• Mars, Inc.

  • The Billionaire's Club
  • By: Ben Bova
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (546 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bova, a six-time Hugo Award winner and past president of theNational Space Society, returns to his most popular and best-selling subject: the quest for Mars!

How do you get to the Red Planet? Not via a benightedgovernment program trapped in red tape and bound by budget constrictions,that's for sure. No, what it will take is a helping of adventure, science,corporate power plays, a generous dollop of seduction - both in and out of theboardroom - and money, money, money!

Art Thrasher knows this. He is a man with a driving vision:send humans to Mars. The government has utterly failed, but Thrasher has gotthe plan to accomplish such a feat: form a "club" of billionaires to chip inone billion a year until the dream is accomplished. The problem is, these menand women are tough cookies, addicted to a profitable bottom-line anddisdainful of pie-in-the-sky dreamers who want to use their cash to makesomebody else's dreams come true.

But Thrasher is different from the other dreamers in animportant regard: he's a billionaire himself, and the president of a successfulcompany. Still, it's going to take all his wiles as a captain of industry andmaster manipulator of business and capital to overcome setbacks andsabotage - and get a rocket full of scientists, engineers, visionaries, anddreamers on their way to the Red Planet.

The man for the job has arrived. Art Thrasher is prepared todo whatever it takes to put humans on Mars - or die trying!

©2013 Ben Bova (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Mars, Inc.

Average Customer Ratings
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Disappointing by any standard

I listen a lot and seldom write reviews, but Mars, Inc. moved me to action. I made it to the end, but this novel has the least likeable or relatable protagonist I've ever encountered, and is packed full of gender stereotypes and physical descriptions that made me wince. He had an "oriental" appearance? Really? I disliked the main character so much that when he finally found love I found myself incredulous that anyone could fall in love with him. And while I don't expect every novel to have a "Me Too" sensibility, this book felt more like something written in the 1960s or 1970s than a novel published in 2013. I expected more and better from a Hugo Award-winning novelist. What a disappointment.

9 people found this helpful

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Just What I Wanted To Hear

This is a masterfully written story, though I have to admit I am partial to the subject matter. I am new to Ben Bova having started with the Exiles Trilogy. What a long career and if this is representative, he only got better with age. Though I tend to like Stefan Rudnicki's performances, I also think any reader would be transported into the story through the way he read this one.

7 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointed... First foray into Bova's works

The narration by Stefan Rudnicki was excellent as always.

I ventured on to start reading Bova's works after an interview with Stefan and Scott Card.

The story was really poor though and revolved mostly around a misogynistic lead character. Very little science and exploration of Mars itself. It's rare that I won't complete a book that I have started but this one feels like a chore.

I will not let this get in my way of finding other Bova's works. Hopefully will find some better ones.

7 people found this helpful

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Bova/Rudnicki team maybe losing edge.

To be honest, this is mainly a Ben Bova issue. Rudnicki does his usual, if not sometimes over the top, presentation job. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a lot to work with. Bova seems obsessed with how women are dressed, what they look like, and how they manipulate men. For that matter, I would say 1/4 of the text in this offering is descriptive of clothing, eye colour, shoes, etc. The characters are almost childlike in their obviousness, and their behaviour is predictable and derivate of previous books.

I have been a fan of Bova for years, but I can't, in good faith, recommend this offering.

5 people found this helpful

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More Space Scenes Might HAve Been Nice

Would you listen to Mars, Inc. again? Why?

Yes, this book is worth another listen. It will probably be a year or more before I get the chance to listen again, as I have a large and backlogged library to go through before then, and by that time it will be fresh again in my mind.

Would you recommend Mars, Inc. to your friends? Why or why not?

The story is solid. I didn't find anything particularly predictable, which was nice in an earth-only book. I felt as if there should have been more space scenes, but that was just a personal taste.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was near the end as the central mystery began to be solved. I won't say more because I don't believe in spoilers.

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

It would be worth staying with it that long if one wanted to. I was not in a "thrills & chills" state of mind, but certainly not bored either. A good, solid eight hours of entertaining prose. I consider my credit well spent.

Any additional comments?

Rated R for profanity, coarse jesting and Mature themes. Adults only please.

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Some good some cringe worthy

Not sure if I’m supposed to like or hate the main character. He is a sexist jerk. The way women are generally portrayed made me think this was written in the 70s. The book is ok if you can get past how women are portrayed.

1 person found this helpful

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Has Nothing ToDo With Space

The story was good and the reading was good. The story really had nothing to do with Mars. I say that because I like story’s about space travel and alien worlds.None of that in this book really. I enjoyed it but not as much as the title made me think I would.

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Dr Bova will be missed

Another great book by Dr Bova even if it is more down to earth. This book is timely considering that a large portion of crewed exploration already involves large corporations with visionary leaders. It’s not a shot’em up asteroids war book but it’s a good one.

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illuminating

I think the book starts of well, It hard it's fair share of intrigue and suspense, and I loved the ending

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Nothing happened for 10 hours!

Things go smooth and nothing bad happened to our incredibly unrelatable hero. Even as a included book this was a waste.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-21

sexist

Based on his description of women author seems to be very horny. Stopped listening when he out of the blue started comparing rocket launching to having sex.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt Watson-Power
  • 03-21-22

Great story good narration apart from….

… his Australian accent! Not a big issue - liked a lot and the rest of it was great.

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  • s p henderson
  • 03-05-22

Not really about Mars

While I was excited to return to the world so dramatically fleshed out in his popular Mars series, the writer is showing his age, too many lingering lines exploring voluptuous women who seem to only get ahead based on how attractive they are to men. Feels very last millennium.

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  • J. D. Stewart
  • 10-09-21

engrossing tale

it started very slowly, but built the interest quite quickly. The author engendered empathy for the main character, but less so far the tertiary characters. All in all, a very good listen

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-21

Billionaires club

An intreeging story about the people who make things happen or otherwise.
Very well related, enjoyable to listen to.

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  • BEHNAZ
  • 12-08-16

interesting

It was a good length and interesting story, not too deep in science but at the point to make u curious about new sciences.