• Sundiver

  • The Uplift Saga, Book 1
  • By: David Brin
  • Narrated by: George Wilson
  • Series: Uplift Saga, Book 1
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 31-03-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (51 ratings)

Summary

David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling, highly regarded works of contemporary science fiction. Beginning with Sundiver, Brin provides an intriguing exploration of humanity's future in the universe. For nearly a billion years, every known sentient species in the universe has been the result of genetic and cultural guidance - or "uplifting" - by a previously uplifted patron race. Then humans are discovered. Having already uplifted chimps and dolphins, humanity clearly qualifies as an intelligent species, but did they actually evolve their own intelligence, or did some mysterious patron race begin the process, then suddenly abandon Earth? The answer to this mystery might be as close as our own sun, but it will take a daring dive into its fiery interior to know for sure.
Sundiver begins David Brin's thoughtful, exhilarating exploration of a future filled with an imaginative array of strange alien races, dazzling scientific achievements, and age-old enigmas.
©1980 David Brin (P)2001 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Roy on 24-08-09

Awful..

I am a sci fi fan. I have read almost everything from the 60's onwards but somehow missed Sundiver. Now I get my books in audio format to listen to in the car and most are brilliant.

This one is not. The narrator has the most boring awful voice I have heard. Dull, monotonous, rumbling, unclear and those are his good points. But that would be ok if the story was good. Sadly this is not the case. It is a sad and tired example of 70's/80's sci fi. 2d characters, boring overlong descriptions, totally unrealistic dialog and cringeworthy sex.

I gave up half way through - something I have never done on an audio book before.

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4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Madeleine on 08-03-10

Very engrossing and well read

I downloaded this book on the recommendation of someone who had read the printed version and did so noting some of the earlier criticisms of this particular reading and the narrator.

I very much enjoyed the book. Brin's universe is one filled with political intrigue and trans-species rivalry. His inventiveness and descriptive powers of an environment as unlikely as the surface of the sun were excellent.

Like many, many sci-fi novels, I think it could have done with a slightly firmer editor's pen but, given the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also must respectfully disagree with the criticisms of the narrator's reading. Personally, I found it very well executed. I found the voices - which didn't seem silly to me at all - very helpful for keeping the panoply of aliens straight in my head.

All in all, I was very happy I'd bought and listened to it, and I have bought the other two in the series on the strength of my impressions of the first.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By James M on 16-04-08

good, but flawed

The first 4 hours of this book are pretty bad. Nothing much happens beyond finding out what "uplift" means. The main character, Jacob, goes from one place to another and talks to people and that's about it. To make matters worse Jacob is grief-stricken, making him detatched from humans, and has a kind of splintered personality; so there isn't any character development either. Dull.

After that things pick up a lot. Aside from the hard S.F. elements, and the world-building, there is a mystery- a pretty good whodunit- and the questions about what the aliens are up to, what's going on with the Solarians, and the revelations about Jacob's character. And some action too.

The narrator is terrific- especially considering he has to do 3 alien species, a dolphin, and a chimp. Talk about earning your pay!

That said, the first 4 hours are a real obsticle. Unless you are a Brin fan I'd advise getting "The Uplift War" instead. The "trilogy" is really 3 unconnected books set in the same universe. Execpt that "Startide Rising" is continued in the next "trilogy".

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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