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Publisher's Summary

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilisation on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.

Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them or to fight against the invasion.

©2006 Cixin Liu (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A milestone in Chinese science fiction." (New York Times)
"The best kind of science fiction." (Kim Stanley Robinson)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Strange & wonderful

Keeps you guessing and doesn't disappoint. It's like Ender's Game meets The Mote in God's Eye in a Murakami novel. Hard sci fi, but not pedantically so, with beautiful prose.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnny
  • Aarhus, Denmark
  • 04-06-16

Great

What did you like best about this story?

This book has a wealth of great ideas, and it manages to combine great scientific ideas with interesting cultural and social ideas as well. Particularly, the Chinese Cultural Revolution plays a significant role in the story, which has a great impact on one of the main characters. As a westerner (from northern Europe), the Cultural Revolution is not an even I know much about, but seeing it presented from a Chinese viewpoint (albeit with great hindsight) was very interesting.<br/><br/>The scientific ideas are also fantastic. They are complicated (for a novel), and one of them takes several chapters to introduce, but you won't even realise you're being introduced to it. It's absolutely brilliant.

What does Bruno Roubicek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration is wonderful in my opinion. Roubicek is quite mellow and perhaps even delivers a tint of depression in the tone, but it suits the book. The book has a eerie sense of mystery and despair, and Roubicek's narration enhances this atmosphere.

Any additional comments?

I'll mention the only downside I noticed: One of the main characters is a bit flat and uninteresting. I'm not sure if this is intended to increase immersion (it's easier to fill and empty pair of pants, so to speak). He is interesting for what happens to him, but many of the supporting characters are more complex and interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brain candy

Amazing book! Very good quality of science fiction and a bit of detective story. Looking forward to reading the second book of the trilogy.

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Barely convincing at times, but still interesting!

Very good, yet unconvincing at points. It rightfully gained its awards, I yearn however for a book that will understand contemporary reality (e.g. computer gaming) as well as it projects on science fiction.

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chinese sci-fi

particularly liked that it was chinese. makes me want to investigate and read chinese contemporary literature. most interesting character reveals himself late in story...

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Great story

Great narration. The story mixes real world physics and science fiction in a very pleasant and captivating way. Awesome book!

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Great and imaginative!

Hard science fiction at it's best.
Only downside is that, as a westerner, it's hard to distinguish all the Chinese names.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TB
  • 01-16-17

Recommended

An unusual and wonderful book. Full of intriguing ideas. Beautiful writing. Was sad when the book ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J Sims
  • 12-13-16

Good story, wooden delivery

Whilst the story was a refreshing break from the my usual diet of space opera series', I struggled to get to the end of this as the reader made everything feel really quite dry and at some points even seemingly started reading in. a. robot. voice. even. though. it. was. a. real. person.

That said, I still recommend it to anyone looking for a thought provoking modern day sci fi yarn, and it's especially nice to see a story not based on the USA or Europe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roy Elmer
  • 12-06-16

New Perspectives

I loved this, genuinely. It's an entirely new perspective on a usually quite Western dominated genre. What an excellent idea!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Campbell
  • 11-14-17

Fascinating perspectives but felt quite long

Occasionally brilliant observations of the dark side of humanity and an interesting portrayal of a period of history I know little about. Bold portrayal of advances in physics. A book of many different textures. Sometimes dark, sometimes cartoonish. But with a tendancy to run long.

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  • Vince Kempson
  • 11-14-17

My sort of story

Slow to get going. Ok Very slow to get going.
Hard to be sure who are the key characters
The chinese names don't stick in my head so I lose track of some characters.
Despite that the story picks up and becomes more engrossing around the middle parts. I do relate to the science and physics of the story (as I am a physicist) and the multidimensional descriptions are interesting.

I finished reading only to feel, well whats next? I guess its on to book 2 for me!

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  • Will
  • 11-10-17

Great story, uninspiring narration

Narrator is quite flat and totally butchers some of the Chinese names, the story is very good and builds very slowly.

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  • Abi Grove
  • 08-12-17

Bad!

Not a story suited for audiobook and unless you're familiar with the science and with Chinese names it is phenomenally confusing. I did 4 hours then gave up.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ColonelJames
  • 07-07-17

An Impressive Feat of Imagination!

Would you listen to The Three-Body Problem again? Why?

I devoured this in just three or four listens. It is a very good story and is so well structured - it builds real momentum.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Three-Body Problem?

I am not particularly into Sci-Fi and I know nothing about Physics but this made both much more appealing to me for the length of the novel.

What three words best describe Bruno Roubicek’s voice?

Liu is a gifted storyteller and this is such a rich work - obviously a labour of love.

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

The narrator took a bit of getting into. I found him initially lacking in expression - not exactly a monotone, but something too rigid or disinterested - he got better as the book went on.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to hear the next installment.

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  • D. Menashy
  • 07-02-17

Lived up to the hype/hope.

This review is to cover all 3 books of the trilogy.

The overall story is vastly epic in scale and utilises many cutting-edge physics theories. It is definitely "hard-science" fiction. There are many memorable set-pieces that appear over the course of the story and it's a very satisfying listen.

It makes a change to hear a story from a non-Western point of view, and the Chinese protagonists are well-written and interesting. There's a bit of Chinese history at the the beginning, but only the Cultural Revolution period.

As far as the narrators, I listened to the 2nd and 3rd books with a different narrator, PJ Ochlan; both narrrators were very good. I did struggle at bit with the Chinese names and thought perhaps their pronunciation could have been a bit more Westernised, but I coped. I do also have the printed editions so could look -up the characters and visualise their names in my head (the printed books carry a handy "List of Characters").

I should mention here that Audible don't seem to carry volume 3, at least at the moment, so I had to resort to some shenanigans to get hold of a copy. What's that about Audible?

Overall highly recommended!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-16

A dense, detailed but really rewarding listen

If you enjoy science fiction that leans heavily on the science, are interested in the laws that govern reality, or simply have a curious mind, then The Three-Body Problem is for you.

Bruno Roubicek's enunciation is really wonderful, and his performance is so subtle - because you barely even notice he's performing. The story is gripping, even as it takes you through some scientific explanations that will probably go over most people's heads (as they did mine), and the characters are vivid and realistic.

The first audiobook that's really had me addicted.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-16

Excellent

I'm hesitant to give it five stars for a few reasons. The main ones being odd plot devices, narration not being perfect (albeit good) and the book not leaving itself to be accessible to all.

If you want to get this book, do. You'll love it.

If you're hesitant, ask yourself this: "Am I prepared to listen to a lot of physics explanations and other hard sci-fi content?" If yes, then get this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 11-25-16

Fantastic perspective on sifi

A great story, with some good twists. An interesting Chinese cultural undertone.

Narration was ok. A little distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Panayotis Geou
  • 04-20-17

captivating story

Loved it. the story expanded my mind and took me to places far away that may be true after all. the narrator was music to my ears, could do so many different voices and unlike others could pull off female voices quite well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eduardo
  • 03-06-17

Very good!

Fantastic epic story, one of the best scifi book I read in the recent years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Abner
  • 08-25-16

Incredible book, so different from everything

Would you listen to The Three-Body Problem again? Why?

Definitely, I listened to 3-Body and Dark Forrest twice now. and I am completely obsessed with the story. I can barely wait for Death's End

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Three-Body Problem?

The idea of the Siphons is amazing

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Any part with Shi Qiang

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

They want to exterminate the human race, and we are helping them.

Any additional comments?

Please bring out Death's End, can't wait to listen to it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 01-28-16

Good if you're a science nerd!

I found this book a bit tedious. The narrative begins well but then takes a back seat to extended explanations of particle physics. Not for me... Struggled to get through it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-26-17

Excellent science fiction.

I really enjoyed the story! It had great insights into some aspects of Chinese history as well as an interesting in-depth understanding of science. I want to read more from this author.

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  • Ben Jones
  • 11-16-17

I really wanted to like it

It had all the elements of a good story, but it didn't quite get them together well enough for me. Plus it was a really depressing outlook on life. There was an ever slight hope at the end, but all in all, it highlighted the futility of a life without God.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-28-17

This is hard sci fi. and it's phenomenal

those complaining the physics and scientific content of the story are too hard to follow miss the point. the theories are elegant and explained in a way that a layperson can understand, and are essential to the story. one of the most unique books I have read. I enjoyed the narrator, even if his American accents were a tad off.

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  • ozgribbo
  • 05-22-17

Over rated.

I originally bought the Kindle e book of this and only managed to read it in fits and starts and didn't really get into the story. I decided to buy the audio book when I had a bit more time and could listen to it carefully. The book does have some good points and at times caught my interest, but is slow and tedious at many stages. I have some interest in physics but most science was a bit beyond me. far too long to get to the point and a lot of repetition. An editor with a red pen who could get rid of about a quarter or a third of extraneous material would help make this a more accessible title. I am a sucker for a series, but would not buy an any more in this series, or by this author.