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Publisher's Summary

In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and was never resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical-physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't. Why? What was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago? In 1348, as the Black Death is gathering strength across Europe, Father Deitrich is the priest of the village that will come to be known as Eifelheim. A man educated in science and philosophy, he is astonished to become the first contact between humanity and an alien race from a distant star when their interstellar ship crashes in the nearby forest.
Tom, Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange and intertwined destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant novel by the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award.
©2006 Michael Flynn (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews



Hugo Award nominee, Best Novel, 2007
"Another meticulously researched, intense, mesmerizing novel...for readers seeking thoughtful science fiction of the highest order." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Flynn masterfully achieves an intricate panorama of medieval life, full of fascinatingly realized human and Krenken characters whose fates interconnect with poignant irony." (Publishers Weekly)
"Compellingly weaves past and present together in a dialog of faith and science....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 09-03-07

Poignant, Profound, Absorbing and deeply moving.

This story set in a 13th century hamlet deep within the Black Forest has been one of my most rewarding Audible experiences. I have been an avid reader of “speculative” and “philosophical” sci-fi since childhood and seldom have I encountered a more beautifully imagined and considered work. The central character is the priest Dietrich, highly intelligent, a thoughtful leader to his small community. When confronted with life changing events, he rises to the challenges and confronts circumstances that would confound lesser men and holds fast his people against threatening chaos. 700 years later a historian and his physicist wife become involved in the mystery that is “Efilhiem”, the thriving village that is suddenly abandoned and never resettled.
The plot is finely drawn, the narration outstanding, the conclusion poignant. Profound, moving, absorbing and informative. Thoroughly recommended, 10 out of 10.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By DMHVetSurveyor on 08-20-07

A tower of a novel!

It took me a little while to get into this one, but then I appreciated all the work put into the research to write this. After restarting it a few times I finally got into the characters and was entranced throughout the last half of the book. This was a very creative idea for a novel and I applaud the writer. The narrator was also excellent, I don't believe a Scott Brick or a George Guidall could've done this one any better. Be patient through the beginning and be rewarded throughout the rest of the book. Listen & enjoy!!

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sean on 02-14-08

Well worth a listen

A superbly written book. The author is clearly an expert on medieval history and culture. He weaves a wonderfully intricate story drawing subtle comparisons between religion and science, humanity and alien mindsets. The plot itself is a little disjointed; it flip-flops between the 14th century and the present day. However, the vast majority of the novel takes place in the past, which leaves the part of the plot set in the present virtually redundant. In addition, we learn that the book's hero, the priest Father Dietrich, has an unsavoury history which receives no real elaboration over the entire course of the story. In fact, it feels a lot like this book is merely the first in a series. I certainly hope so.

The narrator got on my nerves at first; he suffers, near the start of the audiobook, from that affectation that afflicts many public speakers, namely ignoring full stops. But he soon breaks that habit and goes on to give a flawless delivery, dropping in and out of German and Latin, and a strange alien monotone. But make no mistake: this is not a sci-fi novel, it is a period piece exploring the place of rational thought in a word governed by religious superstition, and the touching plight of a stranded community trying to come to terms with its fate. If the present-day part of this story had been as coherent as the past, I would have given it the full 5 stars. Definitely give this a listen.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Ian on 04-13-13

Confusing in audio form

I did enjoy the book but the story is complex, shifting as it does between the past and present. Initially the links appeared contrived but stick with the story and you will find that it does all make sense. Ultimately it is one of those books which is better in print rather than audio.



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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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