This Immortal

Narrated by: Victor Bevine
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
3.9 out of 5 stars (634 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about. And, as arts commissioner, he's been given a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes - especially since it is apparent that this places him at the center of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on the future of Earth itself. But Conrad is a very special guy....

Written by the late Roger Zelazny, This Immortal was originally published under the title ...and Call Me Conrad. It shared the 1966 Hugo Award for Best Novel with Frank Herbert's Dune.

©1966 Roger Zelazny (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1966

What listeners say about This Immortal

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Master of Sci-Fi

Picture this..
Earth is now a shadow of itself after going through a nuclear holocaust. The Vegan's have taken over - no no, not that type, picture Vogons (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Conrad (the narrator) has been tasked with being the tour guide.. he's not keen on the idea.. but during this the Vegan's life is threatened and we find that it has become imperative that the Vegan stays alive... but why... the book gently takes you and carries you through to the end..


Definitely one of those books that I would put up there with:
Karel Capek - R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

BTW: those that have read my review will know I am quite particular about narration - has to be engaging and clear.. definitely a thumbs up here. Victor Bevine is definitely someone to follow.





28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Zelazney's humour and lyricism

I love Zelazney and this is one of my favourites. The reader is a bit too intense. He doesn't use enough inflection for my taste. He can do Zelazney's wonderful lyricism, but he doesn't emphasis the throw away humour, the great sense of timing and the bathos that undercut the lyricism. Conrad is complex, sincere,cynical and full of energy. He should sound more like Zorba the Greek or Steamboy, not like an English teacher.

13 people found this helpful

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

Interesting early Zelazny work, better than some

I felt the performance was the best part, and I enjoy the main character. The beginning is a bit droll and hard to sit through, but once you're through with the exposition the story really does pickup quite a bit. Otherwise, if you're at all familiar with Zelazny, it's an interesting early work that shows the first stages of his unique style and tone. It does still feel like a novice work, however, in that his allusions are still more than a little forced, even intentionally self-conscious, but certainly without the seamless integration that is truly a hallmark of his later works. Listen to it, though, and enjoy it nonetheless.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Zelazny but still good

When reading Zelazny, you have to get the context in which it was wriiten, otherwise it just seems dated. Zelazny, Harlan Ellison and others were part of the "New Wave" of SF writers that ushered in a new age of SF to counter the post world war II "golden age" SF of the 1950s. Gone were the superhuman warrior heroes of Robert Heinlein and the rest. Now we had anti-heroes with human flaws and a more introspective/cynical world views. Having said that, Zelazny was still able to strike a balance between cynicism of the new and the romanticism of the old. This book, while not my favorite of his, still shows off Zelazny's power to blend Science, History and Ancient Myth. I also like the narrator they chose for this one. Good listen!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

More Zelazny please

He was one of the finest writers in SF, and its nice to seem some audiobooks being made. I am not a purist and I would even purchase the Amber audiobooks. I have read Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert and a host of others and he is still one of the best.
Please more audiobooks from him. Thanks, James

10 people found this helpful

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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

great reading of a favorite book!

This has been one of my favorite books for years, and this recording is wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A disappointment

This book was boring and confusing, replete with many tongue twisting Greek names and references to ancient Greek myths. It was by an author that I liked and had won a Hugo award so it was a great disappointment.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Narration among the worst

Normally I really enjoy R.Z.'s books, but the narration of the beginning was so monotone with way too many long pauses. I could not even follow what the narrator was saying and did not even get past the first 10 minutes. Just to give you an idea how bad it was..."Gnash, Gnash the teeth. Clippity clop, the hooves" became "Gnash <pause> gnash <long pause> the teeth <longer long pause> clippity <pause> clop <long pause> the hooves." The pauses were so long it was actually hard to link the words together. Save your money and skip this version.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

didn't understand it as a child or 50 years later

50 + years ago, when I read this as a child...I did not understand it one bit. So at the age of 67, I thought I would give it another try. Just as bewildered. This is one of the few books I just gave up on and did not finish.

There is wonderful imagery in this story...unfortunately the imagery is usually completely unrelated to any story line.

I never like to criticize a narrator, so I won't, but I will not compliment him on this performance either.

I have read some of the other reviews, and " a lot" of people like this book...I'm just not one of them.

4 people found this helpful

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

The story just didn't stick with me,didn't like it

Pretty much struggled to finish and even was boring 80% of times. There were small nice bits though, but they don't deserve to stand up for the story.
Even for free, wouldn't get it and would not recommend others. But, if you like Greeks and their mythology and apocalypse world, may be, with a small chance you'll like it. But I think that even the apocalypse world and the story, scenery was developed poorly. And the whole thing is very wield!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • June
  • 09-23-08

Is Zelazny being forgotten?

Zelazny has always been a strange mixture of Hemmingway and Fantasy. He evokes a picture of a ravished world where his (anii-)hero has become an anachronism. If you like this book then be sure to read his Nine Princes in Amber series.
A well written story with a suitable narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A.N.
  • 08-31-20

Post-apocalyptic Adventure of Greek Myth

Absorbing sci fi adventure tour, with mythology mixing with anti-colonialism themes in a post-nuclear wasteland version of Earth. The story is narrated by Conrad, an engaging anti-hero whose identity (or identities?) is shrouded in mystery. Another mystery is the true intentions of the alien that Conrad is required to take on a guided tour of Earth, an alien whose race is now buying up earth's remaining undamaged areas. These aliens are a culture to whom the human race is economically dependent to the point of being indentured, with humans beings (especially women) treated as property. At first it is not clear what's going on, but gradually the scenario becomes clear, by which time you are already hooked on the characters and the mythical atmosphere, thanks also to the dreamy poetry-prose. The language and dialogue include some great moments of flair, and beautiful imagery, making this a fantasy of literary quality as well as sci-fi action. Adding to the general enigma, there is the ambiguity of the state of Earth itself and the strange creatures of ancient myth that now inhabit it in the radioactive areas: are they mutants? Or has the earth returned to an ancient mythical era where centaurs and monsters etc. roamed the Arcadian landscape? Even the main characters themselves are allusions to mythical heroes and demons, and live in a futuristic culture based on those myths. For people interested in literary easter eggs, there are plenty to grab you. If you are not into that kind of thing, skip the rest of this review and jump to the last paragraph! The book is influenced by works of western art from various periods of history, that sprung from the west's obsession with Greek myth and also of colonialism. For example: Romanticism: Byron, Shelley and the obsession of their era with Prometheus (Prometheus was also used as an allegory for anti-slavery protest); Classical anthropology such as the theories of James George Frazer's The Golden Bough, and it's suggestion of humanity evolving through stages of religious belief from animism (in this story it's voodoo), to religion and then finally science; all of which are overtly featured. Colonialism again crops up in the form of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, specifically its character Kurtz who is comically pastiched into the plot with a group of cannibal mutants. There is also a giant "undead" imbecile albino vampire feeding on the surrounding tribal population - "The Dead Man" - possibly an inverted joke along the colonial theme? Additionally, the Great God Pan is a central theme, which was a popular feature of early twentieth century horror and weird fiction (Arthur Machen, E.F. Benson, Margery Lawrence, and HP Lovecraft). Perhaps the best compliment to this aspect of Zelazny's fiction can be found in a comment on Pan stories, written by August Derleth in the 1947 anthology 'The Night Side': "Such stories are extremely difficult to write convincingly; the man on the street who is prepared to accept the consequences of atomic fission is considerably harder to convince about mythological figures in mankind's past." In This Immortal, Zelazny circumvents this problem by combining these two themes: a post-nuclear "fusion" of radiation damage with an emergence of mythological beasts. Also nods to Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West and Joseph Campbell's The Hero of a Thousand Faces, two other books which massively influenced twentieth century thinking... ...none of which are important, in the end. The above references add depth if you want to explore it, but there is no underlying message in it all. This is just meant to be a good story, one that is ultimately about people and their true nature. Conrad is perhaps the most compelling of all characters Zelazny has ever created, the rest of the cast are great too. The narration is excellent, and beyond chapter 2 I was hooked until the end. If you want to lose yourself for six hours, this audiobook is a enjoyable way to do it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Petteri
  • 05-04-20

Voice acting really suits this book!

Generally voice acting in audiobooks is competent, but in this case writing and voice acting combine so very well indeed.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • AudiobookDevotee
  • 03-20-20

Just not that good.

I read Dune and thought it was fantastic. I saw this book tied with it for some award and thought "That must be a really good book too. I'll give it a go." I was wrong. The book reads like you've asked an edgy teenager to write an 'epic'. Lots of oblique references to huge events, a bleak landscape and a band of adventurers. The cast was too big for the story and keeping track of everyone was a bit of a pain. The main character is, unsurprisingly, somewhat immortal but this is never elaborated on. I know people often complain of clumsy exposition but I'd rather have some than none. I never really gave a crap about the characters. Hard to do that when no-one knows why they're fighting each other. I find it hard to believe soldiers who fought shoulder to shoulder would both fight each other to the death just because they felt they were meant to. And Earth is not a happy place but I'm supposed to care about it?! Overall this story got too big headed for itself, I didn't like the style and the narration was just sufficient. Would not recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • sophia monkman
  • 01-27-12

Oldie but goodie

I loved this. Short by my preferences, but interesting, textured and with a very satisfying ending.