Downward to the Earth

  • by Robert Silverberg
  • Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
  • 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A lone man must make a journey across a once-colonized alien planet abandoned by mankind when it was discovered that the species there were actually sentient.
Gundersen returns to Holman’s World seeking atonement for his harsh years as colonial governor. But now this lush, exotic planet of mystery is called by its ancient name of Belzagor, and it belongs once again to its native alien races, the nildoror and the sulidoror. Drawn by its spell, Gundersen begins a harrowing pilgrimage to its mist-shrouded north to witness a strange ritual rebirth that will alter him forever.
This is one of Silverberg’s most intense novels and draws heavily on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It puts listeners at the heart of the experience and forces them to ask what they would do in the same circumstances.

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What the Critics Say

“Blends mysticism, world-building, and literary references in an inventive mix…This is perhaps SF’s finest tribute to Joseph Conrad, both in its keen moral sense and its portrayal of a vividly realized alien forest.” (Time Out)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fantastic adaptation of Heart of darkness

What did you love best about Downward to the Earth?

I read it a second time just recently and it was just as good as the first. It's a exciting and compelling adaptation of heart of darkness. A redemption novel with compelling creatures and a distinctive world. So far, this is the only Robert Silverberg book I've really liked. I'm going to read another but Up The Line wasn't all that interesting to me. This book has more wisdom to it than most and best of all it has a good ending, something separate from most science fiction. Something very compelling. I won't say more!


Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I thought the audio performance was great. Didn't think of it too much, he did a good job of pulling me into the story rather than thinking about the performance.


Any additional comments?

My only complaint is that the story line is kind of a now classic hollywood tail of white man comes to feel bad about imperialism and his role in it. A thing the character should feel but the narrative is still on the greatness of the guy, his personal learnings, not of the charecters effected by the company and imperialism. But, that complaint is a nuanced one and criticizing silverberg on that seems a little unfair. he did not grow up in a hyper aware time.

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- David Kent Watson

Love this book

I have never encountered SciFi like this. I felt as though I was inside one of the Heinlein side stories. It's a must read.
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- Andrew F Gallagher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-23-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.