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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Newton is an extraterrestrial, one of only 300 left on his home planet. Using his superior intelligence and skills, Newton amasses a small fortune and a business empire, but soon must battle unexpected foes: the CIA, alcoholism, loneliness, himself. An utterly absorbing psychological study of one man's struggle to survive on 20th-century Earth.
©2007 Walter Tevis; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    107
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    116
  • 3 Stars
    50
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    11
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    2

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    110
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    62
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    28
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    1

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2
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  • Performance
  • Story

a deserved classic not just of SF

Walter Tevis is a great and overlooked writer, look at his work: Man Who Fell.., Mockingbird, Hustler, Color of Money, Queen's Gambit. I wish all of his work was available on audio so he could be more widely appreciated. He is an excellent writer, both stylistically and thematically with some wonderful imagery and symbolism. This is one of Guidall's better narrations, before he got too enamored of his own voice, and though I'd like to hear another version by someone, I can and have listened to this numerous times. & I always find a little more in it than I remembered. think about characters who fall to Earth, Superman, Christ, Lucifer, and of course Icarus and then think about an existential take on that idea and you'll see much more in this. i was struck this time by the anti-superman idea and a loss of identity theme and remembered a line from Vonnegut's Mother Night, "we must beware what we pretend to be, lest we become what we pretend to be."

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Not uplifting, but a well told story

I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked the novel, but it left me feeling a little down. An alien (Newton) closely resembling a human (in terms of body shape and size, but not all of the details) comes to earth to save the 300 beings left of his species. His species all but destroyed itself in war and ravaged the planet of natural resources. Newton comes to Earth (to save humans from themselves and grab some resources for his species) and is worn down as he begins to realize that all of his efforts are in vain. Also, I can believe that he struggles internally as he begins to realize that he will never see his family again, and that he could never be human.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Aaron
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 03-03-15

Fell Short

Although I enjoyed listening to “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” I would not classify it as a must read, a classic, or an example of sci-fi at its finest. It is a story of a man--a very intelligent, shy, and awkward man--on a mission. Thomas Newton’s alienness is rather irrelevant because the story is really about everyman’s struggle between excellence and complacency. Will Newton achieve his goals or be overcome by obstacles placed before him by society and his own self-doubt? You must read the book to find out, but don’t expect to be wowed by what you read. Although Tevis sets the stage, develops the characters, progresses the story well to start, in the end, I was disappointed. In other words, the beginning is good, but it peters out about 2/3 the way through.

On the plus side, the narration was excellent, with good pace, timing, inflection, and overall tone. Each character has his or her own voice, which is consistent throughout. Also, the sci-fi elements (especially the somewhat dated sci-fi elements) are quite interesting. From the 21st-century perspective, it’s interesting to see what a person in 1963 thought 1980 would look like.

Overall, it’s worth a listen, but shouldn’t jump to the top of anyone’s reading list.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • C
  • Chestnuthill, MA, United States
  • 05-04-09

Expected more

The narration was good and the story in general was OK, but a bit repetitive; many scenes in which the alien gets drunk.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sean
  • Homer, NY, USA
  • 05-09-09

Very good read/listen to.

This is outstanding for its time. I really enjoyed the narrator as well. Good flow to the story it keeps your attention. A must read for the 40 something science fiction enthusiast, for a sample of the beginning of sci fi writing.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not really what I expected

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

This book is okay. I was expecting it to be more science fiction, but most of the book was spent detailing boring capitalist ventures, and describing three of the characters' decent into alcoholism. I was mostly just bored.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Classics can become dated

Overall it was pretty good, however, Space books written 40 years ago are just simply dated. Many things mentions are true, in existence, however not quite in the same manner. It is not like reading it when I was younger in these things weren't around. The ending scene and overly emotional and non-conclusive. When I read this book in 1980 it was quite different.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Gr8!

Great story. Thought provoking, and interesting characters, with an easy flow
To capture you attention. Not to technical but visionary.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Introspective

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

The book made me think a lot about myself, and how I feel about my place in the world. I considered the main character's struggle of adjusting to humanity as a metaphor to my own need to always be self reliant... something the main character sadly lacked.

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

Too much time has passed since 1963 for more to really offer an opinion on what could be better. I could never accurately critique would have been better for a book that was came from an early 1960's perspective.

Did The Man Who Fell to Earth inspire you to do anything?

Never, ever, ever, never, try Gin.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good, solid story

What did you love best about The Man Who Fell to Earth?

This book was written quite awhile ago, but it's still worth listening to. It's a kind of fable about the human condition, well told, with a classic story structure. Some of it is dated, but it still has a lot of great moments.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful