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I believe Dawkins recommended this book so highly because it is a thought-provoking book with a good storyline. Don't look at this book at a simplistic level - it has more interesting concepts that the 'post-apocalyptic what if...?' of surviving underground darkness and the resultant finely attuned hearing. If you are looking for a simple sci-fi read, this book will seem heavy-handed and boring but at a deeper level it contains elements of Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave', inevitable parallels with religion and plays with interesting ideas of perception. That is why this book was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1962 and only lost out to Robert Heinlein?s "Stranger in A Strange Land", a book repeatedly appearing in Top-10 lists of "Best Sci-Fi Books Ever". This book is well read and at six-and-a-half hours long is concise and entertaining. A highly recommended forgotten classic.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Interesting book plot well narrated. DO NOT LISTEN to the SPOILER INVESTED introduction though. The book's strength is in having a picture of the world slowly revealed. The introduction contains multiple SPOILERS & should be removed in my opinion.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Not only is this a very well imagined world where nobody can see - it is a world where humans have lost any understanding of sight; even the verb "to see" is lost to language.
While the premise might be a bit on the edge of believability (how many generations, really, would it take for humans to forget they ever could see?), the author is very consistent - there are no "slip ups" in referencing any aspect of sight.
The book has a philosophical look at light versus darkness (in both a literal sense and in a spiritual one) and this is also quite well-done: it doesn't feel at all patronizing or moralizing.
The story is perhaps a bit "dry" and involves a lot of rushing around, and the interpersonal relationships seem a bit contrived, but is very interesting in the different perspective it provides, more than for its storyline.
The narration is very good. (I skipped the ~7 minute introduction by Dawkins, however, because it was rather boring and not very well spoken.)
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
What does Eric Michael Summerer and Richard Dawkins (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Beware that the introduction from Richard Dawkins contains spoiler. I recommend to skip the introduction and go to the book. And then listen to the introduction after listening to the whole book. This introduction would better be a post-script.
Any additional comments?
I understand that people sometimes behave extremely unpredictably and illogically, but in my opinion the main character's behavior later in the book is quite exaggerated. However it is very difficult to predict what fears and psychological roadblock may prevail in person's had in such extreme situation. Otherwise the story is excellent.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful