The Santaroga Barrier

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Santaroga seemed to be nothing more than a prosperous farm community. But there was something...different...about Santaroga.

Santaroga had no juvenile delinquency, or any crime at all. Outsiders found no house for sale or rent in this valley, and no one ever moved out. No one bought cigarettes in Santaroga. No cheese, wine, beer, or produce from outside the valley could be sold there. The list went on and on and grew stranger and stranger.

Maybe Santaroga was the last outpost of American individualism. Maybe they were just a bunch of religious kooks....

Or maybe there was something extraordinary at work in Santaroga. Something far more disturbing than anyone could imagine.

©2002 Frank Herbert (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Herbert does more than carry events forward: he deals with the consequences of events, the implications of decisions." ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
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The Republic of Holy Prayer

The Santaroga Barrier is a novel of a republic and its quite real god at war with the outside. "Santaroga" isn't quite Spanish, but "santo" is "holy," and "rogar" is "to pray," so I tentatively interpret "Santaroga" as the republic of "holy prayer." Readers of Plato will recognize features of the republic imagined by Socrates, Glaucon, and Adeimantus. Readers of Spinoza will recognize man as the thinking part of Substance. Readers of Heidegger will recognize "Dasein" and "Sorge." Readers who study childhood education will recognize "Piaget." For students of political philosophy who like fictional treatments of the political problems, the novel probably warrants multiple readings.

Scott Brick read well, as he always does. He could have made the characters' voices easier to distinguish in dialogue, but his narration still deserves four or five stars.

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A good story

The story is enjoyable. Parts of the plot require some serious suspension of disbelief to get past, but overall it is entertaining and fun to listen to.

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Intriguing story, but too long

This is good science fiction, but unremarkable and forgettable. Presumably it was more culturally shocking around the time of its release. Today, it has the feel of a dusty, slightly mildewed heirloom: quite lovely in its essence, but without any luster.