• The World at the End of Time

  • By: Frederik Pohl
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (197 ratings)
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The World at the End of Time

By: Frederik Pohl
Narrated by: William Dufris
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Publisher's summary

Wan-To was the oldest and must powerful intelligence in the universe, a being who played with star systems as a child plays with marbles. Matter occupied so tiny a part of his vast awareness that humans were utterly beneath his notice.

The colonists of Newmanhome first suffered the effects of Wan-To's games when their planet's stars began to shift, the climate began to cool down, and the colony was forced into a desperate struggle to survive.

Viktor Sorricaine was determined to discover what force had suddenly sent his world hurtling toward the ends of the universe. And the answer was something beyond the scope of his imagination - even if he lived for 4000 years...

©1990 Frederik Pohl (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The World at the End of Time

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

puts the science back into fiction

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes it was a very engaging story I wished it could have gone on for another 15 hours !!

What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

very rich voice easy to listen to in the car great characterisations

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no I like to have it there when I'm driving

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6 people found this helpful

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

Great Story!

Where does The World at the End of Time rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I thought the ending was a little weak, I was sad to find that the author has passed away, and didn't leave a series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The World at the End of Time?

I have read a plot line similar to this in Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds. Relativistic effects and deep time in general are such interesting topics so the conversations and narration surrounding them were fascinating.

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

William Dufris doesn't get paid enough ha-ha, I listen to books just because he reads them. In fact, its why I listened to this one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The different societies and how they evolved became interesting. I think most of these hardcore sci fi authors have a lot of politics and civilization extrapolation built into them. This was no exception. It paints a valid picture of a super modern dark age, and something that couldn't be so far over the horizon from us.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for something like what Reynolds writes, this will be a delight.

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5 people found this helpful

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

love the physics

an enjoyable romp through time and space... love the astro-physics and nuclear pointy-head posturing, sent me off to touch-up with some nuclear physics concepts (for the eight-year old daughter).

performance was great, i'm a sucker for dufris, having worked through most of scalzi's offerings.

what can i say, i was left wanting more, good work!

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4 people found this helpful

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

The best SF story ever!

Frederick Pohl has produced a sweeping saga that extends to the end of the Universe -- and beyond! The narrator does a great job in setting the mood and developing the characters.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This doesn't feel like a completed work to me

I really loved this book, until I realized there were only two hours remaining. What could have been a truly epic and one of a kind tale about solid matter beings fighting a god-like plasma being fizzled out. Of the two main story threads, neither had any sort of a climax or resolution. One of the stories had a tense moment in the middle-ish that I fully expected to lead to a payoff near the climax... which never came. The other story was just a dude living his life. No direction, no foreshadowing that results in a great literary payoff, nothing. Everything came to dead ends, and there was a very underwhelming "resolution" with no climax.

This story introduces great concepts of science fiction. I would recommend it to any philosopher/scientists out there that want to ponder new ways that life could exist. It just feels like a half baked book. Either Pohl was expecting to write sequels (which still doesn't explain the pathetic nothing fizzle of an ending), or he ran out of time on his contract or something. If you are looking for a compelling story or characters, look elsewhere. Try the Red Rising saga by Pierce Brown.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Adventure to the heat death of the universe

Great concept and execution. Love, hate, jealousy and an unknowable alien entity. Really enjoyed the ride

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Whoa. One that leaves you thinking 🤔.

First off, this is one of Frederick Pohl's masterpieces.
One of the most valuable parts of this story is what other reviewers have stated as negatives. The main characters are deeply flawed. In fact, most of the characters are flawed in varying ways but that's what adds nuance and color to the story. A good story, such as this, leaves the reader contemplative of their motivations in their own life. Pohl uses some clever science knowledge as both literarary tools and plot devices. The background of his whole story, at varying times, turned out to be both dated and advanced, even in comparison to our present day.
It's one of the few books I have ever wanted to immediately re-read upon completion.

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

#Mindblown

So many different sci-fi troupes covered it’s hard to know where to begin, and all in a stand-alone novel with a great ending. This is the first audio book I’ve listened to more than 4 times (and I’ve got “The Martian, First Law, etc.”) This listen is as unique as you’ll find - just crazy good and it gets better with each listen!

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

Great Story Ends Abruptly - Would Read a Sequel

For a book that explores some of the theoretical science about the super slow end of time and the end of the universe as we know it, the story ends rather abruptly. That's ironic.

There are two main storylines that run parallel to each other. The non human storyline impacts the human storyline greatly without the humans ever having any true understanding of the underlining causes of the major events happening in their lives. Sounds accurate.

I loved the Wan Tao story! His lack of empathy and ultimate aloofness was dangerously intriguing. It was tension building to wonder if his carelessness would totally wipe out the humans without them ever knowing.

The main character in the human storyline is kind of a jerk. Need to check the copyright date, but some of his attitudes were a little gruff. Not my favorite Male protagonist in my recent sci-fi readings, but he's not the worst either. A little bit of an ass, but I still find myself rooting for him as the story unfolds.

I had trouble empathizing with either of the 2 main protagonists. One is basically a reckless, god-like plasma person with some major character flaws. The other is a basic "modern day" human sent to a colony in another solar system during the 2nd of a 3 wave plan to colonize a new planet via interstellar travel. Both protagonists are imperfect and flawed creatures, especially the "more advanced" one of the two.

The human protagonist has 3 distinct time frames that he lives through in the book and it's not the 3 that you think it is in the first half of the story. interestingly enough, I found myself connecting to the human character, Victor, more and more throughout the story and I found myself enjoying the Wan Tao character less and less. Victor and I were finally on the same page by the time I reached the third and final stretch of time that he lives through.

Lots of interesting ideas carried along by flawed characters. The huge time jumps due to cryogenic freezing gave lots of flexibility to the story machanics and ability to play with the timeline. The Second section after a major time jump is awkward and rushed feeling. The final section of time after being thawed out is weird but enjoyable.

The end is so abrupt that it's unsettling. I wanted there to be more just as I was starting to get super invested in the new direction and tone of the story. Enjoyable for a Sci-Fi nerd that likes big ideas and isn't expecting deep character development. Would love to read a Sequel detailing the lives of some of the other Plasma People. And what happened to the 3rd colonist ship? And what happened to some of the family members on Newman Home? And what happened in the thousands of years that humanity was growing in the habitats? And what happened with some of the other intelligent life / matter people elsewhere in the Galaxy? There's tons of great material for a loose sequel.

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

Great concept hurt by sometimes tedious execution

Would you listen to The World at the End of Time again? Why?

No, I doubt I would. I first read this years ago and loved it, and for the first half I was excited, for the next 25% I was mildly entertained, and toward the end I stopped listening. Why? Because there was enough story here for a novella, stretched into a novel.

Would you be willing to try another book from Frederik Pohl? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I love Pohl's work in general.

Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

I didn't have a favorite, per se. The narration was up to Dufris' excellent standard, but I kept giggling that the voice of astrophysicist Pal Sorricaine (the main character's father, who is pretty significant to the plot) sounded so much like ... Homer Simpson. Imagine Homer explaining cosmology and you'll understand why I kept losing it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A aeon too far. Before it was over, I was feeling as old as the plasma being Wan-To.

Any additional comments?

Don't let this review put you off of either Pohl or Dufris. I love the work of both, but this one just didn't pan out for me.

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