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The Far Arena Audiobook

The Far Arena

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Publisher's Summary

While conducting exploration in the frozen Arctic, Texan Lew McCardle, a geologist working for the Houghton Oil company, discovers something remarkable: a body encased in the ice. More remarkable still, the skills of Russian researcher Semyon Petrovitch bring the man miraculously back to life.

This strange visitor from the distant past has an amazing story to tell. Translated from his native Latin by Nordic nun Olava, Lucius Aurelius Eugenianus reveals that in the era of Domitian he was a champion in the Roman Colosseum, a gladiator known far and wide as the greatest of all time.

An ingenious amalgam of science fiction, fantasy, and history, Richard Ben Sapir's The Far Arena is a breathtaking work of literary invention, at once thrilling, poignant, and thought provoking.

©2016 Richard Ben Sapir (P)2016 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.7 (3 )
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2.3 (3 )
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4.3 (3 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tasha 21/09/2016
    Tasha 21/09/2016

    Volvolady

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange story"

    I obviously liked the synopsis otherwise I would not have downloaded this book. But after listening for sometime I found it quite bewildering and only wished I could have returned it, but as I had recently returned my last choice I ploughed on. I will let others decide for themselves as we each have our individual taste and whilst it may appeal to one listener it may not to another.
    The story content started well enough, but then became inconsistent with the 21st century conversation the author gave to the lead character, (those who listen will understand what I refer to), which for me ruined the entire audio.
    I dislike giving a negative review as I prefer constructive criticism, but I really feel aggrieved that I have wasted a precious credit on such a silly theme. Perhaps others will find the deep meaning the author intended, hidden in the content.
    The narrator did a terrific job with pronunciation as he attempted to make a very strange story interesting.
    Sadly not my cup of tea!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nogginthenog 31/03/2017
    nogginthenog 31/03/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    16
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "A good listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The Far Arena the most enjoyable?

    I first read this book over thirty years ago, and have re-read it several times since: it is one of those books that stays with you. It is a little uneven in pace and parts may be questionable, but it is nevertheless still a good story ... listening to it rather than reading it actually succeeded in evening out some of the pace issues, and the narration was, I thought, excellent. I hadn't really thought much about the characters' accents when reading it, but the narrator captured them brilliantly and the whole thing came more alive for me than when on the printed page.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    04/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "classic Favorite doesn't disappoint"

    worried book would feel "dated" but it didn't. once in the story could not put it down. the narrator at first I wondered about but he is a skillful reader and I didn't need to worry. loved the book when it came out and loved the audible now. highly recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Marilyn Armstrong
    Massachusetts
    01/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Even better than the book!"

    This great book is finally available again in print as well as on Kindle and as an Audiobook from Audible.com. Thirty-six years after I first read it, you can buy it again. Now that I’ve listened to it for the first time (as opposed to reading it), it is not only as good as I remember. It is better.

    The Far Arena is classified as science fiction, but not in the traditional sense. It doesn’t fall into any genre except perhaps speculative fiction, which is a catch-all term for all the books that can’t be otherwise categorized. Time travel? Sort of, although the only “mechanism” is time itself.

    The story in brief: A Roman gladiator is flash frozen in the arctic ice. He is accidentally discovered by a team drilling for oil not far from the arctic. He is subsequently defrosted and brought back to life. What follows is his story as a Roman married to a Hebrew slave, and his perceptions of our modern world from the point of view of a man whose world disappeared 2000 years earlier.

    For example, while in the hospital, he asks about the slaves who serve him. He is referring to the to nurses and other workers who attend to his needs. His new friends explain that they aren’t slaves, that they work for wages and are free to leave, or be dismissed by their employers. He thinks this is a fantastic idea.

    “You mean they do everything you tell them to do, but when they get old and can no longer work, you don’t have to take care of them? What a great idea! Slaves without responsibility.”

    “They aren’t slaves,” insist his modern friends.

    “They are treated like slaves, they act like slaves. They are slaves,” he responds.

    That is paraphrasing, of course, but it’s the spirit of the dialogue. This isn’t a quick piece of dialogue in a long book about “other things.” The discussion of “what is slavery” is an underlying theme throughout the book along with “the corruption of giant corporations” which apparently has not noticeably changed between the days of the Roman Empire and today.

    Although I had read the book several times, I had never listened to it. I wasn’t intending to listen to the whole thing. I just wanted a little taste. I have a giant heap of books I have promised to read and I thought “I’ll give a little listen” and come back to finish it when I have more time.

    I had forgotten how good the book really is. It has been a long time since I picked up a book and was sucked in from the first paragraph until the very end … and was still wishing there would be more. It gave me a sharp pang, realizing how few really great books I read these days. How many are touted as great, but reading them, they are no better than ordinary and often far less.

    Not only was Richard Ben Sapir a brilliant writer, but Peter Noble is a terrific narrator. He handles dialects with ease and give the book the intensity it deserves. Never over the top, never too dramatic, he is as perfect as a narrator could be. And considering how much I love the book, I’m surprised to find myself saying it.

    I had a lot of trouble not restarting the book from the beginning and giving it a round 2, just in case I missed a paragraph somewhere. What is really eerie is how the main character, drawn into modern times following 2000 years of cryogenic sleep, understands this world better than the people he meets in 20th century Europe.

    The man from Rome understands corruption. He understands slavery, whatever we choose to call it. He knows that the rich and powerful will never support the poor and will always do what is to their benefit.

    It is a level of cynicism which sharply focuses the lens of 2017.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elle Meyer
    Chesterfield, MO
    06/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome Narrator"

    The story was riveting and the narrator was near perfect. I couldn't put it down. At first I didn't realize the book was almost 40 years old, but that doesn't affect the quality. I will definitely seek out more works by the author as well as the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Taishara
    West Chicago, IL United States
    24/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it"

    the narrator had an interesting version of an American accent especially a Texan accent. But was really a good reader for the whole book I really found it engaging. I found the story interesting. I didn't want to get out of the car when I went to work!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • P Gaenir
    Ozarks
    08/02/17
    Overall
    "Fabulous story. My first audiobook! Liked it a lot."

    This author probably knows more about ancient Rome than a Roman. Great depth to the human relations. Worth hearing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Linda Likes to Learn
    Omaha, Nebraska United States
    17/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonder of a concept!"

    Every emotion is writ all through this very unusual story of technology, science, death, life, greed, despair, love, friendship & finally understanding, acceptance, and- at last - peace. Scenes & perception of the ancient Roman world flashed thru my mind in full color - in both happiness & horror. A remarkable book that I will remember forever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mike From Mesa
    Mesa, AZ
    30/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great disappointment"

    I have been trying to understand why this book was such a disappointment for me. The story should have been interesting - an ancient Roman, frozen in ice, is revived in our present world, and all of those involved, the Roman, the doctor who revived him, the man who found him and the translator, must deal with the ramifications. Add to that the story of the Roman, his life, his loves and how he came to be frozen, and the book offered great opportunities for the author to explore and discuss the human condition.

    In fairness the author knows a great deal about ancient Rome and everything he wrote about Rome and how this ancient man tries to deal with the modern world, rings true. The plight of those involved in trying to deal with a situation never before encountered also seems real but, in the end, I found I just did not care about any of the characters. As accurate as the descriptions felt, as realistic as I thought the Roman’s actions to be, nothing made me care about any of the people and, at the end of the book, instead of wondering what happened to those still involved with the Roman, my first thought was that I was glad the book was finished, but sorry for the loss of time in listening to it.

    The narration is excellent, one of the best I have heard, but I was left not caring about Lou, the geologist who found him, Semyon, the doctor who revived him, Ola, the translator or the Roman himself.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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