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Eon

By: Greg Bear
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
Series: The Way, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)
Regular price: £27.49
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Summary

Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge. Deeper still within the stone is the Way. For some the Way means salvation from death, for others it is a parallel world where loved ones live again. But, unlike Thistledown, the Way is not entirely dead, and the inhabitants hold the knowledge of a present war, over a million miles away, using weapons far more deadly than any that mankind has ever conceived.

©1985 Greg Bear (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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

Excellent story

Excellent read or should I say listen. I couldn't wait to hear each instalment, now I have finished there is a blank in my journey home.....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, Shame about the voice

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I found the voice of the narrator very difficult to listen to - rather grating.

Would you be willing to try another one of Stefan Rudnicki’s performances?

No.

What character would you cut from Eon?

None.

Any additional comments?

This is my favorite book of all time. I thought I would enjoy the audible version, but found the narrator's voice grating. Not a good choice for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

Great, stars like Rama, but then it veers off and is fantastic. Well read, a few strange pronunciations, but a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

intriguing

while a little heavy on the hard sci-fi, and more than a little ramshackled in story telling, ultimately enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mark
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 13-12-14

My all time favourite novel heard in a new light

I loved this, but then I knew I would, Eon is the best novel I've ever read. I have probably read this once a year since I discovered in back in the late 90's.
And despite thinking I knew the story inside out, this performance of it did bring a new depth to the story. Yes in my head I've had pictures of what Patricia, Mirsky, Olmy and Gary look like, but until now they never had there own voices, it was always my voice I heard while reading them. Now after Stefan Rudnicki's excellent performance they all have proper, distinct voices to me.
As normal the scenes describing the death and it's aftermath got to me, gave me the shivers and made my cry (slightly embarrassing when sitting on the bus listening to the story, but I do like to 'feel' the stories I read). And listening to the words did give me a chance to build clearer pictures of the strange worlds and beings described.
Overall I can't recommend this highly enough, it is the best story I've ever read, preformed in a way which made it come live in new ways inside my head.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Shows its age but holds up well

In the past I read another book by Greg Bear, Legacy, which this is a prequel to. It was a fun read and passed the time while I was in the Navy.



I listened to this book over the recent early winter and enjoyed it. It's a good read and if you are a fan of "hard scifi" you will enjoy this. The science is wonderful. It fills your head with ideas and wonder.



But as I stated in the subject it does show its age. The book was written in the eighties and it shows. The political side of the story focuses on the Cold War between USSR and USA. It doesn't detract from the story but it does sit in your mind while reading and how real world events happened versus the fears of the period.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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So love this book

Was great to have this read to me loved it so long ago carried on listening even after it got me through my day at work

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drags a bit

In many ways this is an interesting book. The parallels with Rendezvous With Rama are obvious, and Bear's writing is fairly reminiscent of Clark. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the scope of that ideas here is far greater than Rama, and in many ways this is a more sophisticated novel.

Interestingly, what really dates this is that it's so very rooted in the Cold War, clash of great powers mentality of the mid 80s. We see a 21st century Soviet Union and the threat of global war in a way which seems ironic given the changes that would occur just 4 years after this book's publication.

It's also a child of ours time in other ways. After the hard science fiction of the opening chapters, it gives way to more conventional thriller territory and you can see the influence of the emerging 80s on thriller genre.

Ultimately I found this unsatisfying. Once we establish what's actually going on in the stone the matador shifts to a fairly uninspired political thriller where the supposedly advanced future civilisation reveals itself to be easily fooled and out-thought in ways that don't seem plausible. The entire second half of the plot feels like it's lifted from a different, inferior, novel and the denouement falls to engage.

It feels a little as if a shorter, better novel was edited and passed out into something which the publisher thought would sell better, losing its punch on the way.

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infinite

what can i say, ive read this 2 times now i can listen to it forever....

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  • Benjamin
  • STOKE ON TRENT, United Kingdom
  • 25-10-14

Interesting and imaginative but could be shorter

Interesting and imaginative.
Could have been a shorter punchier novel.
I did enjoy it but wished that it had got a move on at certain parts.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 01-07-12

Am Epic Original SciFi Read Worth Your Time...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm cautious as to what I recommend, because recommendations in anything defines us in those with whom we associate. With that in mind, I only recommend audiobooks/book that captivate me, that are truly original in scope and idea. No middle ground. No gray area. In this case, I'd recommend this audiobook to anyone, ESPECIALLY my friends. Eon brings together alternate dimensions, aliens, Armageddon, warfare, character conflict and culture clash together brilliantly. AND it's a series??? Most excellent.

What did you like best about this story?

It grows almost exponentially as you read it. Once you HAVE read it, you'll know exactly whatI mean. The scope and ramifications of the story reach out further and consequences become more severe and dramatic as the story unfolds. This ALWAYS makes for a good story, and remember, it's ALL about the story. And NO, I'm NOT giving anything away.

What three words best describe Stefan Rudnicki’s performance?

Clear, pace-setting, restrained.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

SO many moments in this read stood out, but one in particular was when Lanier is simply overwhelmed by the sheer scope, the magnitude, of the technological capabilities of the Stone's inhabitants and societies. The technology borders on seeming magical at certain points, because of the almost limitless scope of what can be done by everyday people in this society. Imagine what a Neanderthal would think of a microwave, a television, running water, or photography. WOW. How's that for a descriptive word of what you'll encounter as you read this for yourself? You'll discover what they discover, and you'll enjoy the journey.

Any additional comments?

Any review I write in this depth or greater is due to PASSION. You'll see that the books, authors, and narrators I dislike will have short to the point epitaph-style reviews. Not this audiobook. I cannot recommend it enough. This book will require you to think. Yes, that's right, I wrote THINK. It doesn't mean that you will not understand this book. It's easy to understand. What you'll have to think about are ideals. Things like politics, societal norms erased, eternity, religion, the human condition. Wait, wait, wait...It's a great, fun read, and not lofty, so rest easy. Enjoy the book. Find others who have read it, and have fun tearing ideals apart. You'll be better for it, and be glad you read this book. I know I am.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • PlantCrone
  • 08-06-12

Enjoyable solid Si Fi-30 years old- still topical

I first read "Eon" when it was published in 1985 - and was fascinated by the concept and ideas detailed in this long and complicated novel. Especially complicated for me since I'm not a physics or mathematics specialist. I had to take the theories as SF drama and let it go at that.

Listening to the book after such a long time was rewarding and equally fascinating. The character development is involved and up to Greg Bears usual fastidious work...plot development is intricate and convoluted at times but well done and the final chapters unexpected.

If you've read it and are looking for serious SF to listen to, give "Eon" another try. If this 3 book trilogy is new to you than "Eon" is the place to start.

Enjoy.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 04-04-12

Great Sci-Fi

What made the experience of listening to Eon the most enjoyable?

Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said. And the fact there's a whole faction based on Ralph Nader... Naderites. LOL!

What did you like best about this story?

The way the author used time and space, and avoided paradox. The technology and physics were really far out, but not so far that you felt 'no way, this is just some guy writing while tripping'.

What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said.

Any additional comments?

I bought this book in hard copy when I was 15. When I saw Stefan was reading it, I had to pick it up, and was glad I did.... I usually listen to books while I work, however, you really need full attention with this one, because it's jam packed with time/space technology that if you miss the explanation of it it will hurt you in the long run.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • p j starr
  • 26-10-16

Best science fiction novel ever

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

What a fantastic story, this would make a fantastic movie. This is a book you cannot put down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Manatt
  • 18-04-12

Ingenious, Thought-provoking, Imaginative

What made the experience of listening to Eon the most enjoyable?

The physics and mathematical puzzles related the Stone.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Eon?

The realization of the true nature of the Stone and the imaginative delights and puzzles of its inhabitants and the world they inhabit.

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

An emotional dimension.

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

No, it's better to linger.

Any additional comments?

Suspend your disbelief: ignore the time the story takes place, pretend the Cold War has not ended. Immerse yourself in Bear's imaginative universe, and you'll be amply rewarded.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • thomas
  • 09-06-14

Big Idea Sci Fi

What did you love best about Eon?

It harkens back to a time when Sci Fi was full of big ideas that can be traced back to Clarke. The big idea in this book is a touchstone so that a description of quantum physics can play front and center to a story that attempts to define our future and ultimately our past. I enjoyed it.

What did you like best about this story?

There is hard science in this book, make no mistake. I enjoyed the fact that it make me think of physics and gave me incentive to investigate concepts central to the plot. Additionally, thought written in the 1980's, the political intrigue in the book is somewhat timeless. I thought it was a smart and clever book.

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

I have not. I thought he did a good job. He portrayed the different characters with different voices well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. Though I saw it coming, it was fascinating and sets up the next book very well. Well done.

Any additional comments?

This book requires your attention. There are many different characters, some with similar names in a setting that is very different. It can get confusing if you don't keep track, so be prepared to immerse yourself in "the stone". I like this genre of Sci Fi, and I will read the rest of the books in the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Anderson
  • 26-03-13

Very good book

I have never really read Greg Bear but rather was on the hunt for books narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, my favorite narroator. I am glad I found this book. Very interesting story from a sci-fi and inter-personal relationship point of view.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 17-03-13

Still holds up well

I first read Eon as a teenager, and was quite obsessed with its extremely detailed and imaginative worlds. I was curious to see if I'd still like it today, and I was pleased to find that it was just as engaging and mind-expanding as I'd remembered.

The most thrilling parts of the novel are the opening scenes, as the characters explore the multi-chambered Stone, gradually learning its secrets, and then travel further down the infinite Corridor; there's a tremendous sense of an journey toward greater and greater discovery. The final chapter is a brilliant twist that ends the novel perfectly with a beautiful reworking of its themes.

Of course, the novel's Cold War politics and its depictions of astronaut-soldiers in the year 2000 now seem extremely dated, but fortunately this is a novel about alternate universes, so one can simply pretend that the story takes place in a different universe than ours...

The human side of things isn't quite as good; Bear's handling of the romantic subplots is rather stilted and sometimes the characters seem a little too unflappable in the face of universe-changing events. But these aren't major problems, and there is often some emotional intensity in the scenes in which characters are yearning for home, or discovering that everything they knew was wrong.

I was briefly taken aback by the narrator's ridiculously manly voice (it's like being read to by Barry White), but I got used to it rapidly and he's very good at distinguishing the characters.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Darryl
  • 22-01-17

Too far to slog for no payoff

Sorry but I just don't see what's so great about this one. We'll ignore for the moment the blatant Clarke Rama ripoff. It starts "well", though the Rama aspect is foremost in my mind as it starts, but I would say that after the halfway point, when the obligatory "Hollywood" shootemup military assault happens, too much of interest is shunted aside in favor of dealing with that, and boring political crap.

Were I editor, I would have told Bear, and all writers currently, take the military and political crap out, take the guns out and do something creative and different, and use the time better developing and explaining the really wondrous aspects of the ideas. I'm bored with unnecessary explosions etc. Do something imaginative. So much of import, i.e., Who built it, How, Why, How does it all work, etc., is passed over briefly if at all. Not to mention elements that start to verge on magic. Scrap that crap. I guess we can learn (maybe) some of these answers in next book. NOT Interested.

So many SF writers have great ideas, but they're terrible writers; they need editors not to mention learning some craft. Here's a good example from Eon: "What happened next, happened so fast Patricia could hardly follow it." Don't tell me something is going to happen, just show it, I'll know it happens next, because it happens next. Don't dilute surprise, destroy suspense, let it happen. This is a simple quick fix that so many authors need to learn. This is just one of a plethora of bad writing examples. Describe visually, explain with similes and metaphors. So much of this novel is lacking stylistically. No poetry here. I will be first to admit Clarke's Rama isn't well written stylistically, but at least he keeps revealing wonders.

And the characters in this are just cardboard. And of course there's the obligatory "we have to shut it down immediately" race against time so overused by everyone. And the also obligatory "throw some sex scenes in" are laughable, thankfully there are only a couple.

Just bored with this type of stuff. Could have been mind bending. I'm sure many others will love this one, I wanted more.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 28-09-14

Eons Long

IF HE COULD ONLY EXPLAIN THE SIMPLE THINGS
Bear took on more then he could write about in this saga. Full of lots of mind blowing physics, math and science, the story was just too broad and complicated for Bear to explain. I first read this over 30 years ago. At the time I could barely understand it, but in my youth I felt compelled to finish every book I started and I did. Now that I am older, more mature, and better read, I thought I would try again with the help of Stefan Rudnicki. I still could not wrap my mind around it or find much entertaining in this future text book. I could blame myself for not being the scientific genius, it takes to enjoy this diatribe or I could blame Bear for not being a good enough writer to give it life. I blame Bear and I am not going to listen to no boring book. I quit early on this and advise you not to start.

16 of 29 people found this review helpful

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