Review of Ringworld by Larry Niven

March 29, 2006
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobook - Ringworld by Larry NivenRingworld
By Larry Niven; Read by Tom Parker
Audible Download – 11 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 1999
ISBN:
Themes: / Science Fiction / Hard science fiction / Physics / Space travel / Aliens /

I’ve started this review several times. I’m honestly not sure what to say about this classic novel. In a word, it’s wonderful. What else can I say? It was originally published in 1970, and won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. Of course, the awards and all the accolades since were well deserved.

Blackstone Audio published this unabridged version in 1999, and I found it on Audible. Tom Parker does a fine job with this straight narration of the material. Not fantastic, but better than adequate. Once I eased into his flow, I had no problem maintaining attention, but I think a bit more could be asked in the characterization department.

The main character in Ringworld is a 200 year old human named Louis Wu, who is approached by a Puppeteer (one of an alien race) who in turn is building a team to visit a star system that has an fabricated ring around it. The complete team includes Louis Wu, the Puppeteer, a Kzin, and a human female. The reasons for all these choices become clear during the novel.

Niven’s style is such that you can be awed then amused on the same page. His characters are very comfortable with life. They talk physics like we discuss where to have dinner. After more than thirty years, the story remains interesting and the ideas fascinating.

I highly recommend this audiobook, whether you’ve experienced Ringworld already or not.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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