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I have had the Helliconia series of books for many years and have read them at least 3 times. As with other Brian Aldiss titles they are not the fastest paced books ever but tell a detailed narrative about a world so much like our own yet so different. The solar system is such that winter and summer last for generations and natives of the planet have to adapt to this by undergoing a dangerous metamorphal disease each time. This same disease makes it guaranteed death for any off worlders who land on the planet. Added to this the fact that the humanoids are in competition with another intelligent species - the phagors and you get a world of intrigue and extremes. Yes I enjoyed this series and recommend putting the time into listening to it, you will be well rewarded.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
After posting a poor initial view earlier I have now finished this book and am halfway through the second in the series - Helliconia Summer. As another reviewer said the pace is slow but the vastness of the vision behind these stories is immense. If you're prepared to weather the first part and understand that the author is giving us a huge background plot - the planet and it's two suns - plus some ideas on how society is influenced and reacts to the massive climatic changes wrought by an eliptical orbit. In Helliconia Spring we also get our first fleeting glimpse of the earth observation station but very litte detail. For that we have to wait until Helliconia Summer...
This is an epic work and reveals great depth of imagination by Brian Aldiss. If you're looking for a shoot 'em up type sci-fi then this is not for you. If you are prepared to go with the flow and have your thought expanded - albeit in an unusual direction - then give it a try.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
What didn’t you like about Christopher Slade’s performance?
For the love of God! Was this book recorded in Christopher Slade's den? On a Radio Shack cassette recorder? Page turns, stomach noises, mouth noises and gulping and gulping and gulping. Loved this book when I read it, but the narrator - with a pleasant enough voice - isn't edited at all! You can hear a chair creaking and this constant really annoying - GULP every time old Chris starts a new page. Not a professional recording at all and it really gets in the way of the story.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Started really, really slow with new vocabulary and alien references that are hard to follow in audio format. Just finished listening to it - after working on it for a year, because it was so slow to start. Once I got over the hump however (about 1/2 way through) the story lines started to come together. I am buying the follow on because it got to be a good story - very Pillars of the Earth / Ken Follett.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful