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Rendezvous with Rama

Written by: Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten 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".

©1973 Arthur C. Clarke (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1974
Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1973
John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Best Novel, 1974


"A frighteningly logical, believable, and grimly prophetic tale...Clarke is a master." (Los Angeles Times)
"A first-rate tour de force." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very poor narrator

The narrator has the most robotic, unnatural voice — he sounds like one of the text to speech voices you’d find on a computer. Lifeless and the intonation is so off that you can barely follow the story sometimes. The story itself is, of course, a classic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An all-time Favourite

"Rama" was the first book by Arthur C. Clarke that I read as a young teenager. Many others followed. I love Imperial Earth, Childhood's End and the Songs of Distant Earth, but Rama remains my favourite. I only wish Robert Sawyer had continued from the foreword right into the story. Instead, my ears were assaulted by a monotone drone. Even the computerized voices of voicemail directories have more charisma. The only redeeming quality were some of the accents. Pity for such a great book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story but the narrator is monotone

I enjoyed the story but the narrator is so monotone and so slow that I had to stop listening because I found it too boring. I came back a few months later and enjoyed the story a lot more when I bumped the speed up to 1.5x and the story actually seemed to move forward.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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10/10 SF book

This book let me with a nice feeling about alien ships.

This book end with many questions about the alien but the book is complete. 10/10

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brent
  • 2012-06-01

Disappointed in the narrator

I've loved this book for over 30 years. But to tell the truth, for a while, I had almost convinced myself that the "reader" was artificial. The HAL9000 conveys more warmth and expression than the reader of this book. I've found it very distracting and I'm not sure I can finish.

165 of 170 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tricia
  • 2010-01-07

Mixed feelings

It's clear why "Rendezvous With Rama" reeived so many awards and is regarded as a classic. Fantastic and unique story line! However, the narration on this version is delivered in such a monotone that the listener becomes easily disengaged. It actually sounds robotic. Would love to hear it narrated by a human.

173 of 179 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Random
  • 2014-01-29

Pathetic narrator.

Story is great and well written. The narrator turns it into a travesty. Every character is read with the same monotone voice with no inflection and one of the worst cadences I've ever listened to outside of a college calculus class. It sounds a little better if you speed it up to 1.25x, but it's still horrible. Would even be willing to re-purchase this with a better narrator - Seriously, he's that bad.

114 of 118 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Fredrik Pettersen
  • 2009-08-03

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

With all the charm and nuanced diction of a first-gen GPS-machine, the narrator absolutely slaughters this fine book. I will try to render in text an example of what I mean:

"Commander Norton. Remembered. Those fiRSt, TV transmissions. Which? He had replayed... So Many Times..... During the final minutes...... Of The Rendezvous. But there was one thing. No, Electronic, Image, could POHSSSibly convey. And that. Was Rama's. OverwHelming. Size."

I had to give up after 4 chapters, as I was risking the lives of my fellow motorists by listening to this snooze-inducing monotone. It was like listening to a GPS voice synthesizer trying to render Shakespeare.

249 of 261 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Tersteeg
  • 2012-07-12

Excellent story, terrible naration

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

Awards well deserved

How could the performance have been better?

My only objection to this product. The naration was completely monotone and droll. Different accents were well utlised for the characters, but the naration was simply not worth of the novel.

108 of 114 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AussieUser
  • 2008-12-30

Rama Revisited

I read this book back in the late 1970's - it has become a deserved classic. It was wonderful to revisit this book but I found the narration annoying. Listen to the sample before you spend your credit, if you can cope with the narration then download this book. You won't regret it.

I look forward to the rest of the Rama series becoming available as audible titles. Please choose a different narrator for the rest of them.

67 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phelix_da_Kat
  • 2008-11-04

Man's first encounter with alien intelligence

It's set on the 22nd century and starts when astronomers detect an object near Jupiter.

They believe it to be an asteroid and name it after a Hindu God named "Rama". Upon investigation they discover that the orbit is not consistent with a solar orbit and send an unmanned probe to investigate - whilst broadcasting pictures back they learn that its a reflective cylinder 16km x 50km..

An survey spaceship is thus sent out to investigate..

This is a very detail oriented book - with the usual "forecasting" as Clarke does best.

Good physics and descriptions applied. Timeless - Real old school sci-fi, not so hardcore it's unreadable, but definitely absorbing.

Recommended! (Both Hugo and Nebula "Best Novel" award winner)

This series comprises of:

Rendezvous with Rama (1972)
Rama II (1989)
The Garden of Rama (1991)
Rama Revealed (1993)


51 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Justin
  • 2012-05-26

Worst narration I've ever heard

What disappointed you about Rendezvous with Rama?

Microsoft Sam's robotic voice could have read this just as well as the narrator did. It was painful to listen. I ended up listening at 1.5 speed and that helped make it manageable. He read roboticly and very slowly. Also, I prefer a much more character and story drive book. I've come to understand that really hard science fiction is not my preference.

Has Rendezvous with Rama turned you off from other books in this genre?

I am less likely to try really science centered hard sci-fi in the future.

Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ’s performances?

No!

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

The idea was very interesting, but ultimately left me bored.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2014-09-02

TO SAIL THE CYLINDRICAL SEA

Simps, Biots,holograms, spaceguard,aerobatic flyer,a tenth planet, women in space, marriage contracts, a man with a wife on two different planets, a woman with two husbands, generation ships, etc... You may say you have heard it all before, but with the exception of marriage contracts (Robert Heinlein) you heard it here first. Clarke writes in a conservative matter, but he has sees the future better then anyone. I've mentioned it before, but when Clarke writes, it is like you are there or your watching it on the news. His writing is not as sensational as some of today's writing, but his writing is more realistic. The whole idea of a spaceship like this was amazing to begin with, but if it was to happen, my money is Clarke will have pictured it more accurately then anybody else. You can not consider yourself knowledgeable in Science fiction literature if you have not read this book. This is my third time to read or listen to it. Maybe I am a Raman, they do everything in three's.

The narrator does suck, but the story still comes through, due to strong writing. I suggest you read the book and listen to the book and then do one of them once more, be a Raman.

WHEN IN DOUBT, SAY NOTHING AND MOVE ON.

53 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kevin
  • 2009-10-02

Loved it!

Wow, I've never read this story before and it was the first time I've finished a long story of Clarke's. What great stuff!

Yes, the narrator is rather dry and has a tempo that can be boring on a long drive but it worked well enough.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Raystock
  • 2018-03-22

Bonne science fiction, mais narration dérangeante

Qu'avez-vous le plus aimé dans le livre Rendezvous with Rama et ce que vous avez aimé le moins ?

Une bonne histoire, un petit peu datée, mais c'est bien normal pour un classique.
En revanche, la narration m'a beaucoup dérangée : j'ai eu l'impression d'entendre un robot lire le livre.

Qu'est-ce que vous n'avez pas aimé dans la performance de Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer - introduction ?

La performance du lecteur (Peter Ganim) m'a tellement dérangé que j'ai failli arrêter l'écoute au bout de 30 minutes. J'ai vraiment eu l'impression d'entendre un "robot" lire le texte. Ce n'est que lors des dialogues que l'intonation du narrateur varie un peu pour suivre (légèrement) les émotions des personnages.
Ceci dit, pour un francophone, la compréhension est grandement facilité par ce type de lecture, mais ce n'est vraiment pas pour moi.

Est-ce que {title} valait le temps d'écoute ?

Oui pour l'histoire, non pour la narration.

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  • Cazenave
  • 2016-08-05

I like this immersing book.

Good narrators.
Like this book.
I recommend this reading.
Beautiful scenaries descriptions.
Very pleasant to listen, even for a non-native english listener.