"If you wish to understand the roots of modern science fiction, you have to read the Lensman saga." (Allen Steele)
"A finalist for a special Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series, 'Lensman' is considered by many sf heads to be the greatest of the space operas and clearly a source for such successors as Star Trek and Star Wars." ( Library Journal)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By melmoth2 on 04-07-08
He do the Aliens in different voices
Hugely entertaining space opera. Another example of a series that I sometimes struggle to read coming alive through the spoken word. The corny dialogue, which had always put me off Smith, is transformed into 40s film noir banter when spoken aloud. Just imagine Kate Hepburn as the heroine and Bogart as Kinnison and the whole thing falls into place. My only gripe is the alien voices who uniformly sound like bad Dr Who characters - pompous and constipated.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Mark on 03-10-10
Dated story and poor narration
I read these books when I was a teenager and thought them the best rip-roaring read I'd ever had. Now, 25 years on, they have dated even more than they had when I first read them. In the Lensman universe, high technology is all metal and machinery and you get a feeling that the smell of lubricating oil must pervade every spaceship's bridge.
That said, the scale of Doc Smith's imagination is second to none. I still want to meet an Arisian, to be Kimball Kinnison, to meet an auburn goddess and pile scorn on the Eddorians in the same way as I would boo and hiss at a pantomime. It's a man's universe that he conjures, of the Flash Gordon variety but without the high camp and I still love it.
The only thing that stops me from purchasing another book is the poor narration. Reed McColm is a master of 100 voices; unfortunately all of them his own. So, instead of adding to my enjoyment of the story with sharp vocal characterisation, his narration confuses me as I try to work out whether the character he's vocalising is Virgil Samms, Granite jawed hero of the Universe, or Clio, perpetually demur love interest and air head.
Please audible - a new narrator please.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By DJM on 18-03-09
Lensman Series is Still Fun
Okay. The narrator of this series is not the best. Nevertheless, this story still works if you can get past some of writing (the "look of eagles" in the eyes of Lensmen for instance). If you've never dipped into these before, get Galactic patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens in that order. If you are still hooked, go back and pick up First lensman. You have to be a real diehard lensmen fan to slug through Triplanetary.
This is classic space opera, good versus evil, with the guys in the white hats destined to win. Smith wasn't very good at envisioning future technology, but he comes up with some fun ideas. The inertialess drive is an interesting solution to FSL travel and the negasphere is one of the best Sci_Fi weapons ever imagined. His aliens are fun too, especially the frigid planet dwellers. Considering that the series was started in the late 30s, it holds up amazingly well.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By James on 10-07-08
Old Time Sci Fi at It's Best
The book is the grandfather of all space operas. It's story that takes place over 2 billion years and has every you could want from and old time Sci Fi yarn.
It has bug eyes aliens, Ultra weapons, Ether shields and plenty of battles.
The story is a little unwieldy in spots, and takes a little preserverance, but is well worth it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful