translated--it's thrilling.

Any additional comments?

This may be my favorite Asimov novel. No robots--but very different and very creative. As usual, Asimov's female characters are better-drawn than his male characters and again, he has a female character play the heroine.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Scott Brick is over the top

If you could sum up The Gods Themselves in three words, what would they be?

Good story but presented in a highly mannered, self-concious way.

What did you like best about this story?

Unique thinking went into this.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Scott Brick is a capable voice artist. However, in this book he overdoes his performance. He could do it very well, but he pushed the drama too hard and too far.

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

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful