The Worthing Saga

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 18 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,106 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It was a miracle of science that permitted human beings to live, if not forever then for a long, long time. Some people, anyway. The rich, the powerful, they lived their lives at the rate of one year every 10. Some created two societies: that of people who lived out their normal span and died, and those who slept away the decades, skipping over the intervening years and events. It allowed great plans to be put into motion. It allowed interstellar empires to be built.

It came near to destroying humanity.

After a long, long time of decadence and stagnation, a few seed ships were sent out to save our species. They carried human embryos and supplies and teaching robots and one man. The Worthing Saga is the story of one of these men, Jason Worthing, and the world he found for the seed he carried.

Orson Scott Card is "a master of the art of storytelling" (Booklist), and The Worthing Saga is a story that only he could have written.

©1978 Orson Scott Card (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Worthing Saga

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Early Work of a Master

Card was heavily influenced by the Foundation series in this work. I'm not making that up. He says so in the afterward. But he brings his own unique style and perspective to "universe building".

These stories require some patience. Don't expect alot of action and aliens. This isn't Ender's universe.

Card examines the influence of two technological events on the development of human society; the ability to "sleep" for decades at a time, and psychic ability to control the thoughts and memories of others. How do these changes influence the way people act and relate? What happens when whole classes of individuals can skip through time like stones across a pond? The stories are thought provoking and prove that card is a much more interesting writer than the recent "Ender and Bean" novels would indicate.

The production is excellent and the readers are first rate.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A very.... human story

Good sci-fi stories all have one thing in common: they are about us. A good sci-fi story... a good fantasy story... a good fiction story is always essentially about the human experience. Whether it's human nature, human potential, human failings, human strengths...

What I love most about Card's work is his incredible understanding of the human condition. The setting is just a tool to explore ths. The Worthing Saga is a great example of just that. Card uses this setting to explore so many ideas, from how cultures cause their own downfalls to the deep dark depths of jealousy and hatred.

Where do you find a balance between happiness and free will?

If you were God where would you draw the line?

I loved the book and I give it 4 stars.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worthing Revisited

A "stellar cast" of fine readers make this collection of earlier stories by Card a "must hear" for fans and audiophiles. I was totally captivated and engrossed as a listner. There is no better way than a good audiobook to enjoy this fine writer.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Marred by odd moral arguments and poor narration

This is (by his own admission) one of Card's earliest works, and it was written during a lot of his early missionary and bible college times. This explains the heavy morality themes throughout. In fact I would classify this story as more allegory than sci fi. I had trouble understanding the protagonists' motivations at times -- why kill yourselves because you created a utopia? And why are people so much happier when they are suffering?

I found these arguments puzzling but overall they didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story. This is apparently a rewrite of the original tale, and it is structured well. I often found it hard to put down. The collection of short stories afterward are a mixed bag, though. Some were interesting, some dragged on to resolve little.

I would have given this story 4 stars if the narration was better. The narrator's inflections didn't fit the scene most of the time. The narration plodded along and most of the dialogue came out angry. The worst I've heard on an audiobook.

19 people found this helpful

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

One Word: Fantastic

Any additional comments?

Orson Scott Card never ceases to amaze me in the questions he tackles in his writing.

In The Worthing Chronicle, Jason Worthing comes to a small village where Lared resides and asks him to write his story. As Lared writes we learn of two worlds - Capitol and Worthing. It is through Jason's story that Card explores the reasons why a god would leave their children unprotected when they have the power to provide lives full of happiness and devoid of pain, the power of corruption, and the obstacles of creating a peaceful and just human society.

The anthology continues with Tales of Capitol - which introduces more of the world of Capitol and its inhabitants and explores the affect of the sleep drug Somec that allows rich or successful members of society to sleep for years at a time, the corrupt society Somec created and the people people and relationships that are affected by it.

The anthology concludes with Tales from the Forest of Waters, which explores some of Jason Worthing's descendants who live on the world of Worthing.

The stories really made me think and offered some interesting insights on human nature. If you're into this type of thing, it's definitely worth a read.

The audiobook version was narrated by Scott Brick. He is one of my favorite audiobook narrators and he did not disappoint in his reading of The Worthing Saga.

The short stories were narrated by different narrators, whose names I can't seem to locate anywhere at the moment, but they were all well read and realized by the narrators.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Not for the Lover's of Ender

First, I love this book. It has a few lulls where multiple story lines are tied up (IMO Nedded if not a little boring).

Second, DO NOT buy this book if you just finished breezing through the Ender or the Shadow books. Yes I know they are fantastinc but, that doesn't mean that this book is for you. Worthing is clasic Card. Like some of his early short stories where he tried to jam deep meaning and some of his religion into every work.

If you loved the kind of book that Ender and the Shadow books are, Worthing is not that type of fiction. This book is not about the sci-fi. It is about Jason Worthing and all of the lives his touched for good or ill.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Save a credit

The first half of the book tells a sci-fi/fantasy story that is ok. I was puzzeled why the second half would re-tell the same stories just from a different point of view. Then, Orson Card himself explained it. This is a collection of his attempts to tell a certain story. So, unless you are interested in the somewhat arbitrary collection of variations of the same story - save your book credit for something else.

13 people found this helpful

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

Derivative, Unimaginative Sci-Fi

This book is mostly derivative, drawing largely from Isaac Asimov, specifically the Robots and Foundation trilogies. The story itself is also fragmented, with a third of the book told in the form of short stories, and doesn't have a conclusive or particularly satisfying ending. All of the characters are fair bland, having little in the way of culture or viewpoint to distinguish themselves.

1 person found this helpful

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

Worth it, be patient

Would you listen to The Worthing Saga again? Why?

I had to come to this one twice. The first time I had trouble getting started but the second time I powered through. It is a bit long, I'll admit, but if you like Card you'll like this. There are a lot of cool ideas and interesting theories about development and how people would react to it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Worthing Saga?

A scene when the hero meets the bad guy. Not what you'd expect...but pretty awesome.

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

The narrator is top notch, I was totally immersed.

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

What would you do if you could read minds? Conquer the world...

1 person found this helpful

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

Interesting Story telling

Any additional comments?

I liked this book, I found it interesting and compelling. until you get to the stories of Capitol. some of those I didn't really care for but they make sense in the total scheme of things. Thumbs up from me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 02-24-11

Fantastic Read. Would Highly Recommend

The Worthing Saga is a highly original book. The Saga is split into two main parts. The first part take up two thirds of the saga length and is the main story. The last third is a collection of short stories covering interesting key people not full explored in the main story.

Orson Scott Card once again draws you in with a highly original captive story that follows the life of a unique individual from his troubled child-hood through to his part in the down fall and recreation of the galaxy. The narrative is well done and certainly adds to the story.

I listened to this book on a traveling holiday and found myself waiting to get back on the road so i could find out what happens next. It is a must listen for any Sci-Fi fan.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • James Burkill
  • 08-29-18

Too much unexplained magic for sci fi

Why go to the trouble of having realistic slow space travel if you're also going to throw in mental telepathy and telekinesis?

Some interesting plot lines including an exploration of how something like cryogenic sleep might impact a society and how it can be used to build one. But the magical elements demean it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruby Gloom
  • 12-30-16

One of my favourite books in the universe

I listen over and over its always great
It has everything in it old time futuristic spiritual technology spaceships wooden boats mystery gods and creepy children
And lastly the reason I chose the book all those years ago and discovered Orson Scott card it has Worthing! Not the seaside town in Sussex but pick up the book it kinda explains..