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Publisher's Summary

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival - a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....
©1985 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Take your earthquakes, waterlogged condominiums, swarms of bugs, colliding airplanes, and flaming what-nots, wrap them up and they wouldn't match one page of Lucifer's Hammer for sweaty-palmed suspense." ( Chicago Daily News)
"Massively entertaining." ( Cleveland Plain-Dealer)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By A book reader on 08-26-09

Very solid book

Yes, it's a bit dated, but it's also the first book of the comet/asteroid as the end of the world genre. In that sense it's groundbreaking and definitely worth reading.

Some people may have difficulty with the first several hours up until right before the comet makes landfall. Yes, the book jumps around, but there are lots of characters to weave into the narrative. And believe me, the payoff is worth it.

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33 of 33 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By DJM on 07-30-09

Good story from front to back

I read Lucifer's Hammer when it first came out, and couldn't resist ordering it in audio. The authors do a solid job of storytelling. The hardest part of any end of the world story is maintaining a worthwhile story for the aftermath. Destroying the world is easy. Making the aftermath both credible and engaging is harder. Niven and Pournelle create characters with enough depth that you can care about them and they place them in credible and interesting situations. The narration is solid. As one reviewer noted, there are a lot of characters. In print, Niven and Pournelle provide a "program" at the front of their books so you can easily refer back and identify characters in the early going until you have them straight. That is missing here (it would be meaningless to read aloud.) Still, it doesn't take that long to place all the characters and the book is well paced.

It's an enjoyable listen that I'll return to from time to time. Worth the credit.

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73 of 75 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tara on 12-24-12

Best-of genre

I keep coming back to this book again and again. It's brilliantly written and a pleasure to read. The story is told from several different viewpoints and the characters all feel real and believable. The disintegration of society and way people's lives change after the hammer are well done. A little 1970s-ish in places, but not in a bad way. I expect I'll be reading this again (and again).

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Melissa Elenes on 09-09-13

A 1970’s take on the End of the World

Before Deep Impact, before Armageddon there was Lucifer’s Hammer.

The novel is Crichton-nesque in its foundation in real science and level of detail; they carefully build the story and it teaches you a lot about comets/meteors and the havoc they can cause.

It was told from a 1970’s perspective; but good story telling doesn’t go out of fashion and it actually it’s a bit interesting looking back it after 40 years it ages well, almost a period sci-fi piece.

The Authors Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle are very well read and they disperse at the beginning of chapter insightful quotes from various other authors throughout the book. It helps make for very interesting reading, and I think I’ve added several new books on my to-read list.

It does start slow, but you need to have little patience while he builds the characters for you.

After the strike the second story begins, and it is as riveting as the telling of the strike and preparation for it are. It held my attention to the end.
An Interesting and satisfying read.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By The Lazy Book Reviewer on 02-23-14

A Classic for a reason

Any additional comments?

This book is getting a tad long in the tooth, being first published in 1977. But age has not removed the shine from this classic apocalyptic novel. If anything I feel that the age of the book adds to the story and in places makes for some hilarious reading.

All this aside Lucifer's Hammer delivers a story of a world that is in the path of a comet. Mankind knows it is coming close, just not how close. The start of the book is used well in informing the reader about comets and the science of predicting their paths. Our main characters are well grounded and we get a good feel for them.

Then the world comes to an end and Armageddon is let loose upon the earth. We watch the survivors struggle to come to terms with their new reality. It is fascinating to see how they change. Some rise to the challenge and some lapse into depravity. The plot is not a new one nor does it comes as surprise. But what makes it a truly great read is how well the author tells his tale. Also the thought is always in the back of your mind that what you are reading may one day be your reality, which in itself is truly scary stuff.

This book did leave with one question. Why the hell was it no called hammer fall.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By David on 09-18-15

Boring, boring, boring

Slow as buggery, piss weak storyline, too many players who all do nothing. A total waste of time, how do I get my money back?

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