Listen free for 30 days

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $33.59

Buy Now for $33.59

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it.

In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope - and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

©1989 Dan Simmons (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1990
Locus Award, Best Novel, 1990
"Dan Simmons has the Midas touch: Every genre he writes - whether SF, horror, mystery, historical, or thriller - he turns to gold. Hyperion and The Fall Of Hyperion set a new standard for grand-scale science fiction." (Kevin J. Anderson, author of The Saga of Seven Suns)
"Dan Simmons was a star from the outset. It was the Hyperion books that made him a superstar. The man, quite simply, is what we in the trade call a writer's writer." (Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author)
Each of [the pilgrim's] stories would make a superb novella on its own. ( The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Jonas)

What listeners say about Hyperion

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    344
  • 4 Stars
    120
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    311
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    304
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Simmons is a complete hack

This story is mixed. it starts fine enough, but you quickly pick up on something if you're as well read into fantasy as I. Dan Simmons does not give the impression of taking inspiration, he outright snatches concepts from other series by name, just slides them into his story, and goes on his merry way. This book turned into a Frankenstein's monster of shitty references and unsubtle namedrops by chapter 2, and the 'soldiers tale' effectively neutered my enjoyment to where I stopped listening.

literally over a hour of some middle aged guy narrating a military psycho with a serious case of waifu fever. this series might get better, I don't care it starts as total dog$#!&.

If you want a good sci Fi series, get dune, way more tasteful (at least until heretics) and much more well written, with characters that sound like people, and none of the incredibly bad taste (Simmons's has no problem reflecting deplorable attitudes in his characters, and while I could interpret that as him making them more complex, they all seem to just be the same shallow self obsessed fop and frankly it comes off in tone more like listening to the uncle in your family nobody likes go on about LGBT people.

hard pass, this book sucks.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It was too ponderous for me

I wanted to enjoy this book. It is obviously well-written and full of details that only an intelligent and gifted author could provide but it was just too boring for me. I managed to finish it (took months) but I didn’t care about any of the characters nor did I care how it ended.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

some oddly place music

but everything else was great. I now need to buy the second one. oh well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It is a single story, told by many characters

I really enjoyed this book. It was a single story, but you hear parts of it from several different perspectives. There is mystery, action, and adventure. The characters themselves are interesting and unique. The main antagonist is pretty terrifying, and very mysterious. The story is also a lot different from other sci fi's I have listened to and lists many different sci fi concepts I haven't read before.

I am pretty excited to listen to the other books in the series as well to see where the story goes from here.

#Audible1

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

loved it. more please.....i can't wait to read the next book in this series. yes

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely phenomenal audiobook

I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone interested in science fiction. The idea of the book fits perfectly with the audiobook format with different characters telling their stories to each other. The book was enthralling to listen to and it is expertly narrated.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very complex story for a listener but...

This was a struggle for me at times but once I put in the time and the pieces began to fall into place I was blown away.
A complex, rambling tale for an audio book (I am seriously considering reading this one). If one can hang on long enough one can experience beauty as the superficially divergent storylines coalesce in a way reminiscent of a classic murder mystery.
I went from finding myself bored and confused to staying up far too late over a long weekend to bing the last few chapters.
some very beautiful and ugly writing and imagery but always colorful either way.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

😴

Sooo slow!
I bumped up the speed a couple notches to see if that would help….no!
Don’t waste a credit.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unnecessarily wordy

I didn't come close to finishing. Call me provincial and uneducated but I like my sci-fi to "pop" and this doesn't. The characters are uninteresting and the story is great if you're interests run towards listening to a committee meeting discuss how high the curbs should be. If you're looking for something to make you sleepy..definitely listen to this book. (yawn..snore..zzz)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pure creative science fiction

The intertwining of 5 pilgrims to Hyperion, each with a gasp inducing story of why they were drawn to the Shrike ravaged outer planet, is singular in its consistent tension. Loved it, wanted more, and immediately bought book 2.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • surfgoat
  • 2018-08-06

Well written but boring

This book is on so many reading lists for exceptional science fiction that I didn’t hesitate to buy it when I saw it on Audible. I just finished it which was no easy feat as I was want to drop it several times. Right up until the end I was sure that there would be some noteworthy resolution that made the 24 hours of audio worth the listen. I was sorely disappointed.
There is no denying that the book was extremely well written. Some of the best pros I have read in any genre. The author writes masterfully and if Hyperion had been written to pass an English exam it would have been awarded highest marks. With the exception of the voice of Braun, the voice acting was also very good and seemed to match the characters.
Despite all that, I did not enjoy the story. I read for pleasure, nothing more, and science fiction in particular to escape reality into a future where hopes and dreams can be realized through technology. Hyperion, however, was a space soap opera. More drama than fiction and a book that belongs on the shelf next to other books of its kind adorned with a vapid but beefy protagonist poised to kiss his lover while a picturesque moon rises over the flower gardens of some tropical paradise. I read and/or listen to a lot of books in several genres and can appreciate excellent writing and story telling regardless of style. The fact that I truly detested Hyperion despite it being a renowned book in one of my favorite genres is more surprising to me than anyone reading this review of a book that has garnered 4.5 stars.
As I thought deeply about why I so loathed a book revered by the rest of the world entire, I came to certain conclusions. First, many of the individual stories from the pilgrims were interesting in their own right and While I did enjoy many aspects of them, none of them found or led to a final resolution but served to slowly bring the reader to the final conclusion that ultimately, nothing they did would alter the state of their universe. There was no culmination of events, no dramatic realization or suitable resolution that one could call a climax. There was no rising action or deepening mystery and therefore no need for the traditional “pay-off”, if you will, for having endured the dramatic unfolding of half a dozen lives. No. The end was basically a huge “screw you” where the reader learns that the problems hinted at throughout the pilgrims’ tales will have no resolution other than the inevitable one of death. Oh sure, I could read into what wasn’t said or consider what the characters could take away from their dramatic demise, I could glory in the sorrow that is the human condition, I could search introspectively for meaning in my own life as reflected in the woeful tales so eloquently posed; or I could go surfing, eat a burger, play with my kids and then relax in front of a movie about giant robots fighting aliens. I choose the latter; I choose life.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amy I. Browning
  • 2020-08-21

Well performed, but foul

AVOID THIS! The story starts out interesting and the performance is fine, but the author takes every opportunity to insert profanity. Parts of the book are verbally pornographic, and the author feels the need to mention the state of the nipples of every female character. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I found it so repugnant that I could not finish it. In my opinion, this book is filth, and I now wish my brain could take a shower.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2012-10-13

The Shrike Awaits. Enter The Time Tombs...

I read this series back in its first published hardcovers, so I look at this book with a judgmental eye - Is it a worthy listen, and its subsequent writings? Here's my take on this audiobook.

This is outstanding scifi, to the point. It reminds me of "The Mote In God's Eye," in its depth, solid character backstories and various perspectives. As in the mentioned comparison, this is complex storytelling that makes you consider as you listen. Each character has purpose and propels the story along, often in unexpected ways. This is THOUGHTFUL scifi, with tremendous respect for the reader's/listener's time, intellect, and maturity. If you want pulp scifi, go listen to Heinlein - This one's for those hungry for a story with meat on its bones, one that makes you want more. One that makes you want to listen to it again, in case you missed something important, and that's quite possible, with this fantastic scifi audiobook.

What's it all about, you ask? Again, Audible listener, I give only hints in reviews, neither plots nor spoilers here. Here's a taste of what your hear...

Knights Templar traveling across the galaxy in living trees. A undying priest carries
a nightmarish secret from an abandoned zombie-like congregation, a woman becomes younger each day, and races to beat the clock, literally. A virtual reality-trained military leader seeks the love of a woman haunting him in his computer-driven landscape. A drunken writer seeks the final and ultimate story. A spacefaring horde, soon to arrive in the known space of man, to conquer and enslave the billions that fear their arrival. And of course, they all seek the Shrike, a man-shaped judge and jury covered in blades, riding the currents of the time tombs, bringing death to most, and life to some.

And that just scratches the surface.

These various stories and their perspectives come together to create a great tale, and you'll definitely want more.

The narration team does a good job to bring this audiobook to life - If you read my other reviews, you know I'm BRUTAL on narrators. The can make or break the author's work. So, "good" is high praise coming from me.

All in all, this is an audiobook that you'll like.

So the Shrike awaits. Enter the Time Tombs, Audible listener, and be judged!

372 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • 2009-02-25

Bleak & Intense Sci-Fi

The first of two books in the series focuses on a universe where a far flung civilization is in decline. Seven disparate people embark on a reluctant pilgrimage to an ambiguous and malignant entity.

During the journey they tell their stories in an effort to puzzle out why they've been chosen, and how they can use their shared experiences to achieve their individual goals.

Wonderfully written characters make this bleak, intense book worth reading. But be forewarned, the experiences they share are dark! This is not a joyful read, but an extremely memorable one. Definitely a must for Sci-Fi fans.

121 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Seth D.Yockey
  • 2019-07-07

Allyson Johnson's voice gets old.

The story is superb, and all but one of the voice actors are excellent. It's a shame she has the longest story.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • 2012-05-05

Excellent start to a series that finds religion.

Dan Simmons creates an amazing future with interesting technology where man's impact on the universe has some pretty significant ramifications for their own survival. This book kicks off the series in fine style and keeps you interested right up until the very bizarro ending.

The main story arc is about a pilgrimage to a distant planet to visit the Time Tombs. As you listen you know there is a lot at stake on the pilgrimage and you try to put together the pieces of the puzzle as you learn about each of the characters. Each one has their own significant reason for going to Hyperion and the future of mankind will be impacted by the outcome.

You will have to pick up book 2 if you really want to know how that all turns out as this book abruptly ends after all the build up. I was a big fan right until the ending which felt severely out of place to me. Book two wasn't nearly as good and for me all the excellent build up was wasted.

As the series goes on it finds religion and that is when it started to lose me. Combine the extremely complicated world of the AIs with the focus on Christianity for the humans and I found myself wishing I was listening to something else. I wasn't offended by it, I just didn't find the whole religous aspect of the books to be that interesting. Sadly it became the major focus of the series and my enjoyment dropped off significantly. I did listen to all 4 books and I enjoyed the first and last books more than books 2 and 3.

I enjoyed the narration and liked the ensemble cast used in book 1.



236 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cestakey
  • 2009-01-27

Brilliant and Well Crafted

After reading the other reviews of this book, I am compelled to submit my own. First, this is a very well crafted science fiction classic. It creates an entire future universe that is both plausible and fascinating. Second, the story and characters are well developed, intriguing and real. I highly recommend this book. I agree that the female narrator was initially irritating, but once her story begins, becomes more interesting and you get lost in her tale. Be warned however, this only one-half of the book. For complete closure, you will need to read The Fall of Hyperion. Read back to back, this is a brilliant tale of the future with real and unique characters and storyline. This book is well deserving of both the Hugo Award and Locus Award for Best Novel of 1990.

84 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mix579
  • 2016-02-27

I understand why it's a classic, but...

After reading it way back when it was first published in print, I recently listened to the audiobook version and had pretty much the same reaction to it. I feel almost obligated to admire the author for his skillful weaving of a complex, multi-layered web of tales, all written in totally different styles, each of them contributing in an ingenious way to our understanding of the world that forms the backdrop to this story. Really, really well done, and I fully understand why this book is a sci-fi classic.

Alas, in the end it all sort of falls flat for me, a classic example of arts for art's sake. Some of the tales are gripping (Detective, Poet, Soldier, ) but the others just meander on without much purpose (in particular the Consul's tale). At times it feels like a sophomore in English studies trying to squeeze as many "big" words, as many memes as possible into a paragraph to impress the professor. If someone had seriously edited the book and cut 25% out, it would have been a masterpiece. Well, there's still the issue that it really ends just when it's about to become really interesting. I'm not huge fan of blatant cliffhangers books that leave essentially everything open and bring nothing to a (at least partial) conclusion.

The narration cast is outstanding. Having different characters narrated by different actors works extremely well here.The person reading the poet is brilliant!

55 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aerindel
  • 2009-04-25

More than a book

The important thing to understand is that is the first part of series and in reality this book is little more than a prologue. That being said it is a gripping first chapter. The hyperion series is more than a story, it is a work of philosophical and religious fiction that explores the meaning of life and the universe. Don't take that to mean its not full of action, it is. This series has everything in it from medieval sword fights to massive space battles and the destruction of worlds.

At its heart this is the story of mankind's struggle for true transcendence. The plot is deep and convoluted involving substantial time travel and is its secrets cannot be fully understood until the last book. This is a work that you have to begin with some faith that at some point it will all make sense. Trust me, it does and the final revelation in The Rise of Endymion is remarkable.
Christians beware, this book may challenge many of your belifes in uncomfortable ways.

71 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ingwe
  • 2013-04-03

Classic Sci-fi

Any additional comments?

A great sci-fi story told in the "frame story" format. (Like Canterbury Tales.) Seven very different people are on a pilgrimage together to Hyperion and each of their back-stories unfolds the plot.

What I liked best about this story is that in addition to being a great story and setting, (common in good sci-fi/fantasy) the author happens to be a great writer (not so common even in good sci-fi/fantasy). You can tell that the author has a love of science and futurism but also a love of language and poetry. (References to Keats abound.)

Warning: When I started this book I thought it was a stand-alone novel. However, it ends abruptly and I'm told that the Fall of Hyperion finishes the story.

38 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-03-15

Convoluted mystical story

Dived into it thinking it was science fiction. Lots of mysticism and sentimentalism. No real denoument at the end, story is incomplete and just a hook for the sequel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nicolas
  • 2017-04-22

great audiobool

easily understandable for foreigners, the acting is great, the stort and universe is nice but you'll have to continue with the second book or it'll feel just like half a book