Red Mars : Mars Trilogy

  • by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Narrated by Richard Ferrone
  • Series: Mars Trilogy
  • 23 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.Although it is fiction, Red Mars is based on years of research. As living spaces and greenhouses multiply, an astonishing panorama of our galactic future rises from the red dust. Through Richard Ferrone's narration, each scene is energized with the designs and dreams of the extraordinary pioneers.

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What the Critics Say

"Generously blending hard science with canny insight into human strengths and weaknesses, this suspenseful sf saga should appeal to a wide range of readers." (Library Journal)
"The ultimate in future history." (Daily Mail)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Epic scope, pedestrian delivery

Let's start with the positives: the audio production of this recording is excellent and the narrator is top notch.

The book itself is epic in scope and tells the story of the settlement and terraforming of Mars in great detail. As far as I can ascertain, the author's research is impeccable and the descriptions of Martian geography and scientific processes are inspired.

So, what's the problem?

Well, there's the length, and there's the pace of the story. Even if it were only half its current length, this would be a big book. To sustain such a long narrative, you would hope for interesting characters, lively prose and plenty of incident and excitement. Sadly, all of these ingredients are absent.

The story unfolds at a glacial pace and the author studiously avoids anything approaching adventure. There are storms, but everyone survives them without too much difficulty. There are many journeys, all of them long, during which little or nothing happens. A mystery is solved in a dull and perfuctory fashion.

Events do finally take a more interesting turn in the final third of the book, but even so, there is too little danger and too much talk.

The prose is functional and competent but nothing more. The characters are flat and two-dimensional and given to delivering set speeches on scientific and political topics. Many of the minor characters seem to be there solely to provide information dumps.

There is plenty of New Age philosophising and cross-cultural apologetics along the way, all of which is no doubt very worthy, but this listener soon tired of it and longed for something interesting to happen. Some sections of this book sound like an attempt at dramatising whole articles from Wikipedia.

So: a long book which is well read and which has some fascinating scientific detail, but which offers little in the way of excitement or interesting characterisation.

I love science fiction, but I'm afraid that I found 'Red Mars' very dull.
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- N. Price

Boring

I note that it is highly rated by many people but I found it over-long with stereotypical characters one couldn't empathise with. The book is often commended for its well researched detail but the amount of detail acts as padding and gets in the way of the story - an encyclopaedia may have lots of well researched detail but that doesn't make it a good novel.
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- Jason

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-04-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books