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This is the greatest book I have ever read. Sure, its not an easy read - even in audiobook format - but the immense size of the undertaking is incredible. It's like one of those images that zooms out from a grain of sand, up and up, until it is all the way to the end of spacetime and beyond. The philosophy in this book is simply outstanding, deep, thoughtful and insightful. The last few chapters... well, they are worth the price of entry alone.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Imagine you went on a cruise and then listed all the places you had been, summarising the cultures and conditions experienced at each location. Being a bit of a wordsmith, you want to embellish the detail of each location, which you do you ad nauseam. You now take your creation and read it out using dreamy tones.
The above describes this book to a tee! No clot and no protagonists to love or hate. I stuck with it for as long as I could, but gave up halfway through. I can honestly say this was one of the worst books I have listened to in a long time.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
this is not a slam bam scifi, but rather a more meditative, philosophical piece. the opening is poetic in style and description. then there is the visits to other worlds and peoples section which I enjoyed more when it dealt with differing types of potential creatures and would have liked to see more of this, like Sagan's Cosmos, but this is a very early work and so kudos to Stapledon for stretching ideas beyond bug eyed monsters. this middle gets too political though, showing how these cultures seem to follow similar histories and it may be that he was satirizing human politics. the end is excellent with the meeting with the star maker, though again, not a shoot em up type of finish. overall i thought there was much to ponder and you can see the influence on Clarke's Childhood's End and 2001 and much more beyond. I will keep going with the Stapledon's available.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Blew my mind like few books I've ever read.
Speculative scifi novel? Metaphysical philosophy? Surreal dream-journey? Epic prose-poem?
yes, yes, yes, yes.
And it was published in 1937! Seriously amazing. Stapledon is an under-appreciated genius.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful