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Summary

The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton is the first in Night's Dawn, a sweeping galactic trilogy from the master of space opera.

In AD 2600 the human race is finally realizing its full potential. Hundreds of colonized planets across the galaxy host a multitude of wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature's boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary space-born creatures.

Huge fleets of sentient trader starships thrive on the wealth created by the industrialization of entire star systems. And throughout inhabited space, the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. A true golden age is within our grasp.

But now something has gone catastrophically wrong. On a primitive colony planet, a renegade criminal's chance encounter with an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all our fears. An extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it the Reality Dysfunction, and it is the nightmare which has prowled beside us since the beginning of history.

The Reality Dysfunction is followed by The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God.

©2016 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2016 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What listeners say about The Reality Dysfunction

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

Great story spoiled by poor audio editing..

You really have to listen hard and be prepared to skip back. Whoever editing the sound removed every pause between scenes. Within a chapter the story is told from many perspectives. Without any pauses to e a change in scene they all merge in to one and you only realise after some time the scene has changed. Frustrating.

38 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, good narration, poor editing

The story is great - a sprawling space opera covering multiple viewpoints and locations. The use of bespoke terminology gets a little tiresome - e.g. far too many references to "neural nanonics" and "datavising". The narration is on the whole good - a good range of voices to cover the different characters, and read in an engaging manner.

But, and it's a big but, why are Audible so useless at putting in pauses between scene changes? Far too many audiobooks have this crucial flaw - and it makes listening to a multi-viewpoint book very difficult and confusing. Seriously, all you need is a 2 second gap when the viewpoint changes. That's all. Please, editors, listen up and take note.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding but...

Great book and great narrative abs reading. However it's let down by one small but massive issue. Not enough of a pause between sections! This makes it easy to get confused as to who is saying what to whom or where the action is going on.

37 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Spoilt

Other reviews point out the editting problem - there are no gaps between chapters.
Why hasn’t it been resolved 9th March 2018
Could have been brilliant

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The worst narrator I've ever heard

Peter F Hamilton is one of my favourite authors, and this series is one of his best. I can't begin to describe how disappointed I am that they gave the narration to this utter clod.

His characterisations are awful. Nobody anywhere speaks like most of the characters he portrays. He simply can't do accents - they all sound like a Welsh man who lives in Birmingham (or Newcastle, Scotland, Ireland, etc....). I've heard more believable American accents in Carry-On films. The only accent he can do is (unsurprisingly) a South Wales accent, which he gives to a captain described in the book as "a 68-year old oriental". He can't even pronounce a lot of the words properly, which you'd have thought would be the first requirement for a narrator. And surely a slight audio effect could have been used to denote affinity exchanges rather than the grating simper he uses for them (and, incidentally most of the female characters and children in the book).

His narration is bland and monotonous. His only inflection is a depressing down-note at the end of every matter-of-fact sentence. He doesn't sound like he'd get animated if his @ʁ$€ caught fire. There are also no gaps in the narration. Anywhere. Not even between chapters. It gives the impression of someone who has no interest in the book other than to get through it as quickly as possible so that he can go on to ruin the next book in the series (which, reading the reviews, he did).

I just can't believe that one of our best authors was given this turkey to narrate his works. I got half-way through this one and gave up. I'm returning it and won't touch another until they are withdrawn and re-published with a competent narrator. In the meantime I'll get some Iain M Banks volumes, which have been done properly. Or anything by Stephen Fry!

5 people found this helpful

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

Awful editing

Oh dear.
I like the story but it's a shame that whoever edited the audio made it sound like a single sentence without punctuation metaphorically speaking because it jumps from one scene to the next so that one sentence finishing one section which in the book presumably then had a gap after it runs straight into the next.

A bit like that last paragraph. This is very jarring and off putting.

If one can get beyond that then this is good. Otherwise spend your credits elsewhere...

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

no breaks between scenes

there are no breaks between sceens so sentences belonging to different areas get confused. it's a good story but the auther tends to over describe the surrounding and history of the characters. high score for the overall story

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

audio editing non existent completely ruins the ex

audio editing non existent completely ruins the experience to the extent I would ask for my money back.

2 people found this helpful

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

Weakest Hamilton Book So Far

What would have made The Reality Dysfunction better?

There are far too many characters to follow in this book, with change after change and sometimes many chapters before coming back to a character. Also.. it's like Hamilton read 50 shades of grey and decided to do a sci-fi version. I'm not a prude by any means and usually like the odd bit of zero-g space sex in Hamiltons other books.. but jesus christ did he really go for it in this one. Almost every chapter has some sort of sex, or sex driven theme. It's like each of the characters prime motivations are fucking the next thing that comes along, it's just poor character development.

Lee did a good job narrating, however.. I read some comments before purchasing the book and shrugged off the comments from people saying that the jump from scene to scene or chapter etc. is really jarring. But wow.. There's sometimes hardly even a pause between scenes, which makes listening frustrating. All of a sudden Lee is talking about new characters and a new scene when barely 2 seconds ago we were somewhere else.

All in all this book wasn't an enjoyable experience, which really is a shame as I've listened to the Void trilogy, Pandora and Judas so many times I've lost count.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story of true Galactic scale.

a very exciting story which is a must for any sci-fi fan. A story that requires your full attention to keep track of the various characters, threads and arcs.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julian
  • 08-02-17

great story but the performance is strained

epic story but the storyteller does not pause, at all, at the paragraphs. this causes a little confusion when the story takes a new focus.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mette
  • 15-05-17

The narrator was really good, but

the edditing had let no space between scene shifts. This results in some confusion...

7 people found this 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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  • Mr Robin Grundstrom
  • 07-12-18

best sci-fi books ever

There are no better sci-fi books out there. I have all the hard copies, the audio books are brilliant for driving to work.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jered
  • 09-12-16

Incredible performance, long winded story

Would you try another book from Peter F. Hamilton and/or John Lee?

Yes, I have listened to all of the commonwealth saga and the chronicle of the fallers. Both of which, were series I couldn't stop myself from listening to, long into the night.

What could Peter F. Hamilton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

There are wayyyyyyy to many flash cuts between critical scenes. Too many characters to follow, and entirely too much background provided for "historical reference."

Most of this could have been edited out, and five to six main players focused on. The fact there are entire chapters devoted to people who...at most..are minor players in the overall story just frustrated me.

Moreover, there were serious climax points, that, upon completion, cut to boring techno babble, or someone sitting at a bar on a planet 1000 light years away. Where the heck was the falling action, I don't care what mr sex captain is doing at the moment, I want to know what's happening in the huge battle on the other planet!!!

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

John Lee did a fantastic job on his entire performance. Literally, the one saving grace in my opinion.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story line is quite intriguing, and the premise had me hooked for many chapters. It was the flow and constant jerks between scenes during climactic events that really wore me down.

Any additional comments?

If there were an abridged version of this audio book, I would definitely give it another go.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Esben
  • 14-01-21

Great story/Cringy performance

I like his voice when he speaks naturally. But when he tries to make a feminine voice it becomes so cringe and sounds so ugly. The rest of his attempts at changing his performance is just plainly annoying. I absolutely hate his performance, which have taken so much from this great story, I actually bought these books many years ago but only recently have I been able to listen to it. Who ever chose this terrible voice artist probably cost a lot people enjoyment.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ralf Månsson
  • 10-12-20

Terrible narrator

i can't stand this narrator. The story is big and great but he totally destroys it. This makes it hard for me to recommend this book even though it's a great book. Record it again with a different narrator and it will be truly enjoyable.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Walker
  • 26-09-19

Good, not great

a bit flat in places. narrator did a good job, but as some others have said, some of the transition points in the story could do with a pause.

  • 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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  • CES
  • 13-09-18

The best book that I have listened to.

John Lee is an amazing narrator and Peter wrote a book that keeps to interested though out.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacob
  • 08-09-18

Not the best editing.

Missing pauses between sections of the story, you have to pay really good attention to follow.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 31-08-18

Great book but narration and editing make it hard to follow at times

Johnleecansomehowcondensewholechapterswithdifferentscenesintoasinglestreamofwords. It makes it hard to follow the different streams in the story. All it would take is a 3 second pause between scenes