The Terranauts

  • by T. C. Boyle
  • Narrated by Lynde Houck, Joy Osmanski, Charlie Thurston
  • 20 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A deep dive into human behavior in an epic story of science, society, sex, and survival, from one of the greatest American novelists today, T. C. Boyle, the acclaimed best-selling author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning World's End and The Harder They Come.
It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, 40 miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the Earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the Terranauts, have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-Earth colony. Their sealed three-acre compound comprises five biomes - rain forest, savanna, desert, ocean, and marsh - and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them.
Closely monitored by an all-seeing Mission Control, this New Eden is the brainchild of ecovisionary Jeremiah Reed, aka G. C. - God the Creator - for whom the project is both an adventure in scientific discovery and a momentous publicity stunt. In addition to their roles as medics, farmers, biologists, and survivalists, his young, strapping Terranauts must impress watchful visitors and a skeptical media curious to see if E2's environment will somehow be compromised, forcing the ecosphere's seal to be broken - and ending the mission in failure. As the Terranauts face increased scrutiny and a host of disasters both natural and of their own making, their mantra, "nothing in, nothing out", becomes a dangerously ferocious rallying cry.
Told through three distinct narrators - Dawn Chapman, the mission's pretty young ecologist; Linda Ryu, her bitter, scheming best friend passed over for E2; and Ramsay Roothorp, E2's sexually irrepressible wild man - The Terranauts brings to life an electrifying, pressured world in which connected lives are uncontrollably pushed to the breaking point. With characteristic humor and acerbic wit, T. C. Boyle indelibly inhabits the perspectives of the various players in this survivalist game, probing their motivations and illuminating their integrity and fragility to illustrate the inherent fallibility of human nature itself.


What the Critics Say

"This audio performance captures the intensity that is typical of Boyle's work.... The overall performance, combined with Boyle's imagination and detail, results in a mesmerizing listen." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Aggravating Narrator Ruins Great Book

If you could sum up The Terranauts in three words, what would they be?

Houck ruins Terranauts

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

I love TC Boyle. His satirical, clever fiction is engaging, fascinating, and fluidly written from first person point of view. I was excited to get this book and pre-ordered it. I even was looking forward to three narrators. It is sometimes distracting to hear a female voice for a male first person, etc. HOWEVER, Lynde Houck, narrator for Dawn the beautiful young ecologist, absolutely ruined this experience for me. TC Boyle writes very long, descriptive, compound sentences. Lynde Houck paused at each comma in the writing as if it was the end of a sentence, then took a breath, and continued, as if starting a new sentence. It was so aggravating! It seemed to me like she could not read ahead in her mind before speaking aloud, as if she was reading the text for the first time. Her inflection was often on the incorrect part of the sentence, leaving me confused,trying to puzzle out the true intention of the author's writing. Miserable experience. So disappointed.

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- Laura VanderPloeg


It's about so much: the compelling characters for whom you will care & from whom you will learn, the science of human & other life in closed systems-- a prelude to life on Mars? The superb writing proving that style is substance.
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- Andrea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio