When Lister got drunk, he really got drunk!
After celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturns moons, wearing a lady's pink crimplene hat and a pair of yellow fishing waders, with no money and a passport in the name of "Emily Berkenstein".
Joining the Space Corps seemed a good idea. Red Dwarf, a clapped out spaceship, was bound for Earth. It never made it, leaving Lister as the last remaining member of the human race, three million light years from Earth, with only a dead man, a senile computer, and a highly evolved cat for company.
They begin their journey home. On the way, they'll break the light barrier. They'll meet Einstein, Archimedes, God, and Norman Wisdom...and discover an alternative plane of reality.
©1989 Rob Grant and Doug Naylor; (P)1992 Laughing Stock Productions Ltd
Chris Barrie makes this book his own. His knowledge of the characters and his vocal prowess shines through and really animates the narrative. Obviously his Rimmer is first class but his depictions of Lister, Holly, Cat and Kryten are all spot on.
As the previous reviewer noted this book takes some of the plot lines from the TV series and jumbles them up a bit and adds new elements and back story. Whilst this might warp the listeners expectations slightly it in no way lessens the quality of the story. In fact I think it adds to it and delivers a more in-depth exploration of the characters.
An absolute must for any Red Dwarf/Sci-fi/Comedy fan.
Chris Barrie narrates this novel with skill and vocal dexterity. His character voices are spot on faithful to the TV series. This book has most of the plot lines from the Red Dwarf series but more of the back plots are explained, especially the time before Lister joined the space corp. The material is great and the narration is excellent. Sometimes the book deviates from the characters that were developed on the TV series, but put this to one side and accept that this book was the start of the whole Red Dwarf series and all will be well. A good spend of this months credit!
I love it, it's fantastic! Chris does such an excellent job of doing all the voices it's almost creepy. I'm sure it must annoy the rest of the original cast because Chris Barrie could comfortably pull off a one man radio show!
Superb story, which I've read before, and yes I will be buying the next book but will try and delay for as long as possible because there are no more after that one :-(
I have laughed out loud at this a number of times, not a good idea on the bus on the way to work! The tone of the narration is spot on. A must listen for all Red Dwarf fans
Even if you have never seen the TV series this is a hugely entertaining fun filled scifi book brought fully to life by the excellent characterisations of Chris Barrie's reading. It has everything, non conformist anti hero,supported by a cast of individuals who would not be out of place in a Dickens novel, if he wrote science fiction. Romance, adventure, sacrifice, and pathos in the life of the the last human in the universe. You do not want it to stop, and certainly at the end you will be looking for the sequel.
Wonderful to hear the book ready by Chris Barrie but the sound quality is pretty poor in places.
What a great buy this was. It's the story of how Red Dwarf came to be. Chris Barrie has an amazing knack of impersonating the whole team, though Listers scouse was a little too pronounced !. I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend to any smeg head !!
I finished this today, having not read this book in about a decade. I'm so glad I'd forgotten almost all of it, because hearing it all over again with the voice of Chris Barrie was just wonderful!
He gets all the intonations just spot on, except, ironically, for Rimmer, which he has a tendency to over-compensate and make a little high-pitched, to disassociate it from his own voice. However, it's infrequent and doesn't detract from the experience.
The story is as good as it ever was, aside from a few misses in the future-tech front (the ships photo development lab for example!) but somehow it adds to the charm of the book, capturing the utter mundanity of life, even hundreds of years from now. And anyway, their comedy writers, not Michio Kaku!
The only problem is this was my free download and now I'll actually have to fork out for the sequel!!
Really excellent book, and really well read by Chir Barrie. It had me in stitches at time. Science fiction, comedy, totally bizzarre scenarios. I would recommend it for those who like Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I had seen a few of the episoded previsouly and didnt really sustain my interest, but the audio book was something else totally. I was so engrossed it in. I immediately bought the next one (better than life), and enjoyed that too throughly. I did revisit the TV series, and realised the differences, and again didnt really sustain my interest.
I've been wanting to find this book unabridged for years! Chris Barrie is an awesome narrator, and I wish he read more books. The way he can do the voices of all the RD characters is nothing short of amazing! Thank you, Audible, for making this book available. Let's hope that Better than Life is coming soon!
"An essential for Dwarfers"
I only recently got into Red Dwarf, but found myself addicted quite quickly. The show and characters are great at cheering me up and this book works just as well.
As others have said, the story is pretty much just the best bits from the first few series woven together into a single narrative. The book does address a few questions not answered in the series though such as: When/How did Lister and Rimmer first meet? Do the Cat people have names? as well as quite a bit of reconning especially with the relationship between Kochanski and Lister. Though the story was not entirely original, I still enjoyed listening to it in this way and I intend to hang onto it for a rainy day.
As everyone else has said, Chris Barrie is perfect. I actually thought Llewellyn was also involved since Barrie's Kryten is completely flawless. You do almost forget there is only one narrator. I mean, Chris Barrie got his start doing impressions, so it's not too surprising, but a treat nonetheless.
I enjoyed this book, and I'm sure any Dwarfer would as well. It's worth the price.
"In Space No One Can Hear You Smeg!!!"
A classic Audio Production that needs more like it in the series to be offered on Audible.
Chris Barrie does a spectacular reading and does the impressions of his cast members don to a T.
We would welcome more of this to Audible
"A great Sci-Fi parody classic."
If you liked "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", "Airplane" the movie, Naked Gun or anything like them you'll probably like this too. If you hate them you'll probably hate this. I loved this series, I loved this book when I got it as a kid as one of my first science fiction books from the sci-fi book club in the mail. When I first read it I didn't realize it was parody until I was well into it. This was probably my first exposure to parody sci-fi/fantasy stories and warped me. With Chris Barie's, one of the actors from the TV show based on this book reading it is a real delight since he is very talented at doing different voices for the characters. A must buy for parody and Red Dwarf fans.
Lister gets frozen for 3 millions years to save him from a radiation leak on the mining ship Red Dwarf and ends up as the last living human in the universe. With a creature that evolved from his pet cat and the hologram program of his dead annoying roommate Rimmer and a senile computer of the ship named Holly he decides to turn the ship around and find out what happened to humanity in 3 million years and survive with his sanity intact.
"Must Listen for RD Fans!"
Totally hilarious, just like the show in its glory days. Chris Barrie, Rimmer on the show, is the perfect narrator. Of course he can do Rimmer, but his impressions of Lister, the Cat, Holly and Kryten are spot on as well. This isn't just a novelization tie-in, this is a very enjoyable story in its own right. Do not miss!
"Better Dead On Red"
Bad joke, that headline. Needs explanation. On the spaceship Red Dwarf, three million years in the future and untold light years from home, one may very well be better off dead (and subsequently restored as a hologram with one's personality fully intact), as is the case with the annoying Rimmer, than still alive, as is his roommate and subordinate Lister, the last living human, a slacker supreme.
I start off this review of Red Dwarf with a bad joke of my own creation because that, in sum, is my reaction to the novelization of the popular and successful British TV series -- the jokes in this comic science fiction novel, drawn from a sitcom, are just not funny. Just. Not. Funny. Example: a state of confusion is analogized to being like an Alsatian (i.e. German shepherd) after a head-change operation -- not only unfunny, but not even remotely comprehensible.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I don't get the English sense of humor. Although I have no issue with Monty Python, the original Ricky Gervais version of The Office, Ali G, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to name just a handful of English TV comdeies that come immediately to mind. The Hitchhiker's Guide is a particularly apt corollary, as I arrived at it through the novels rather than the original radio series, and it remains the gold standard for comic sci-fi in multimedia formats, and is clearly the role model for Red Dwarf.
But who am I to argue with success? Red Dwarf is widely praised and much loved in its various formats, although the books seem to be the least prolific of those formats, perhaps because it doesn't work as well as a sitcom. The novel benefits from a more complete back story than the TV show, and the audio version benefits from being narrated by the actor who played one of the main characters on TV (Rimmer). Overall, I wouldn't say it was bad. I just didn't get more than an occasional snort from what is supposed to be a comedy.
"Helped if you watched the TV series"
My wife and I loved the Red Dwarf television series so this review is very biased. This audiobook's content actually filled in some of the gaps in the storyline of the TV series so I'm not sure how this book will appeal to anyone who is not already familiar with the series. The narrator actually played Rimmer in the series and voices the other characters impeccably like those on TV.
"Not a very good story, but a wonderful performance"
The one star is for the book. The narrator gets five.
I would only recommend this book to fans of the television show for the sake of hearing the narration by Mr. Barrie, which is the best reading of a fictional work I have heard, in terms of acting skill. He precisely impersonates the other actors he starred with on the BBC program. It is truly impressive.
But I found the story to be a disappointment, so I wouldn't recommend this one to those unfamiliar with the show.
"For serious fans only."
If you're a fan of the series, it's a great review of things, and has some enjoyable bits to it. If you're not, there's a lot not to recommend--in particular, the chapters are bookended by an instrumental rendition of the show's theme...done at the end and beginning of the chapter. Yes, this means that you have to listen to it twice, back to back, in order to get to the next bit of the story. Still, if you're a fan, it's worth enduring some rough patches to enjoy the story.
I love the story and I absolutely love Barrie's narration. How does he do all those voices?!
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