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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

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    131
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

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."

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

better than 3, not as good as 4 stars

It's not a bad story, it starts off better than it ends. It's somewhat dated. Guidall is always a great reader.

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

Life

Interesting book . Had difficulty viewing the time period. Didn’t think I would get emotional but I did. Wish the ending was more satisfying . Overall 4/5

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 05-07-18

Time Capsule from the Past

Unlike American literature, it's very hard to categorize any science fiction novels to be a classic because they all seem to be very dated once you read them after their times. You really want to read the science fiction books as soon as they are published or else anything after that becomes a time capsule from the past. "The Men Who Fell to Earth" was very dated because it was published in 1963 and the technology that was written back then already came and went into the future. I'm not really sure that any science fiction stories should be label as a classic because technology is changing constantly and what was sci-fi back then, is not sci-fi now.

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

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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