• Sundiver

  • The Uplift Saga, Book 1
  • By: David Brin
  • Narrated by: George Wilson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (1,171 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Sundiver  By  cover art

Sundiver

By: David Brin
Narrated by: George Wilson
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $32.87

Buy for $32.87

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling, highly regarded works of contemporary science fiction. Beginning with Sundiver, Brin provides an intriguing exploration of humanity's future in the universe.

For nearly a billion years, every known sentient species in the universe has been the result of genetic and cultural guidance - or "uplifting" - by a previously uplifted patron race. Then humans are discovered. Having already uplifted chimps and dolphins, humanity clearly qualifies as an intelligent species, but did they actually evolve their own intelligence, or did some mysterious patron race begin the process, then suddenly abandon Earth? The answer to this mystery might be as close as our own sun, but it will take a daring dive into its fiery interior to know for sure.

Sundiver begins David Brin's thoughtful, exhilarating exploration of a future filled with an imaginative array of strange alien races, dazzling scientific achievements, and age-old enigmas.

©1980 David Brin (P)2001 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Sundiver

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    409
  • 4 Stars
    398
  • 3 Stars
    246
  • 2 Stars
    83
  • 1 Stars
    35
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    358
  • 4 Stars
    312
  • 3 Stars
    164
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    23
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    331
  • 4 Stars
    283
  • 3 Stars
    187
  • 2 Stars
    65
  • 1 Stars
    31

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

good, but flawed

The first 4 hours of this book are pretty bad. Nothing much happens beyond finding out what "uplift" means. The main character, Jacob, goes from one place to another and talks to people and that's about it. To make matters worse Jacob is grief-stricken, making him detatched from humans, and has a kind of splintered personality; so there isn't any character development either. Dull.

After that things pick up a lot. Aside from the hard S.F. elements, and the world-building, there is a mystery- a pretty good whodunit- and the questions about what the aliens are up to, what's going on with the Solarians, and the revelations about Jacob's character. And some action too.

The narrator is terrific- especially considering he has to do 3 alien species, a dolphin, and a chimp. Talk about earning your pay!

That said, the first 4 hours are a real obsticle. Unless you are a Brin fan I'd advise getting "The Uplift War" instead. The "trilogy" is really 3 unconnected books set in the same universe. Execpt that "Startide Rising" is continued in the next "trilogy".

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very engrossing and well read

I downloaded this book on the recommendation of someone who had read the printed version and did so noting some of the earlier criticisms of this particular reading and the narrator.

I very much enjoyed the book. Brin's universe is one filled with political intrigue and trans-species rivalry. His inventiveness and descriptive powers of an environment as unlikely as the surface of the sun were excellent.

Like many, many sci-fi novels, I think it could have done with a slightly firmer editor's pen but, given the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also must respectfully disagree with the criticisms of the narrator's reading. Personally, I found it very well executed. I found the voices - which didn't seem silly to me at all - very helpful for keeping the panoply of aliens straight in my head.

All in all, I was very happy I'd bought and listened to it, and I have bought the other two in the series on the strength of my impressions of the first.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Dated and rather dull

You can't get more 70's than this book. The premise is an outgrowth of the Chariots of the Gods. The main character practices self hypnosis, and it produces results. And the technology is what a 70's person would predict (the main character has to hunt down a phone at one point). Not that all of this is bad, per se. But it is a pretty boring read, to boot. I got to the point where the main character was going to reveal the killer (yes, it pretty much follows a murder mystery format) and realized I didn't care who did it or why, so I quit listening.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Bought all three listened to only this one

I bought the trilogy after the repeated recommendation of a friend. However, I only listened to the first when I realized I would not be listening to anymore. --

In the entire first half of the book (8 hours) there is only one action scene, there is no real significant character dialogue, and I wasn't invested in the characters. I fought myself to finish. --

This book attempts to stress the Science in Science Fiction, but the science is so dated that it gave the story a shelf-life. This is not always the case with older scifi, but it is definitely what happened here, the story was too weak to support the setting, and the book was obviously written to express the setting. --

The reader lacked any real emotion in his delivery, but does a good job making you aware who is talking with all but the female characters. The recording would have benefited from some editing. There are too many times I hear the reader make large swallows (I actually believe he was taking a drink) and other issues that made the production feel sloppy. --

I reserve 1 star ratings for works that I cannot bring myself to finish, so this is the lowest rating I could give.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A True Classic

This is one of Brin's ealierier novels and the story telling is a bit stilted. Part of that is the process of Universe building. The concept of a universe based on Uplift is easy to grasp but hard to explain. The other part is that it was Brin's first published novel. Even a great first novel is a first novel. The story is a good mystery based on scientific possiblilities. The Universe he creates is interesting and engaging as are the characters.

The narrator does an excellent job of dealing with both human, terrestrial and alien characters. They are clear and recognizable.

I look forward to listening to the rest of the books.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Extremely Disappointed...

I decided to pick this book up based on several of the reviews and the of some great Sci-Fi. With billion-year old science, I figured there were some fantastic possibilities here.

Although the lack of any real exploration of the advanced science was disappointing, the characters were the true let down. Virtually every character is one-dimensional, often making decisions purely for the benefit of the story. For example, the main antagonist's actions lack any real sense of explanation and the "highly skilled and in control" female lead also crumbles into the protagonist's arms in a totally unbelievable fashion.

The worst offender is the protagonist himself. The author tries to style him as a n almost James Bond-like lead, capable of almost any feat and always a step ahead of those who surround him. However, the effort falls flat, leaving an ultimately unbelievable character that I disliked more and more as story progressed.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Please Don't Waste Your Time

If I recommended this audiobook to you, if anyone did, the customer review section of audible.com would suffer from a serious lack of credibility and respectability.
Simply put: the story is bad. The author attempts to create a world which is a strange mixture of talking sea creatures, a man in a whale robot! Erasure of the US-Mexican border with no believable explanation of how or why it happened. Barber poles every 100 "feet" down road past Tijuana to the "ET zone" in Baja—the first of many to come in the world! It is very poorly, strangely read, with the ET voice characterizations attempted by the narrator spine chilling. Cartoon-like. Bad. Not listenable.
Don't buy this.


9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Mind Blowing Concept

I remember avidly reading Sundiver and its companion novels when they first came out. I was awestruck and deeply inspired by the ideas presented within the form of the story.
Years later it has been fun revisiting Sundiver in this audio presentation. The narration is a little dry but gets up to speed as the story progresses. The writing is unexceptional but does the job. Here its the ideas that really matter, a must for fans of Silversberg, Heinlein and Neal Stephenson.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The very best!

If you enjoy AC Clarke, Brim will thrill you. One of the greatest true science fiction writers I have read in the last 25 years.
His awards through the years are ssoooo well deserved. The more you are aquainted with real science, the more you will love Brim's works!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, poor production

Good book and a decent narrator. Unfortunately, the production value is not nearly as good. Swallows and other sounds are audible and very annoying.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Roy
  • Roy
  • 08-24-09

Awful..

I am a sci fi fan. I have read almost everything from the 60's onwards but somehow missed Sundiver. Now I get my books in audio format to listen to in the car and most are brilliant.

This one is not. The narrator has the most boring awful voice I have heard. Dull, monotonous, rumbling, unclear and those are his good points. But that would be ok if the story was good. Sadly this is not the case. It is a sad and tired example of 70's/80's sci fi. 2d characters, boring overlong descriptions, totally unrealistic dialog and cringeworthy sex.

I gave up half way through - something I have never done on an audio book before.

7 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dean Colls
  • Dean Colls
  • 12-10-21

Cringe turned up to 11

Bought this based on the 4.2 star rating alone and really tried to like it but I found the rate at which I physically cringed in contact embarrassment for the author steadily increased until I could listen no more (and this was over 10 hours in so I really did give him every chance).
Initially I thought - sure, I get it: nostalgic gumshoe murder mystery set in space - but the more I listened, the more I thought that you don't have to be an Incel to enjoy this but it definitely helps.

As I said - I didn't finish this so maybe it all gets better but the point at which the author descended into benevolent misogyny was so ridiculous that nothing could convince me to continue.

The voice acting is OK but perhaps I'm being influenced by the reader's similarity to the voice of Nick Valentine in Fallout 4, a character that I spent many hours with and loved.

Maybe this was meant to be experienced as ironic comedy but if so I missed it and you should too.