Stress Pattern

  • by Neal Barrett Jr.
  • Narrated by Jeff Hays
  • 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The essence of a truly null-Earth logic may never be as clearly defined as in this novel-length package of interplanetary surprises. Ride The Wormway To No-Wonderland. Consider this marooned astronaut. His spaceship and supplies are swallowed in one gulp by something from beneath the featureless plain of an unknown world. The natives are not hostile but incurious. He fathers a child without ever touching the mother. It's when he does physically create his true offspring that he gets his most startling surprise.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ignore the publisher's summary this is really good

I read the publisher's summary for this and it sounded bad but a friend promised me it was good and worth the read and I'm glad I took their advice. The summary is not wrong in what the book is about but it makes it sound... awful. And it isn't.

The book opens with Andrew as the only survivor of some sort of interstellar accident. He got to his life pod and his life pod got him to this planet. From there it covers his adventures on the planet as he discovers about the planet and its population, revealing more and more of the planet right up until a nice climax.

The book itself is a slow burn and a bit difficult to go through in the first half. It has no real narrative drive, in that Andrew just ambles about from one thing to the next without any real overarching reason. This to me was possibly the biggest problem with the book and if it wasn't so short I may have been inclined to give it up. but I'm glad I didn't. Andrew doesn't really have a "I want to leave this planet" drive, or have a mission, like John Carter in Princess of Mars does (another "thrown onto a strange world" book that actually does have a narrative drive). he has curiosity that keeps him going, and I guess that is what kept me going. Curious as what the world was like. And also the snarky humour, which I always enjoy.

The world itself is interesting. The aliens are humanoid, but not straight "earth like creatures" that you sometimes see. while reading through the aliens actually had an otherworldly feel to them. While different they reminded me in some ways of the Piggies from Speak For The Dead and in other ways of the alien in Solaris. As more and more is revealed (the first half is a bit of a slog to get through) about the world it gets more and more interesting.

The narration was really good. Each character has distinct voices and characteristics. The story was clear and carried well. The snarky humour was also conveyed well by the narrator.

Overall, thoroughly enjoyable.
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- Kingsley

Odd Nth Encounter Novel

Where does Stress Pattern rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Somewhere in the middle of the pack. The story itself is where this fell short but the performance that accompanied it gave it enough to make it an enjoyable listening experience.


Would you recommend Stress Pattern to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend it to friends just because it's an interesting perspective both of the main character and the world that it exists on.


Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was probably Andrew's first encounter where he was attempting to follow someone who had no interest in him whatsoever. The narrative would detail him getting absorbed in something then looking up to see where the being had gotten and he'd catch up and repeat the process.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, it was entertaining and whatnot and there were some elements that made me think about how I'd react in the situation, but those reactions were mild.


Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook through a giveaway by the narrator but that fact has not altered my view on either the story or the performance. I will be looking for more of Jeff Hays narrations, and keeping Barrett in mind though perhaps making sure the story better fits what I'm looking for before taking subsequent dives.

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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-11-2014
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press