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Battlefield Earth

Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi and New York Times Bestseller
Length: 47 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (377 ratings)

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Summary

Audie Award Winner

Earphones Award Winner

Best of 2016 Science Fiction Audiobook

If you liked Dune, Atlantis Gene and Star Wars—you will love Battlefield Earth!

In the year A.D. 3000, Earth is a dystopian wasteland, plundered of its natural resources by alien conquerors known as Psychlos. Fewer than thirty-five thousand humans survive in a handful of communities scattered across the face of a post-apocalyptic Earth.

From the ashes of humanity rises a young hero, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. Setting off on an initial quest to discover a hidden evil, Jonnie unlocks the mystery of humanity’s demise and unearths a crucial weakness in their oppressors. Spreading the seeds of revolt, Jonnie and a small band of survivors pit their quest for freedom in an all-out rebellion that erupts across the continents of Earth and the cosmic sprawl of the Psychlo empire.

For the fate of the Galaxy lies on the Battlefield of Earth.

“Over 1,000 pages of thrills, spills, vicious aliens, and noble humans. I found Battlefield Earth un-put-downable.”—Neil Gaiman

“I found it delicious. A masterpiece.”—Robert A. Heinlein

“Pulse-pounding mile-a-minute sci-fi action adventure that does not stop. It is a masterpiece of popular adventure science fiction.”—Brandon Sanderson
“Space opera that hits the right notes. It's provocative, exhilarating and genuinely enjoyable.”—SCIFI.COM
 

Unlike any other audiobook ever produced—a fully immersive experience. This state-of-the-art audio engineering has created a wholly cinematic soundtrack with:

  • 47½ hours of pulse-pounding drama and action professionally recorded with high-definition sound.
  • A gorgeous cinematic soundtrack with full orchestral compositions and more than 150,000 sound effects.
  • A cast of more than 65 actors—many of whom are celebrity voices from TV, films, and games, performing 198 characters.

Additional performers include: Roy Abramsohn, Corey Burton, Nancy Cartwright, Bob Caso, R. F. Daley, Charles Davis, Neil Dickson, Ellen Dubin, Jim Meskimen, Tamra Meskimen, Michael Gough, Kaleo Griffith, Christina Huntington, Larrs Jackson, Don Leslie, Ralph Lister, Mark Mintz, Phil Nee, Joe Ochman, Mr. Phil Proctor, Enn Reitel, Patrick Renna, Alan Shearman, Thomas Silcott, Tadao Tomomatsu, Bob Walter, Matt Wolf, Robert Wu, Michael Yurchak, Gregory Lee Kenyon, Darren Richardson, Jason Wilburn, Rick Zieff, and Roger Steffens."  

©2016 Galaxy Audio (P)2016 Galaxy Audio

Critic reviews

"This epic sci-fi adventure is breathtaking." (Stefan Rudnicki)

"A vivid movie of the mind." (AudioFile)

"Pulse-pounding mile-a-minute sci-fi action adventure that does not stop. It is a masterpiece of popular adventure science-fiction." (Brandon Sanderson)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Awful, just awful..

I read this when it came out and thought it to be a long and undemanding pulp sci-fi novel harking back a way to the 50's golden age from whence the author emerged. Great for whiling away hours at sea without putting too much strain on the brain.

This 'production' tries to elevate it into something grand and wonderful and fails miserably.
I find it's always a good thing when reading vintage sci-fi to suspend cultural sensitivities in favour of the ones prevailing at the time of writing (sexism, implied homophobia etc) else you could never enjoy the Lensmen books for instance but this writing is riddled with every kind of predjudice and stereotype presented in a way in which it is difficult to get past.

The story itself is simple enough, an everyday tale of one man's crusade to throw off the burden of Alien parasites and remake the world in his own view (A Mary Sue if ever there was one) but the production is horrid. The voice acting isn't awful considering what the actors have to work with, that no character has more emotional depth than a puddle and dialogue which might just make it into the Beano on a slack week but it's the music which really puts the tin hat on it. I seem to recall that Hubbard wrote music to accompany the original novel. If this is it, then I pity anybody involved in its recording. It is hackneyed, stereotyped, has no sympathy with the story, seems bolted on where it can be fitted in, usually at the end of each chapter and became a real endurance test as the thing continued. I took to skipping past as much as I could. That the skip function on the Audible player would also miss out some of the story was often a bonus.

In all I persevered with this as long as I could. Why? I struggle to answer that even now.. I had to go away and read an Alastair Reynolds just to get my head back on straight.

I can't begin to think who might enjoy this and if you are tempted, read the book.

Caveat Emptor

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Might be the most boring book I’ve ever read

Yawn, dearly me. The length doesn’t constitute good value. The production company are very proud of this work but I was very rarely intrigued by any of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Many Layers and multiple stories in one book.

I read this book more than once until it didn't return from a lend so going back to through audible was a lot of fun. Slow start that feels thin but by the time you listen to the last chapter you will be exhausted. Doesn't show it's age either. Well Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Read this many moons ago..

I read this book some years ago and was transfixed by it. Probably one of my favourite books in the Genre.

When I saw that this book was on audible, my jaw hit the desk! I was a little unsure about the theatrical version, if I'm to be honest. But, wow! Was I wrong! It's done really well, really well. The only gripe I have is the annoying music at the end of each chapter, but, it's only a minor thing.

The voice actors do a fantastic job, which makes them very memorable.

All in all, it's well worth a listen, or read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A struggle! The story is very poor for me.

A lot of people seem to like this book, but for me it rambled on and on seeming endless, with unbelievable plots etc. Ive not quite finished it but i can't bring myself to listen to any more.

The narration is fine it's just the story that I have a problem with. 2/10. Must try harder.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

okay story, irritating production and acting.

This is a mammoth audio book, the biggest I've listened to so far. It consists of around 248 chapters. The story itself is not bad at all. Considering when it was written, it still holds up well today as a credible Sci-fi adventure.

The let down with this particular audio book is the (over) production and overly romantic notion of the Scottish, who feature heavily in the story from around two thirds in. I am a Scotsman myself and I found the voice acting pretty grim and the image of "The Scatts" (say with a dramatic American accent to appreciate what is to come your way in the audio book) with their Lachaber axes and Claymore swords to be amusingly stereotypical and a little annoying after a time.

The real downfall is the closing tune that accompanies the last 30 seconds of EVERY chapter. At first it sounds very dramatic and fits the scene. There are maybe 10 different chapter tunes and you'll soon tire of listening to them. I found myself racing for the skip button as soon as I could sense the music coming on. With so many chapters you will be forced (unless you master the skip button) to listen to around 2hrs of chapter closing tunage.

Despite the criticisms I think overall it was worth a credit and if you are struggling to find something to listen to and you like sci-fi then give it a go, but only if you've got nothing else on your wish list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story.

I loved the story but the longer I listened the more I found the narrator a bit annoying.
It's the way a pauses when he names things.
He does it on the chapters as well.

Jonny approached the...... console.
Part 6 chapter........... 4.

I'm being a picky but you know when things just.......... get to you?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

I don't normally like dramatised audio books but this one is so good , I'm very pleased I took a chance!

If you read the book but hated the awful film version, rest assured, this audio version does justice to this Sci fi classic!

The performances are outstanding and is a must for any Sci fi fans library ! The story is brought to life by the fine performer's and you easily find yourself drawn into the world of L Ron Hubbard's classic!

At over 47 hours in length this is a mega offering from Audible but that time flies by as you are drawn into the narrative. There are no dull sluggish parts, so be prepared for the audio equivalent of a page turner!

I won't go into the story as I feel a short synopsis can't do this book justice, let me just say if you love Sci fi, you will be missing out on a true classic if you don't put this in your library!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Absolutely loved this book. The introduction/explanation of the genre and reasoning behind the book at the beginning was great too. Very well written, Narrated and performed. Could not put this down.

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Amazing!

Easily one of my favourite books. Totally unique, brilliantly told, action packed but pleasantly cerebral.

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Profile Image for Joel D Offenberg
  • Joel D Offenberg
  • 27-06-16

Pulp Sci-Fi Done Right! More Like This!

The story is fun, simple and escapist pulp sci-fi...a bit old fashioned but enjoyable. But what makes this book worth it is the excellent performance and production values. I hope the producers can do this kind of thing more often.

The performance: Wonderfully done, with multiple voices (a necessity given the large cast of players) not only reading but performing the story. Music, sound effects, and a great cast make this not just an audiobook, but almost a play or an "audio-movie." Battlefield Earth is a fun book, but the brilliant rendering makes a 4-star story into a 5-star audiobook.

Say what you like about L. Ron Hubbard [and there is a lot to say], he could write fun stories of thrills, spills and derring-do with brave heroes who laugh in the face of danger, beautiful damsels in distress and evildoers who seem to be evil because evil is fun. Deep themes? Nope. Subtle messages? Nada. Thought provoking concepts about the present and future of humanity? None here. Adventure, action, rollicking fun!

That is not to say that the story is free of blemishes. The most grating is that the (human) characters are handled via ethnic stereotype (with attitudes that seemed more fitting to the 1930's than the 1980's publication date of the book or the 2010's date of this review).

Be warned: This audiobook clocks in at just under 48 hours [the original book was over 1000 pages]. There are about a dozen places where you figure the story is winding up only to find that you are getting swept along as it continues for many more hours.

Lastly: For those who worry that Battlefield Earth is some sort of propaganda or screed for Hubbard's Church of Scientology: it isn't. Yes, there are a few minor points in there aligned with Scientology's teachings, but they appear rather late and are incidental to the story.

Notes: There is a similar multi-voice production of Dune on Audible (Dune being a much richer and more complex source text than Battlefield Earth). And if you like Hubbard's pulp writing style, you might want to check out Ole Doc Methuselah.

48 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Mccloskey
  • 26-08-16

Audio book Battlefield Earth is spectacular!

What made the experience of listening to Battlefield Earth the most enjoyable?

Using Kindle on my android phone I can listen or read or do both at the same time. When I'm in the car or train or running I can listen and get all the amazing sound effects. Otherwise I can read -- much faster than the narration but I do miss the sound effects. It's my choice which way to go. Lately I've just been listening because it's much more entertaining. It's not just someone reading the text of the book. There all all kinds of sound effects too.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battlefield Earth?

I don't want to give too much away. There are many memorable moments. One is Jonny and the Psychlo drone. Lots of suspense.

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

No.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No way! It has 47 hours of audio!

Any additional comments?

The Kindle audio version is the best of all worlds from a technical book aspect. You can listen as an audio book or just read the text. After experiencing the audio I don't think many people will opt for just reading. Of course, you can do both. Kindle audio follows the text word for word. It's amazing technology.

From a science fiction aspect, this book cannot be beat. Besides having a great story line (really bad villains and really good good guys) with the survival of humans on Earth at stake, the science in it is unassailable.

Note that the book is nothing like the movie which departed from the book in major ways and became a laughing stock because of unbelievable scenes. If the movie had stuck with the book's story line, it would have become a science fiction classic on the order of Star Wars. If you have seen the movie but not read the book, you have a treat in store for you with the audio book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christopher E Prince
  • Christopher E Prince
  • 09-04-18

Please remove the pauses!!

So I was very entertained by this audiobook; especially since I have read this book in the past.
But what I was VERY annoying about the performance was the extended musical interludes at the end of every chapter that ranged from 15-45 seconds: that’s over TWO additional hours added to the book that are unnecessary!!
There were a few chapters that did not reset on time for its own chapter and the epilogue was messed up.
Other than that, GREAT book that is one of my Sci-fi favorites!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Max D
  • 31-01-18

started well, ended flat

the story ends up being a somewhat clumsy allegory of US history. entertaining but casually chauvinistic and simplistic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brian Zohner
  • Brian Zohner
  • 10-08-16

A Caveman, a Cannibal and a Nazi walk outside...

I'm honestly not sure what I think of this book, and I've had a ridiculous amount of time to think it over. It is almost fifty hours long, which translates into over a month of listening time on a commute.

Okay, let's start with the obvious bit. First off, it's fully cast and produced. That means tons of different voices, a soundtrack and cool sound effects that do a great job creating atmosphere. The voice actors are clearly putting a lot of heart into it, and the narrator does a terrific job. A lot of money went into this recreation by a lot of people who really respected the work and it shows.

Next comes the unpleasant part. The story is ridiculous. The naming conventions are awful (Psychlos? Johnny Goodboy Tyler? Snowl?) and jars you loose from any immersion. The forward provided by Hubbard indicates that he incorporated economics, culture, politics and art to make the environment more real, but it's pretty clear that the author's understanding of those subjects was pretty superficial. It's made worse by the fact that he devotes so much time to it. You will get huge chunks of time where you have a group of people discussing the mortgage arrangement of Earth (yes, that actually happens).

If you're interested how the book relates to the movie, I will tell you that the movie only covers the first third (or so) of this book. The book does clarify some of the plot holes (like why the Psychlos on Earth are so lax and incompetent), but it generally makes about as much sense as the movie does. The title of this review is actually a scene that occurs in the book, and when describing it to a friend he asked, "So what's the punchline?" The one problem is that, while you could laugh at the movie for its flaws, it would be much harder to laugh at if you needed to be subjected to fifty hours worth of it to complete the story. And at least in the movie you had a good amount of mindless action to keep you entertained. In the book, the action sequences are very brief or only told in abstract after the fact.

Granted, Hubbard wrote books in another time, the 1930's, and the audience expected different things from science fiction back then. Tragically, this book was written in the 80's, right in the middle of a science fiction revolution, so it is weirdly anachronistic. If this book was one third the length, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a creative adventure story you don't have to think that hard about. As it stands, I would only recommend it to people who really enjoy very old (note I didn't say classic) science fiction. Or can marathon the entire black and white Frankenstein movies in a day.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kline
  • 14-11-18

Just Amazing

One of my favorite books. They did a great job with the audio drama and effects. It brought this amazing book to life in a way that was seamless . 10 out of 10.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MJS
  • MJS
  • 21-11-16

Awesome audio / theatrical version!

What made the experience of listening to Battlefield Earth the most enjoyable?

This version is like listening to a movie with your eyes closed with the narrator simply describing the things you cannot see. You hear various actors performing the dialog as well as matching sound effects the whole way through that paint the image of what is going on in your mind's eye.

If you have heard this story before, I believe the version I heard was read by Roddy McDowall, this version will feel like you never heard the story before. Great presentation, sound effects, and voice actors.

I wish there were more audio books produced in this manner.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battlefield Earth?

The overall presentation. All audio books should be like this.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

An entirely new experience. With the addition of multiple voice actors and all the appropriately used sound effects you are literally part of the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Um. No. Who has 47 hours straight to listen to anything.

Any additional comments?

Whether you liked the book or not or even if you have heard previous audio versions of this book, give the new version a shot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thomas
  • Thomas
  • 07-06-16

Completely ruins all other audiobooks!

The production quality of this book is completely ruining all other audiobooks I've listened to. And I've listened to a couple hundred at this point between Audible and other services.

A full cast of voice actors creates an engaging interaction between each of the characters. The music has an amazing way of installing a mood for what is happening. And the sound effects make you feel like you're listening to a movie in your ears.

It's like other audio books are a picture and this book is a fully produced movie. Sure, the other pictures are good, but nothing comes close to this level of production. I think it's setting the ground and raising the bar for all future audio production.

The story is amazing too! Starting with one person up in the mountains and then grows to a multi-galactic space opera. Very impressive!

37 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Luis
  • Luis
  • 06-06-16

Shocked!

I am avid audiobook listener and, without sounding like a cliche, this is by far the beat audiobook I've had the pleasure to listen to. I am used to one voice, two max and a few sound effects. But this book has more than 50 voice actors, countless sound effects and high quality music I wouldn't mind buying by itself!

And what to say about the story. There is 3D and even 4D cinema, but I think Hubbard achieved a whole new "D" with this book. The depth of each character and the different story lines running are simply unique.

It is more than 40 hours of entertainment right and pure science fiction that will keep you on the edge of your sit to the very end!

I highly recommend it!

29 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Warren Tardif
  • Warren Tardif
  • 06-06-16

Best Audiobook Production I've ever listened to

What did you love best about Battlefield Earth?

I just started listening to this new Battlefield Earth Audiobook. As a huge Audiobook enthusiast I can honestly say this is the best production I have ever heard. It is pretty remarkable what an amazing job they did at getting so many difference voices for the different characters, and the sound production behind is adding so many incredible sound effects. Its like listening to a movie!

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I am enthralled by all the different voices and all the actors that appear in this book.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful