Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1 Audiobook | David Brin | Audible.co.uk
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Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1 | [David Brin]
Play Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1

Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1

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?
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Publisher's 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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    Roy derbyUnited Kingdom 24/08/2009
    Roy derbyUnited Kingdom 24/08/2009 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Madeleine
    London, United Kingdom
    08/03/10
    Overall
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • James M
    Texarkana, AR, USA
    16/04/08
    Overall
    "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".

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Chad
    Grand Island, NE, USA
    19/04/08
    Overall
    "A True Classic"

    This is one of Brin's ealierier novels and the story telling is a bit stilted. Part of that is the process of Universe building. The concept of a universe based on Uplift is easy to grasp but hard to explain. The other part is that it was Brin's first published novel. Even a great first novel is a first novel. The story is a good mystery based on scientific possiblilities. The Universe he creates is interesting and engaging as are the characters.

    The narrator does an excellent job of dealing with both human, terrestrial and alien characters. They are clear and recognizable.

    I look forward to listening to the rest of the books.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Mike Pitts
    Farmington, AR USA
    23/10/08
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Disappointed..."

    I decided to pick this book up based on several of the reviews and the of some great Sci-Fi. With billion-year old science, I figured there were some fantastic possibilities here.

    Although the lack of any real exploration of the advanced science was disappointing, the characters were the true let down. Virtually every character is one-dimensional, often making decisions purely for the benefit of the story. For example, the main antagonist's actions lack any real sense of explanation and the "highly skilled and in control" female lead also crumbles into the protagonist's arms in a totally unbelievable fashion.

    The worst offender is the protagonist himself. The author tries to style him as a n almost James Bond-like lead, capable of almost any feat and always a step ahead of those who surround him. However, the effort falls flat, leaving an ultimately unbelievable character that I disliked more and more as story progressed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    mORRINSVILLENew Zealand
    21/10/08
    Overall
    "Mind Blowing Concept"

    I remember avidly reading Sundiver and its companion novels when they first came out. I was awestruck and deeply inspired by the ideas presented within the form of the story.
    Years later it has been fun revisiting Sundiver in this audio presentation. The narration is a little dry but gets up to speed as the story progresses. The writing is unexceptional but does the job. Here its the ideas that really matter, a must for fans of Silversberg, Heinlein and Neal Stephenson.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Clyde, NC, USA
    11/04/08
    Overall
    "The very best!"

    If you enjoy AC Clarke, Brim will thrill you. One of the greatest true science fiction writers I have read in the last 25 years.
    His awards through the years are ssoooo well deserved. The more you are aquainted with real science, the more you will love Brim's works!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    Tonganoxie, KS, USA
    08/05/08
    Overall
    "Dated and rather dull"

    You can't get more 70's than this book. The premise is an outgrowth of the Chariots of the Gods. The main character practices self hypnosis, and it produces results. And the technology is what a 70's person would predict (the main character has to hunt down a phone at one point). Not that all of this is bad, per se. But it is a pretty boring read, to boot. I got to the point where the main character was going to reveal the killer (yes, it pretty much follows a murder mystery format) and realized I didn't care who did it or why, so I quit listening.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Bill
    Lees Summit, MO, United States
    30/03/11
    Overall
    "Bought all three listened to only this one"

    I bought the trilogy after the repeated recommendation of a friend. However, I only listened to the first when I realized I would not be listening to anymore. --

    In the entire first half of the book (8 hours) there is only one action scene, there is no real significant character dialogue, and I wasn't invested in the characters. I fought myself to finish. --

    This book attempts to stress the Science in Science Fiction, but the science is so dated that it gave the story a shelf-life. This is not always the case with older scifi, but it is definitely what happened here, the story was too weak to support the setting, and the book was obviously written to express the setting. --

    The reader lacked any real emotion in his delivery, but does a good job making you aware who is talking with all but the female characters. The recording would have benefited from some editing. There are too many times I hear the reader make large swallows (I actually believe he was taking a drink) and other issues that made the production feel sloppy. --

    I reserve 1 star ratings for works that I cannot bring myself to finish, so this is the lowest rating I could give.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Auckland, New Zealand
    16/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great ideas and mystery"
    What made the experience of listening to Sundiver the most enjoyable?

    The unusual nature of the subject material, delivered in a way that made it seem like complete sense. Characters were compelling and complex


    Have you listened to any of George Wilson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Wilson has to account for a variety of species and personality types and does a fantastic job. He stays away from caricature and delivers both aliens and humans perfectly.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • T. Bisson
    Pacifica, CA
    03/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kind of Dull"
    Would you try another book from David Brin and/or George Wilson?

    Yes, I have read other books in the series and found them more interesting.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Brin again?

    Yes, but not based on this particular book/recording.


    What aspect of George Wilson’s performance would you have changed?

    I think Mr. Wilson has a good voice to listen to, however at the end of lines he would frequently stop and lick his lips or smack his tongue, it was very distracting.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Fatigue.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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