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Publisher's Summary

Richard Dawkins Recommends this science-fiction classic in which a race of survivors lives underground, as far from the Original World as possible and protected from the ultimate evil, Radiation. Then terrible monsters, who bring with them a screaming silence, are seen and people start to disappear. One young man realizes he must put everything he knows behind him, and question the nature of Darkness itself.BONUS AUDIO: In an exclusive introduction, evolutionary biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins explains why, "of all the novels I have ever read, this is, perhaps, the one that I find myself describing to others more often than any other".
©1961 Daniel F. Galouye; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By crazybatcow on 04-06-10

Literal & spiritual examination of darkness

Not only is this a very well imagined world where nobody can see - it is a world where humans have lost any understanding of sight; even the verb "to see" is lost to language.

While the premise might be a bit on the edge of believability (how many generations, really, would it take for humans to forget they ever could see?), the author is very consistent - there are no "slip ups" in referencing any aspect of sight.

The book has a philosophical look at light versus darkness (in both a literal sense and in a spiritual one) and this is also quite well-done: it doesn't feel at all patronizing or moralizing.

The story is perhaps a bit "dry" and involves a lot of rushing around, and the interpersonal relationships seem a bit contrived, but is very interesting in the different perspective it provides, more than for its storyline.

The narration is very good. (I skipped the ~7 minute introduction by Dawkins, however, because it was rather boring and not very well spoken.)

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Jason Major on 04-15-09

Interesting and plausible

Although written in the 60s this book has a plausible branch of truth to it. The book was not the usual dribble of easily guessable plot twists and held my attention for the most part. I rate it 4 for the content and a 3 for ease of reading (I was bored on occasion).

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Peter on 07-09-09

A forgotten classic.

I believe Dawkins recommended this book so highly because it is a thought-provoking book with a good storyline. Don't look at this book at a simplistic level - it has more interesting concepts that the 'post-apocalyptic what if...?' of surviving underground darkness and the resultant finely attuned hearing. If you are looking for a simple sci-fi read, this book will seem heavy-handed and boring but at a deeper level it contains elements of Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave', inevitable parallels with religion and plays with interesting ideas of perception. That is why this book was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1962 and only lost out to Robert Heinlein?s "Stranger in A Strange Land", a book repeatedly appearing in Top-10 lists of "Best Sci-Fi Books Ever". This book is well read and at six-and-a-half hours long is concise and entertaining. A highly recommended forgotten classic.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Neil on 09-05-09

Worth a listen

Interesting book plot well narrated. DO NOT LISTEN to the SPOILER INVESTED introduction though. The book's strength is in having a picture of the world slowly revealed. The introduction contains multiple SPOILERS & should be removed in my opinion.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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