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Rendezvous with Rama

Rama Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Toby Longworth
Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,180 ratings)
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Summary

This audiobook was re-recorded with a new narrator, and the new product uploaded on 25th June 2014. Please note that written reviews prior to that date refer to a different narrator.

Winner of the 1973 Nebula and BSFA Awards and the 1974 Hugo, Campbell, and Locus Awards.

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than 10 trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed.

Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams...and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits - just behind a Raman airlock door.

Bonus Audio: Includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer, who explains why Rendezvous with Rama will make the listener ‘feel both humbled and exhilarated at the same time’.

Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead in 1917. During the Second World War he served as an RAF radar instructor, rising to the rank of Flight-Lieutenant. After the war he won a BSc in physics and mathematics with first class honours from King's College, London.

One of the most respected of all science-fiction writers, he also won Kalinga Prize, The Aviation Space-Writers' Prize and The Westinghouse Science Writing Prize. He shared an Oscar nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was based on his story, 'The Sentinel'. He lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008.

©1973 Arthur C. Clarke (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

“Arthur C. Clarke is awesomely informed about physics and astronomy, and blessed with one of the most astounding imaginations ever encountered in print.” ( New York Times)
“Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age ... The colossus of science fiction.” ( New Yorker)
“Quite memorable and at times magical… We glimpse our own future in this technological artifact - a future as magical as it is mysterious.” (Brian W Aldiss)
“For many readers Arthur C. Clarke is the very personification of science fiction.” ( The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

Well read with distinctive character voices.

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

It's an old book, and has dated somewhat - if I wanted to recommend a "classic" that is well read and presented this would be a good choice. The story and plot stands up reasonably well to modern critique, but the listener has to keep reminding themselves that it was written in 1973

What other book might you compare Rendezvous with Rama to, and why?

For narrative, Clarke's better known book - 2001: A Space Odyssey - is an obvious choice. I don't have this on audiobook, so cannot comment on the reading, but for a story, it's the one to choose.

Which character – as performed by Toby Longworth – was your favourite?

Easily Commander Bill Norton - Longworth's easy-going Australian accent made him stand out, while at the same time not stand out as a stereotype. The book does identify Norton as Australian, so the accent makes sense, but it's well done.

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

No, but I can't listen to any audiobook for more than an hour or so, regardless of how good it is.

Any additional comments?

Longworth is a good reader. I generally only listen to audiobooks that I already have in print, and I loathe readers that are literally just re-iterating the printed word. I could do that. I want a reader who puts life into the characters and emotion into the narrative - Longworth does that without being over the top.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Well worth a listen

Excellent audiobook of a classic hard sf story. The science is a bit dated and it's a little sexist like a lot of Clarke, but still plenty of incredible imagery and original ideas here. I'm not sure if the narrator has changed looking at other reviews but Toby Longworth was excellent: clear characterisation and variation, good tone/pace etc.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Classic tale of ever-unfolding intrigue.

Excellent narrative performance. Kept me inspired and fascinated the whole way through. The story still feels modern and relevant.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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New Narrator is briliant

What made the experience of listening to Rendezvous with Rama the most enjoyable?

I had listened to this book when it was first published in Audible format and the narrator performance was so dull.
Then they brought in Toby Longworth and suddenly the book became alive.

What other book might you compare Rendezvous with Rama to, and why?

On a darkling Plain...Ben Bova

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not sure

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

No

Any additional comments?

Excellent vintage sci fi book that was saved by an excellent narrator from the clutches of a poor one.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Why isn't this classic a movie yet?

Brilliant story, a SciFi classic that is rooted in real science. Arthur C Clarke was a master storyteller.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Daunting psychological thriller

This was a tense time. The narrator's low rumble added to the darkness of space to give you an impression that you were really there watching Rama cruise towards the sun. The perils the explorers face left moments of forgetting to breath. An excellent, emersive, experience.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book, excellent audio

Where does Rendezvous with Rama rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a great story told in classic Clarke style. An engaging array of characters set in a world of the future that brings into question thoughts on progress, science and discovery. On top of this Toby Longworth is excellent in bringing the story to life with his range of voices and accents with all their nuances. A real joy to listen to.

What other book might you compare Rendezvous with Rama to, and why?

I suppose there were moments that reminded me of 'The Martian' - exploration and dealing with problems encountered.

Which character – as performed by Toby Longworth – was your favourite?

All of them were great

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

Not to spoil the book but discoveries made on Rama

Any additional comments?

A great story filled with subtle commentary

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Rendezvous with reading pleasure.

Arthur C. Clarke did something incredible here and his novel belongs in the upper escelons of any classic Sci-Fi collection. It is very difficult to imagine that this book was written decades ago, as it is still so ahead of its time. He really did have a magnificent imagination.

The science behind the story is eminently believable and this gives the reader a unique and enjoyable listen. The author has woven his experience as a pilot and physist and this is reflected in the way the characters speak and act, conveying an understanding of the science without ever overloading the listener with technical jargon. It really is a very well-balanced read. It is wonderful.

The book does not give you all the answers which serves to build tension, and gives the plot an air of mystery, making it more interesting and open to interpretations. You can easily let your imagination fly.

Toby Longworth's narration is good and makes 'Rendezvous with Rama' a perfect listen, well worth the price of a credit.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Decent story, but missing end

Quite enjoyed the start and middle of the book, but the end just seemed to be missing as though it was a set up for a follow on book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books ever made so dull

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I really love this book and have read it a number of times in dead tree form, I was really excited when an e-mail from Audible advised me that it was available to buy as it was one of the first books I looked for when I signed up.
This is an exciting and vibrant book full of wonder and mystery made cold, grey, dull and oh my god tedious by the slow, flat, monotone narration. It's like listening to an old maths teacher who has given up the will to live going over material that he has been teaching for the past four decades to a class of dead eyes students.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Worst narrator ever. How does this guy get so much work?

34 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • NermalTheHun
  • 29-06-16

Well read

He does a good job with all the different accents. I read the books as a kid and really enjoyed this narration.

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  • James Grimmer
  • 29-03-16

A great book.

A true sci-fi classic. compelling and satisfying. Possible to finish in a day, it makes a great travelling book.

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  • Ian
  • 26-08-14

Fabulous book that was captured perfectly

If you could sum up Rendezvous with Rama in three words, what would they be?

Mystery,suspense, adventure

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rendezvous with Rama?

When they first opened the outer door i felt as though i was there, waiting in the cold vacum of space to see what lies within-gripping!

Which character – as performed by Toby Longworth – was your favorite?

None in particular as i liked them all.

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

If i could i would have!

Any additional comments?

Highly recomend this story as on of A.c.C's best. I can't wait to hear the other 3 parts once they are available.