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Way Station Audiobook

Way Station

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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he has done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

More than a hundred years before, an alien named Ulysses had recruited Enoch as the keeper of Earth's only galactic transfer station. Now, as Enoch studies the progress of Earth and tends the tanks where the aliens appear, the charts he made indicate his world is doomed to destruction. His alien friends can only offer help that seems worse than the dreaded disaster. Then he discovers the horror that lies across the galaxy.

BONUS AUDIO: Way Station includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mike Resnick.

©1963 Clifford D. Simak; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1964
  • All-Time Best Science Fiction Novels (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1688 )
5 star
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4.1 (1244 )
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4.3 (1230 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Noe Edinburg, TX, United States 08-08-10
    Noe Edinburg, TX, United States 08-08-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very special novel that will inspire you."

    One of the best SF novels I've ever read - full of the wonder and awe of a small child looking up at the star-filled sky at night and dreaming of beings on other worlds. This novel certainly takes its place as one of the most imaginative and powerful works in the genre. Simak's concept of an extraterrestrial "way station" being set up in an isolated Wisconsin farmhouse is both simple and profound. What goes on there will amaze and inspire you. Not full of action and suspense, but quietly inspiring and thought-provoking.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Minneapolis 05-04-09
    Philip Minneapolis 05-04-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Holds up well"

    For a science fiction book written in 1963 this novel holds up remarkably well. Like much of the genera from the 60's it reflects hope with regard to the future of humanity; it is whimsical and sweat in spots. The main character is a solid decent human being who represents us well to the
    rest of the galaxy; and Simak represents him well to us the reader.
    This book is a gem coming from the era where the
    trilogy meant Lord of the Rings or maybe the Foundation books. Back when a well crafted science fiction story most often was only one book. It is solid and I would recommend it to all.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry 03-26-12
    Sherry 03-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SUPERB !!"

    I was somewhat hesitant to download my first audible book. I also wasn't sure I wanted to hear one of my all time favorite books growing up being read to me in the voice of someone else. I was extremely impressed. Quality of download and clarity were wonderful. I was very pleased and this made my long travels for work much more enjoyable. Almost hoped for rush hour jams!

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phelix_da_Kat 11-16-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Viewed from a different perspective.."

    Summary: The CIA investigate a reclusive "young looking man" who lives in a remote farmhouse in Wisconsin - he claims to be a Civil War veteran and he's called Enoch...
    It turns out that there is more to this mysterious man that meets the eye - in fact, in Enoch's backroom - there's a way station for the Galactic transport network - and he one of the station masters!

    Insights: A warm and well written book that won a Hugo Award. Although written in the 60's, it's philosophy is that you cannot judge a person (well aliens as well) by it's cover.

    A quiet classic.. recommended!




    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    troy Texas 05-20-12
    troy Texas 05-20-12 Member Since 2013

    I really need to start proof reading my Reviews before I post them.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Optimistic SciFi... FINALLY!!"

    I do like some emotionally raw books that makes me notice the amount of dust that I have in my apartment, that keeps landing in my eyes. Lately I have been bombarded with emotionally poignant stories, from other sources; **SPOILERS** Harry killing Susan, Senator Wen killing Holly, Claudia being shattered with Jinx death, and then the whole Prometheus movie trailers. **END SPOILERS**

    Way Station highlights the best of humanity.

    There are emotional conflicts and some bad stuff does happen. If the bad stuff didn't happen, the story just wouldn't be worthwhile. All stories need conflict, consequences and emotional resonance.

    This story does have the conflict, consequences and the emotional resonance in spades. But at the end of the story, it also leaves room for some hope and some affirmation that life isn't just about loss.

    Clifford D. Simak left me feeling inspired.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-21-08
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 08-21-08
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    "An absolute Joy!"

    During my adolescence I was absorbed in speculative science fiction. Not only was it an escape from the strictures of the Christian community in which I lived, but a philosophic tendency that was more akin to my true nature. Writers like Simak, Silversberg and Heinlein broadened my world view and fired my imagination. Many decades later Simak remains a favorite and I was thrilled to find WAY STATION available on audio. It has aged incredibly well and remains and wonderful and absorbing narrative. Gentle, spiritual and pastoral, this novel is an affirmation of the human experience. Simak is a fine writer and considering the age of this book, he was also a man of broad vision. A lovely audio experience, well narrated and produced. For fans of this genre, an absolute must have!

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 09-15-12 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Check out the ratings, not the reviews"

    Good: The Mizar Math reminded me of Foundation by Asimov. Virtual Reality games in 1953. Long before Star Wars, we hear about The Force. He walks alone theme. Only seven hours long. Audio was better then reading the book.

    Average: Enoch is a good man and good things happen to good people. Enoch is not ambitious and does not stand up for mankind too well, and if he was in a Heinlein novel he would get beat up a lot. The pace of the book is slow.

    If your a big Heinlein fan I don't believe you will get into this book. If you like more easy listening, simple, then you may really like this. The first page of reviews are very positive, but if you look at the ratings, more people gave it a four then a five and there are lots of three's and some lower.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sailfish 10-26-16
    Sailfish 10-26-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting concept but too repetitive"

    Aware of comparing novel styles in the past with current works, e.g. a Edgar Allen Poe versus a Dean Koontz novel of today, I still feel that there was more wrong than right with it. I was intrigued with the concept of person becoming a host for wayward space alien travelers for a couple of centuries. And, for the first quarter of the story, I found it interesting and novel.

    Then the repetition began where the author would continue have the protagonist over-think almost every situational encounter ... over and over and over. Then the repeated instances where the protagonist endlessly waxed philosophical on every situation where a decision branch was encountered.

    I was most disappointed with how it ended, leaving many of the important issues unresolved. Did Lucy actually decide to go? How did CIA gin sing guy assuage Lucy's parents? What happened with the meeting with earth's leaders and did it have any positive effect on ending the pending war drums?

    It was frustrating to spend that much time on a novel and come away with no further movement on the whole premise of the novel, humankind's encounter with aliens.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 06-11-17
    Matthew Kelley NORTHPORT, ALABAMA, United States 06-11-17 Member Since 2010

    I teach American Literature and am the proud daddy of a 2 year old.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Upbeat Science Fiction"

    This was a neglected classic for me. Boy am I glad Anthony Tollin recommended I check out Simak's work. This one won a Hugo with good reason! No plot spoilers from me here, because you just need to get sucked in. I will say, you are going to like Enoch Wallace, a seemingly ageless hermit who is the book's main character. If you are looking for a change of pace from dystopian sci fi that dwells on the dark side of human nature, this book is for you, Is our inhumanity on display here? Yes, but there's also a string of positivity running through the novel that was absolutely refreshing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quella 05-05-17
    Quella 05-05-17 Member Since 2016

    A reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction Christian books. A reviewer for Audiobookboom.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Science Fiction not to be missed"

    It can be difficult reviewing a piece of classic science fiction that has been around for nearly four decades, however I picked up this book recently and was surprised that I had not read or listened to it earlier; I enjoyed it very much. “Way Station” by Clifford D. Simak and expertly narrated by Eric Michael Summerer is a diamond lost in the rough that all science fiction aficionados should read if they have not done so already. I have heard others say they read this book at least once a year because it is that good of a story. This truly is a work of science fiction art and if that is not enough for you to go and get it right now, it may help to know that it won the Hugo award for best Science Fiction. You cannot go wrong with the Audible edition either if you would rather listen than read it.

    What may seem odd to those who are more familiar with modern or contemporary science fiction is that this story does not contain any large space battles, no laser shootouts (almost), no deep or complex space travel, and no grand ship attacks or reveals. It is a story about a man named Enoch Wallace who served in the Civil War and after more than a hundred years he has not aged which has raised some alarm with a few government individuals. He lives as a recluse in a small farming area in the mountains where most around him leave him alone and he often does not interact with them either. The story unfolds when his home is selected to be a Way Station to alien visitors transitioning the area of space. Here he befriends a coffee loving being he calls Ulysses. Yes, coffee is a well-loved drink not only by Earthlings, but many other species in the universe as well. The book has a few chapters devoted to the main character’s backstory which are moving and emotional covering his family and upbringing. I thought the way the author reveals aspects for the story little by little had me many times in that “Ah Ha” moment.

    The writing was skillfully done and exactly what is needed to bring you in and care about not only Enoch, but many of the other characters found in the book. I found the book to be very through provoking. One should dedicate time to savor the book instead of rushing through it. The author was quite descriptive with the creatures and alien lifeforms he included in the book. It is not an overly happy story like many modern science fictions pieces, instead you can feel the weight and pressure placed on the character for the role he must perform to keep the Earth safe and secure. This story reminds me of some of the works created by both Robert Sheckley or Ray Bradbury; who are also classic science fiction writers.

    Let me say that I could not get enough of Eric Michael Summerer’s narration; famed Dice Tower co-host. I felt he did this classic piece of art the respect and attention it deserved. He read it with emotion, inflection, and passion. You really could feel and understand the characters and their situations. The audio itself was flawless and overall well-paced. Volume was consistent and there were no audio artifacts I could recall from my listening. The only odd thing I will call out was that the narrated chapter numbers do not align to the chapters in the audio recording. This I’m sure was either a post-production decision or the author broke up the story differently for some reason. Not a show stopper, and unless you are one that jumps around your books via chapter markers, you may not even notice.

    In summary, if you are looking for a deeply complex space opera fully of big action packed battles, this is not the book for you. Instead, if you like classic science fiction or more story based fiction with elements of science fiction, you cannot miss this book. It will have you laughing one moment and nearly in tears the next. Be prepared for an emotional ride going through this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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