The astounding new novel from the master of science fiction. What would happen if the world were ending?
When a catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain....
Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown, to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is at once extraordinary and eerily recognizable. He explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
©2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2015 Neal Stephenson
"He makes reading so much fun it feels like a deadly sin." (The New York Times)
"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century." (William Gibson)
"[Stephenson is] the hacker Hemingway." (Newsweek)
The story was insightful and really interesting, however the narrator made it very hard to stay engaged. Mispronunciations and some jarringly awful attempts at accents for the characters kept pulling me out of the story and made the characters hard to relate to. You'd be better off reading the book yourself.
What a story. Totally believable and takes into account both the scientific and social ramifications of the unfolding story. Left me volunteering to strangle a few of the characters whilst driving along listening! Well characterised by the teller and I forgave the accents
Neal Stephenson is a great story-teller and this is the only reason I stayed with this book to the end. This time his characters were drowning in excess technical and scientific detail. If I were reading this book it would be possible to scan and skip these lengthy and tedious passages, but this is difficult when listening. Secondly, I found the technology 5000 years in the future somewhat difficult to imagine from his explanations. I couldn't 'see' the shape and colour of the things without listening to the passages a few times. Overall, I think this one was a clunker and I'm hoping for him to regain his narrative strength.
Firstly, this book is long. You probably knew that, but don't say it didn't warn you.
The story is expansive and consuming. It's very technical about spacial mechanics/physics etc, most of that went over my head. The narrative follows many different characters as the moon is broken up by an "agent" and the consequences for the Earth are severe. I enjoyed it, but it took me quite a while to get through.
The vocal performance was done well, there are many characters with various accents which Brooke pulls off. I personally hated the voice that he did for Doob, but that could just be a personal choice.
Best suited to sci-fi lovers.
The majority of the main characters in the book are women. But it's very tech heavy and not a whole lot of character development or emotion felt at all.
Great story but overly technical. The last third of the book is great.
I started listening excited that i may have found a good new scifi authour. the publisher blurb made the storyline sound very interesting and unique. but after 7 hours of listening to dry science explanations and still no story really developing. ...i had to give up and delete it.....couldn't possibly sit thru another 20 hours of it. only a hard core nasa geek could like it ...and even then....just too boring. maybe his other books are better but after this in not even going to try.
The story is very intriguing and all details of the scenario seem to be well researched and thought through. The voicing of many of the characters by the narrator Peter Brooke, however, I found really off putting.
The story could have been 5* but the book frequently drifts into lengthy descriptions of mechanisms and machines. Of course you would expect that in a Stephenson novel.
In Seveneves, however, the descriptions were overbearing and distracting from the characters of the story. Often I felt myself longing for technical drawing or diagram of the modified ISS or any of the novel devices explored in the story. It would have made many a chapter shorter or easier to follow.
Reading rather than listening to the novel makes it much easier to go back and re-read passages that were not clear the first time around.
The third part of the book might have been better as a more fleshed out second book in its own right.
My main beef with this audio book is the narration. Peter Brooke does an "ok" job reading the non-dialog passages but as soon as people are talking to each other I really would have preferred to switch to reading that passage on a page.
The British accent he is trying to put on is anything but. He switches from Jamaican to Indian - the closest he gets to the UK is the Irish inflection that sometimes creeps in. Then there is a German-speaking Swiss guy who sounds more Eastern European and sometimes Dutch. Another one of the main characters (Doob) is American , and yes, he does sound American. But the voicing suggests that he has a potatoe in his mouth and suffers from indigestion. Many other characters I also felt were not very well interpreted by the narrator. Even some of the descriptive passages had odd pausing or stressing of words.
I have the impression that the narration lacked appropriate preparation. Maybe it was hastily prepared so it could be published at the same time as the print version.
enjoyed the science, physics and ideas
hatred the dialect for Doc Dubois. Incredibly bad and almost made me stop listening several times, despite him being my favorite when reading the book.
it's like going from the story of the ancient Egyptians to the story of silicon valley right away, but yeah it's not bad if you can accept that fact
Great story, steep 'learning curve'. Stephenson delivers a well thoughtout world with an engaging narrative. At times it's obvious he didn't have enough space to give as much explanation as might be necessary.
The narration was lacking. There seemed to be too many voices and accents for the narrator to keep track of. Some of the narration was forced and overacted.
It was definitely worth a listen, but I will have to revisit it sometime.
"Not his best..."
I normally love the detail that the author puts into his stories, but this time it's just too much.
My ears did the aural equivalent of my eyes glazing over. It's technical - very, very technical.
I mostly listen to my books in the car and with this one I found myself blanking out large portions.
There are interesting bits, however, so it isn't a complete washout.
Oh, and some of the accents are way off! It would have been better that the narrator didn't attempt some of them.
"what did i just waste my time on?"
got it reccomended by a friend, the book is a neverending introduction with a forced conclusion. there are some interesting aspects and ideas sprinkled here and there, but noone of them are explored in any meaningful way.
"Great epic story line capturing your imagination"
I was pleasantly surprised by the scope of the story and coverage of eons of time, but still told through believable characters with every thing at stake.
I enjoyed reading and hearing Seveneves. This is a story spanning over 5000 years and it was gripping throughout.
"Great idea- and start - last third dragged on"
Loved the idea, just dragged on a bit. Narrator not a great job with the different voices
"Narrator is really poor"
The narrator attempted to shift voices for the different characters, but is clearly not skilled enough to do it. One of the main character's sounded like frog every time he started speaking. Regional accents the narrator attempted are way way off.
Fantastic hard sci fi. Second half of the book is substantially different but still engaging.
"Great story but a bit long"
Great story but a bit long. The tale of the consequences of major disruption to humanity is complete. There's even a yarn about how values change depending on expediency, and that takes an arrogant US president. Don't worry about loose ends left dangling through the story; most are tidied later on - but pay attention for the details !
"Brilliant and engaging"
A Sci Fi story that left me on the edge of my seat for countless moments. The science is rock solid and believable. The characters and the story arcs are very well developed and the ending leaves me yearning for more. I hope there's more one day.
"Soooooo... that's it?"
Started strong, created, and then kinda just petered out. Ending was a bit droll. Some of the themes were questionable, and a few times hard line ideologies were unnecessarily pushed. While a few characters were interesting, most were pretty much predictable and one sided wooden personalities. For such a long book, a bit more character development, but he spent too much time stroking his own ego.
Worth a listen, but only if you ran out of things on your bucket-list.
The scope and ambition of this novel are staggering, and I can't think of another author who could hope pull something like this off successfully. I'm not convinced Stephenson has, but there's still much for fans to like.
The good: Stephenson's usual elements are all present and correct: physics, engineering, code breaking and a smattering of martial arts. The plot moves along at a decent clip for the most part, and the large cast is handled pretty well.
The bad: The pacing is a little uneven, and the plot losses impetus in the final third. More fat could have been trimmed in some parts too. That large cast and expansive plot don't leave too much time for character development either (with a few notable exceptions).
I'm less torn about Peter Brooke's performance. He took on a mammoth task with this one, and I'm afraid he fell short for me. He does competently for the most part, but a few of the accents were like nails on a chalkboard. If I read this again it'll be the paper version.
"Two or three books in one."
From the opening line this is a book full of emotion. For me the first two acts are the strongest and act three could have been the start of another book, but the whole is a sweeping epic that will just keep going.
"Half a book"
This book has no ending. It changes direction wildly half way through and then fails to deliver a full story in the new setting.
"Excellent until about half way through then tedium"
Struggled to finish, note for the reader if you can't do accents don't even try
"Really good, then slightly annoying, then bad"
This is three completely different books abutted.
The first is a really good disaster story full of tech and plot and pace.
The second meanders through dumb political shenanigans in space but there is still good stuff to keep you going.
The third is completely disconnected from what went before, hard to follow, and uninteresting.
Get it for a credit but when the narrator says 5000 years later, do what the author should have and stop there.
"Brilliantly done. "
greatest detail since Tolkien. what else can I say. it just gets better and better
"too long and detailed."
this is more like two stories, one of which is unfinished. I loved parts of it and the ideas are great, but too much time is spent exposing in detail how things work. enjoyed it but would have enjoyed it more if it had been ten hours shorter. and if it hadn't felt like it just tailed off at the end.
Only criticism, the readers attempt at a Welsh accent. But it did amuse me at times.
"Believed this could be possible"
Its a very detailled, believable, possibility
I like his voice but not sure about some of the accents which were a bit distracting.
Couldn't put it down and if I could have listened to it in one sitting I would have. 32 and a half hours seemed like a long time when I started but got so wrapped up in the story, was actually surprised when it finished.
Really hope that there is a follow up or parallel stories published as it all ended a bit abruptly and I need to know what happened.
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