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This is actually solid and creative sci-fi. A few of the reviews I read accuse the book and the author of racism but I think this is going way too far. The story is basically about Republican physicists saving the world. Even as someone who is very politically progressive I enjoyed it immensely. The conservative stuff is not hidden, the author just throws it right out there and in that way it's almost funny. The good guys are heads of corporations who are trying to save humanity despite government interference/regulation. There's a bunch of little digs in the vein of "if we can just keep the damned government off our backs" and even a slam on space-environmentalists ("we've trashed our own planet enough...")
That said I didn't find any of this overbearing and in reality the author is probably correct that first contact with alien species would not dry up all the hundred year old political squabbles on earth.
Alot of this book is concerned with the size/scope/power requirements of spacefaring. I bring that up to say that despite the levity of the dialogue it's actually pretty hard core sci-fi. Those hoping for laser battles or light-saber fights will be disappointed by this novel. The major battle scene reads almost like a physics textbook.
Overall this is a fun read. The narrator is excellent, he does some voice modulation for different characters but does not go to the ridiculous lengths to which some are tempted.
86 of 100 people found this review helpful
Back in the 80's I read a long article in Discover Mag. about the making of the mirror for the Hubble telescope. It was just before the Hubble was to be launched into space. It was exciting, because we were excited about this huge telescope and what it would mean to science. It was interesting because it was about real people and the real things they had to do to get it done right. ( which turned out they did not do right).
Ringo spends two to three hours telling you how to make a mirror in space out of an asteroid. While this is very interesting, ten minutes would have been plenty. In my non-fiction I want details. In my fiction I want a story, not step by step directions on how to do something for hours. In one part when building a large machine he even goes into the building of giant washers. He does the same with economics. You get a few hours of econ 101 with this book.
Embedded in the hours of take peg A and insert in slot B, is a really really good story. There were chapters I could give 5 stars too, because the story was so good. Take out all the other though and you only have about a four hour story.
I try not to dish on fellow reviewers, as I am pretty sensitive myself, but for some reviewers to say they did not see the politics is ridiculous. Ringo hits so hard on liberals and anybody who lives in a city, that I thought maybe he was trying to do an opposite of "Stranger In a Strange Land". That he was so extremely conservative to show conservatives how overboard they can go. In one part of the book, it is mentioned that most of Africa gets wiped out of existence and he responses by saying they were worthless people anyways. The name of the book is "Live Free or Die".
If you like your science fiction full of the nuts and bolts it takes to build things and economies and if your not politically sensitive, then you will love this. If you like a really good story, it is there, you just will have to wade through hours of instructions, but it is there.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful
This title has received criticism of being right-wing propaganda...
Apparently, one can't even read a book anymore without politicising it.
I for one had fun with this and I'm not ashamed for it.
Yes, the story is a bit cheesy and predictable, the main character a hero who single-handedly saves Earth, but so what?
It's not like Hollywood has done any better lately. At least the characters in Live Free or Die have more depth to them.
If you're looking for something whimsical, surprising or deep, you'll be disappointed, but if you like the majority of SciFi movies, you will enjoy this.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Just what I love. Story about mankind's resourcefulness set in not so far future. Mankind triumphs thanks to few special individuals and ability to cooperate and work hard. In short " Don't mess with the Terrans"
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It's slightly hu-ya America or bust for a foreigners taste, but it's a really good yarn for anyone with a sci fi taste for space. Very funny too at times.
great military sci fi. Practical look at humanity in space and a great yarn. Certainly not fantasy rubbish.