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Publisher's Summary

High above the planet Harmony, the Oversoul watches. Its task, programmed so many millennia ago, is to guard the human settlement on this planet, to protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all protect them, most of all, from themselves. The Oversoul has done its job well. There is no war on Harmony. There are no weapons of mass destruction. There is no technology that could lead to weapons of war. By control of the data banks, and subtle interference in the very thoughts of the people, the artificial intelligence has fulfilled its mission.
But now there is a problem. In orbit, the Oversoul realizes that it has lost access to some of its memory banks, and some of its power systems are failing. And on the planet, men are beginning to think about power, wealth, and conquest.
©1992 Orson Scott Card (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"I'm hooked....A thoroughly enjoyable piece of storytelling. What the heck - bring on number two." ( Chicago Tribune)
"Card is a master storyteller, and The Memory of Earth is eminently readable." ( The Seattle Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sam on 01-14-10

Better than I remember it

I read this book (and indeed this entire series) about 7 years ago - its been a pleasure to revisit the world of harmony. The reader narrates the book very well, giving each of the characters both a fitting and distinguishable voice during dialogue. In narrative, the reader is clear and easy to understand allowing the listener to drift into the world.

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21 of 23 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Tech Nut on 05-14-08

Interesting Premise

I have read a lot of OSC -- all of the Ender series (both of tracks) as well as the first Alvin Maker. This volume is not as good as Ender (any of them), but few Sci-Fi books are in my estimation. Like Alvin Maker, it leaves you hanging at the end, needing to know what happens next. I will say it ends at a natural break, while Alvin Maker stops way too soon.

The Memory of Earth offers an interesting take on humanity's seemingly inevitable quest to destroy itself. OSC is a master of strategy and I think this book also shows that mind at work. I am looking forward to Vol. II to see if the Oversoul's plan works out.

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25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ian on 12-21-08

Great book - dull reading

I couldn't disagree more with the first review. The plot of the book does mirror the fall of man. I think that most people, when they look around the world at Africa, Afghanistan, the Middle East etc. etc. will not have much problem with the basic premise - that man left to himself turns to evil more often than not. The concept of handing over control to the women because they are less prone to warlike behaviour is an interesting one that is effectively explored. The characters are thoroughly believable. I love the way in which Card conveys the tensions of family life - the affection and the chafing. The audiobook is marred by a dull reading with little (and inconsistent) differentiation between the characters.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Matthew on 12-10-08

Gave me memories of better books...

I have to be honest, I found this book entertaining enough to listen to until the end, so it hasn't been a waste of money entirely. But had I been reading a physical book it would probably have been too much effort.

There's such simplicity in the whole thing. I found the dialogue a little forced and the characters somewhat without significant depth. I feel I'd discovered the most important parts of the whole saga by about half way through and found the rest of the time I winced at the theme whilst skipping backward to hear the bits I'd missed whilst disagreeing.

It's fair to say that I found the highly religious sub-text a little difficult to swallow in it's one-sidedness. In fairness I suppose the story itself has merit - which is why I chose to listen, and it's credibly written. I'm not going to read any further.

The whole thing basically suggests that in order to stave off self-destruction humanity should cap it's ambitions and lead a religious life style. It basically dresses up what is effectively mind control as something appealing which we should embrace. From a man who believes homosexuality should be against the law I suppose it's not overly surprising that it might not fulfill my wildest expectations. Definitely a disappointment and I'd spend your credit elsewhere.

Not much else to say about a thoroughly unremarkable book other than it felt as though I was listening to soft-core science-fiction for the otherwise easily-offended.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Scott on 09-07-16

Typical Orson Scott Card - Great!

I was hesitant about the poor reviews but the story was good stuff and I shouldn't have worried! Buying the second book now.

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