The Modern Scholar

  • by Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • Narrated by Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Science fiction literature and films have contributed indelible images to the popular imagination, from H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles to the fiction of "cyberpunks". In addition to enthralling readers with breathtaking narratives and dazzling the imagination with mind-bending glimpses of possible futures, the best science fiction asks essential questions: What does it mean to be human? Are we alone in the universe, and what does it mean if we're not? Esteemed professor Michael D. C. Drout traces the history of science fiction in this series of stimulating lectures. From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to today's cutting- edge authors, Drout offers a compelling analysis of the genre, including a look at hard-boiled science fiction, the golden age of science fiction, New Wave writers, and contemporary trends in the field.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Really interesting, engaging lecture

As an avid Science Fiction reader, I am already pretty excited about the genre, but professor Drout got me even more excited. Although the lecture is rather concise and a few things could have been explored in more detail (I personally missed more information about Arthur C. Clarke, as I do not know that much about him), no major writer is missing and the whole lecture follows a well thought-out plan. What makes this audiobook better than any other recording of a lecture I have listened to, is a) that it obviously was conceived as an audio book and not a lecture and b) professor Drout is actually a very good narrator. He seems to improvise some times, adds some jokes here and there, but most importantly for a recorded lecture, you can hear his enthusiasm all the time.
I will definitely get his Fantasy lecture next month and I recommend this Science Fiction lecture to anyone who does have at least a slight interest in the genre or literature in general.
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- Jens

Excellent Scope and Excellent Analysis!

This is my second lecture series by Dr. Drout. His pleasant personality comes through in the way he communicates with you. He is knowledgeable and articulate, but yet brings things down to a level everyone can understand.

This is a great overview of Science Fiction literature. He hits all the biggies (Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Lovecraft, Bradbury) and some lesser knowns as well.

His analysis of some of the underlying themes and the effect of culture on the genre (and vice versa) was really insightful. I also appreciate that he appears to have read a boatload of science fiction, but yet is also a student of the classics, which gives him a broader perspective when offering literary criticism and stylistic observatiions.

The only authors I was suprised to see missing were Ben Bova and Michael Crichton. However, even so, this is a great primer for those just getting their feet wet in Science Fiction, and those who have been reading for years! I even picked up 10-12 new books that I'd like to read.

Great job Dr. Drout!
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-18-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books