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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

"Genius." (Time)
"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Wanda on 08-17-15

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Laurie J. on 04-04-16

Narrator is really poor

How could the performance have been better?

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Chris on 07-24-15

Mixed feelings

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Mrs. E. Brewington on 07-31-15

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By K. Gough on 10-13-15

Good book, terrible performance

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.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By RFC on 01-11-16

Great story idea, poor narration

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.

Story ****
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.

Narration *
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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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