The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct and the half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind, but the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory.
Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth, living in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters, or the need to repulse enemy incursion.
VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line, one of the Metro's best stations and secure. But a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro to alert everyone to the danger and to get help. He holds the future of his station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.
©2007 Dmitry Glukhovsky (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
Metro 2033 really is like nothing I've ever read/heard before, and the plot never follows your expectations. There are multitude of characters, and no matter how briefly they appear, you get the sense that they are beings in their own rights, who have full lives that happen to momentarily interconnect with Artyom's, as opposed to being literary devices to serve the plot's goals - something I have rarely come across. I've never had such a curiousity towards so many characters, and when you leave one behind, you are torn between excitement for the plot advancement and a sort of "wait, I want to learn more about this guy!".
The is a lot of backstory and explanatory asides in Metro 2033, particularly in the early chapters, however it never feels dull or slow, and it does really help to set the scene. I loved hearing about the different politics and religions that are found at each station, as you could really feel the amount of thought and skill that has been put in to making each station as unique as each character.
Rupert Degas should be praised for being an absolute joy to listen to. Having absolutely no familiarity with Russian, and seeing things like "VDNKh" in the blurb, I was worried that I would get lost in all the names and places, but Rupert is clear and enunciate. Furthermore he makes each character's voice distinct, so that you can easily tell who is speaking, without having to rely on "said ...." markers.
My only tiny gripe is that it was not very scary, as I was expecting - however this might be that the friend who recommended it to me over-hyped this aspect in an effort to get me to read/listen to his favourite book.
On the whole - an engaging and fascinating book full of rich detail that is incredibly well read. I highly recommend.
I love reading but never have time, I noticed i wasted time commuting to work, I found audible and have been a happy chappy since.
And by that I mean it goes weird and bleak! Well written, good characters, some of which I wish had lingered longer. I left the novel with a claustrophobic feeling of tunnels burried deep.
What a great book this is,
It'll give you chills and you'll dream about the heart pounding terrifying moments. Not a moment of rest from the amazing story always pacing ahead with the steady feeling of growth of the main character and with absolut absence of repetition. Not two scenes are alike and every scene is unique in its originality, you'll never get bored and will always want to get to the next chapter because you know that something amazing will happen, but at the same time you'll regret getting to the end of the chapter you're at because it is so very entertaining. Some scenes will freeze the blood in your veins.
The narrator is just perfect as well.
Get this a-book, you'll thank me later.
I had already read the book when I decided to pick up the audiobook. I'm relatively new to the audiobook world and decided that a story I was already familiar with was a good idea so that I could listen to it while doing work. I made the right decision. It was like hearing a story I loved in a completely different way all over again. I have listened to Librivox audiobooks before mainly so the idea of casts of characters and, particularly in this case, proper pronunciations and accents blew me away.
Cannot recommend both the book and this recording of it enough. Buy it for the story, stay for the reading quality.
Well written and narrated story, I was hooked from the 1st to the last word, total suspense and not over played on the mystery, with a huge unexpected twist at the end, defiantly worth the listen again and again.
The concept is very interesting, world is nicely structured and is full of interesting details. But the story is slow paced and very fragmented. The protagonist travels from one situation to another and encounters different kind of people. Writer's focus seems to be presenting different kinds of political and ideological views with as wide spectrum as possible. Than kind of makes them quite stereotypical: nazis are evil and religious people nutcases etc.
Jumping from one encounter and episode to another made the story too slack for my taste, so I stopped listening after about 2/3.
Although I might give it another chance some day.
Tense, Cerebral, Action
The Librarian section was one of my favourite parts of the book, but it was only 1 of many.
I didn't get the story. I'm not sure if it's just me but it seemed to be a jumble of events clumsily coming together and by 9hrs in I was lost. The narration by Rupert Degas is as fantastic as ever. He is by far and away my favourite narrator and his Russian accents are brilliant.
In short, great performance but poor story. I returned it!
"Read it while playing the game!"
I started playing the game before reading this book, and finished them both together, there are almost no spoilers shared between the video game and the book, on the contrary, they compliment each other better than any other book+movie or book+video-game I have seen so far.
I recommend you do them both together, don't start one after you finish the other, trust me it will make the experiences on both mediums much more amazing than any one would have been on its own..
I myself play a lot of games but if you don't, I think you might even enjoy it more, you can find the game cheap on online digital stores.
"A soulsearching adventure with horror"
Psychological horror adventure
The main character development during the story makes him very interresting. It also makes you question yourself during the story if you would share his views or not as the story progresses.
When the main character is returing to his home station and he start asking himself about everything that has happen to him and he survived and others did not.
A story that will make you question your own place in the world and what is truly valuable and what is not.
The book itself is a bit hard to read on its own. Mainly because it was translated in a very google-like way. With the audiobook, however, it becomes much easier to follow the story all the way to the end. I recommend when you buy the book to buy this audiobook as well. I will guarantee that you will not be dissapointed when you do that.
"Excellent in every aspect!"
Probably THE best audiobook i have heard and my guess is it will stay the best for a long time.
Rupert Degas is an excellent narrator but this is one of his best performances.
The book gave me chills several times over and the ending forced a few tears to my eye.
"An astoundingly atmospheric audio book."
Brilliantly narrated with perfect Russian pronunciation a truly chilling listen, highly recommend for fans of the games story and atmosphere but be forewarned there are a lot fewer gunfights.
I listened to this while I worked. Brilliant storyline. I was originally attracted to this from previously playing the games, but as they are vaguely similar, it's hard to compare them. All I can say is that I loved this and I would (and already have) recommend this to any of my friends. I'm on my way to starting Metro 2044 aswell.
"Amazing book, great narration."
Extremely good book especially if you're a fan of the game series as it gives background information on characters creating a richer development. Very good narration as well.
"Post Apoc character journey at it's best"
No, only because I never read / listen to books a second time, but I would recommend to friends.
Artyom, the book is more about his character then a specific plot (although there is a driving goal) Artyom is well written with complexity to make you want to see his development throughout.
I really enjoyed his Russian accents varying from character to character without feeling over produced.
If you only have time to see one movie before the apocalypse, see this one.
This book was a very pleasant surprise, I picked it up because I had just got the video game and it far exceeded all expectations. If you like things such as "The Road" and "The Walking Dead" you will probably like this.
I bought this book because I played the games and thought the storyline in the games was amazingly interesting. The book wasn't bad and the Narrator was awesome. My GF read the russian version of this book at the same time and we both have a very similar opinion. Not bad, the idea behind this book is a lot more interesting. It kept my interest I was hoping for more, I don't think I can really recommend it to anyone unless you are just into the post apocalyptic type stories. I hated the ending, there were 2 games, the first game followed the book, if I can find book two that follows game 2, I think I would buy it. :)
"Not a book for me"
Heard so much good abut it but was please end so i can listen to something else.
"Men with Guns"
I got through about a third of this audio book before I got terminally bored. The book has a very interesting premise but it is not well realised, and for my part I absolutely refuse to listen to a book that appears not to have a single female presence. I've enjoyed plenty of books with male protagonists where women don't play major roles, but Metro 2033 is ridiculous. Artyom is male, his friends are male, he travels through the Metro and meets more males. Maybe women feature later in the book, but I had already waded through hours with barely a mention and I lost faith that the author had ever actually met any. The only mention I can recall at this point was a dismissive comment between two males. Maybe some future reviewers who get through the whole book will correct my rather negative impression.
On the plus side, the book is beautifully narrated. Rupert Degas is one of the best narrators around and I almost kept listening to the book just to hear his voice/s.
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