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Gray Lensman

Lensman Series
Narrated by: Reed McColm
Series: Lensman, Book 4
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lensman Kimball Kinnison has attained the goal that every Lensman seeks, and so few attain: that of Unattached Lensman, a Lensman who is accountable to no one anywhere, completely independent, completely free.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Lensman series.
©2006 Books in Motion (P)2006 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with The Estate of E. E. "Doc" Smith and Virginia Kidd, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The most towering figure in science fiction, thanks to the enormous scope of his novels." (Isaac Asimov)
"If you wish to understand the roots of modern science fiction, you have to read the Lensman saga." (Allen Steele)
"A finalist for a special Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series, 'Lensman' is considered by many sf heads to be the greatest of the space operas and clearly a source for such successors as Star Trek and Star Wars." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Improving form continues with this book

E E Smith continues the better form that Book 3 has with Book 4. By this point you'll be into the story and you'll want to continue reading as the plot becomes stronger and the action takes you on a trip around and beyond our Galaxy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Murrant
  • 01-03-2008

A Long Time Ago

I first read the Lensmen series in 1958 when I was 14. I saw the books again on Audible.com and thought "why not?". I am so glad I did. This has brought back memories and the books are just as enjoyable as I remember them. Two more to go and the kids are thoroughly enjoying them also. A must read for those adventure lovers amongst us especially if you loved the serials in the Saturday matinee at the movies, EXCELLENT

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DJM
  • 18-03-2009

Lensman Series is Still Fun

Okay. The narrator of this series is not the best. Nevertheless, this story still works if you can get past some of writing (the "look of eagles" in the eyes of Lensmen for instance). If you've never dipped into these before, get Galactic patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens in that order. If you are still hooked, go back and pick up First lensman. You have to be a real diehard lensmen fan to slug through Triplanetary.

This is classic space opera, good versus evil, with the guys in the white hats destined to win. Smith wasn't very good at envisioning future technology, but he comes up with some fun ideas. The inertialess drive is an interesting solution to FSL travel and the negasphere is one of the best Sci_Fi weapons ever imagined. His aliens are fun too, especially the frigid planet dwellers. Considering that the series was started in the late 30s, it holds up amazingly well.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim D
  • 14-08-2011

A Classic that holds up

I first read this many decades ago as a teenager. Loved it then, love it now. It was one of the first "space operas", so some of the speech patterns seem quaint now, but they were fresh back then. You can get past that easily enough.

But the area that really recommends the series, is the overall plot. This series has a sweep of vision. There are some stories that cover a dramatic series of events, that in the end are only of consequence to those immediately involved. Not to say that these stories can not be well written and interesting. Then there are stories that cover events that change the scope of history, while still having a gripping plot. This falls in the later category. Summary: this series has dramatic scope, and it is a good yarn as well.

P.S. as a side note, after you read this series find the parody "Backstage Lensman" by Randall Garrett. If you don't laugh at that one, you need a funny bone implant.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Plischke
  • 27-05-2019

Grey lensman

Wonderful space opera. And the narator gives
It all the drama an old radio show would have. Great fun!

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  • Bill Swears
  • 16-03-2018

Great story, even if Smith can't write women.

I've been listening avidly, and I really enjoy hearing Reed McColm narrate this tale. while I love the lensman stories, I'm recognizing the old style monastic S.F. Sorry guys, but I like my S.F. diverse, and I'm glad the community has changed in the last century. :-)

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  • LoneStarJeffe
  • 28-06-2017

A Classic of Science Fiction!

while the style of this book can be jarring to modern readets, the ideas are amazing. Like Lord of the Rings, the Lensmen series along with the Foundation series helped define science fiction ideas still explored today. I enjoyed the performance as many words no loner in common usage were thrown into the dialog frequently. The love story is clumsy and idealistic. The hero us always heroic. The universe is always "shiny" with no grit. It is like the movie 2001 and not Blade Runner. But within it's limits, it is a classic. The space battles are amazing and instead of being set in our solar system, this book shows travel between galaxies. Recommended!

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  • Daniel A. Demski
  • 25-06-2017

Better

This one is definitely a more interesting read than the previous Lensman books. The danger was more convincing, more personal; and the espionage more interesting.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 25-04-2008

Found it tedious

I got about halfway through this book and couldn't continue. The plot was so boring and inane, and the characters so shallow, that I kept losing track as my mind would wander off on other more interesting pursuits, like "gee that spot on the wall looks like a cookie"

Save your money.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ann Ingham
  • 23-04-2015

wonderful

for the 10th time of reading and listening. it never fails to delight and inspire. this is one of the great stories.

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  • EuroGamer
  • 23-11-2013

Classic Sci-Fi ruined by poor narration

Would you try another book written by E. E. 'Doc' Smith or narrated by Reed McColm?

This is a very classic sci-fi series. It is ruined by very poor narration by Reed McColm, who I can't help noticing has written his only sequal.

Will avoid McColm in future.

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  • Ian
  • 09-11-2013

great

What made the experience of listening to Gray Lensman the most enjoyable?

still as good as when i first read it as a kid/reed mcolm does a great job

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gray Lensman?

all

What does Reed McColm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

an interest and idea not to put down

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

relationship with mack

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  • Chaly18
  • 10-11-2017

still sexist !

Oh such a product of it's time, daring action but sexist and elitist. The tech didn't exist, computers were even humans.
Embarrassed I enjoyed it, rationalised it as historical sci-fi.