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Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.
A few words from Neil on Dimension of Miracles: "Dimension of Miracles is probably not [Sheckley's] most famous book…. but I think it's probably his best-loved book. It's about the joys and tribulations (mostly the tribulations) of winning the lottery—the galactic lottery—accidentally. And wrongly. Tom Carmody is awarded a remarkable prize, is taken half way across the universe to collect it, finds himself hopelessly lost, and needs to find his way home again to Earth…to this Earth, not an alternate, weirdo Earth. He's got to get back. And the price is high.
In its style of humor—and even in some of the jokes—Dimension of Miracles is very obviously a precursor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas actually hadn't read Dimension of Miracles until very shortly after Hitchhiker came out, when people pointed him to it, and he told me that he found the experience almost shocking—it was like reading himself. He was a huge admirer of Bob Sheckley and a huge admirer of this book, and in later life, I had the privilege of introducing both of them.
Now the challenge for me with a book this funny, this strange, this perceptive was to try and find a narrator who was as iconic, somebody who could deliver the goods, somebody who could give you a book like this as it deserved to be given. And the first, and the last, and actually the only person to come to mind was John Hodgman. So I asked John, and he said yes! And he did it; he pulled it off. Listening to John—not just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through here—he does it delightfully, he does it brilliantly, he's really, really funny. And so is this book. Enjoy your journey through a Dimension of Miracles."
Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home. Meanwhile, his removal from Earth has caused a predatory entity to spring into existence - one that aims to destroy him. Carmody is on the run, and he ends up transporting from Earth to Earth - different phases and realities of the planet.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Niels J. Rasmussen on 07-02-13
Easily The Best Title I've Encountered on Audible
Any additional comments?
Although written beforehand, this book's humor reflects in many ways the prose in "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", but in a somewhat more mature manner.
The narration performance by John Hodgman on this fish-out-of-water story is second to none, creating the audio equivalent of a page-turner.
Highly recommend for anyone who enjoyed those old 1950's sci-fi radio shows such as "X-Minus One" and/or "Dimension X".
9.8 / 10
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Trae on 05-26-13
Better than expected...
Wasn't excited about this book, but it came highly recommended. I wasn't a fan of Douglas Adam's (which his Hitchhiker books is what this one is common compared to), so I wasn't excited about this one.
Sheckley, though, excels where Adams doesn't. Where Adam's humor is campy and a bit in-your-face, Sheckley tends to be a bit more reserved. Granted, there's talking dinosaurs and goofy characters, but the humor they have is a bit smarter and enjoyable. Hodgman is the perfect narrator as he brings to life the characters beautifully.
All in all, it was better than I had expected. It's not without it's dry parts or various minor plot holes...but they are fairly short and minor and don't weigh down the reader much.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark on 07-08-13
If you liked Hitchhiker's Guide...
On listening to this book I was struck (as many have been) by the echoes of Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' - but I knew this book had pre-dated that. In fact on further research I discovered Adams hadn't read this book, and was shocked when he did at how similar it was.
I say this as a recommendation - if you liked the slightly anarchical & surreal humour of one, you'll love the other.
John Hodgman is a great choice for the narrator too - less well known to UK audiences perhaps, but he inhabits the characters well, and seems to offer the 'baffled everyman' perspective that the lead character exhibits throughout.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By thevicarat12 on 04-25-17
blast from the past or future
I first read at this book at school, 45 years ago. It's still brillant, perceptive, topical, funny and relevant.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Peter Davis on 05-20-15
Before Douglas Adams
This highly entertaining comedic Sci-Fi book from 1969 prefigured Douglas Adams 'Hitchiker's Guide' in many ways; the story begins with protagonist Carmody suffering at the hands of a galactic bureaucracy etc. The source material is witty and acerbic, and the charming performance by John Hodgman really brings it to life. This is a gem that deserves repeat listenings.