The astounding new novel from the master of science fiction. What would happen if the world were ending?
When a catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb, it triggers a feverish race against the inevitable. An ambitious plan is devised to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere. But unforeseen dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain....
Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown, to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is at once extraordinary and eerily recognizable. He explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
©2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2015 Neal Stephenson
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Critic reviews

"Genius." ( Time)
"He makes reading so much fun it feels like a deadly sin." ( The New York Times)
"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century." (William Gibson)
"[Stephenson is] the hacker Hemingway." ( Newsweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 24-07-15

Mixed feelings

The scope and ambition of this novel are staggering, and I can't think of another author who could hope pull something like this off successfully. I'm not convinced Stephenson has, but there's still much for fans to like.

The good: Stephenson's usual elements are all present and correct: physics, engineering, code breaking and a smattering of martial arts. The plot moves along at a decent clip for the most part, and the large cast is handled pretty well.

The bad: The pacing is a little uneven, and the plot losses impetus in the final third. More fat could have been trimmed in some parts too. That large cast and expansive plot don't leave too much time for character development either (with a few notable exceptions).

I'm less torn about Peter Brooke's performance. He took on a mammoth task with this one, and I'm afraid he fell short for me. He does competently for the most part, but a few of the accents were like nails on a chalkboard. If I read this again it'll be the paper version.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. E. Brewington on 31-07-15

Soooooo... that's it?

Started strong, created, and then kinda just petered out. Ending was a bit droll. Some of the themes were questionable, and a few times hard line ideologies were unnecessarily pushed. While a few characters were interesting, most were pretty much predictable and one sided wooden personalities. For such a long book, a bit more character development, but he spent too much time stroking his own ego.

Worth a listen, but only if you ran out of things on your bucket-list.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Wanda on 17-08-15

Not his best...

I normally love the detail that the author puts into his stories, but this time it's just too much.
My ears did the aural equivalent of my eyes glazing over. It's technical - very, very technical.
I mostly listen to my books in the car and with this one I found myself blanking out large portions.
There are interesting bits, however, so it isn't a complete washout.
Oh, and some of the accents are way off! It would have been better that the narrator didn't attempt some of them.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Laurie J. on 04-04-16

Narrator is really poor

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator attempted to shift voices for the different characters, but is clearly not skilled enough to do it. One of the main character's sounded like frog every time he started speaking. Regional accents the narrator attempted are way way off.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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