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The Forge of God  By  cover art

The Forge of God

By: Greg Bear
Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
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Publisher's Summary

On September 28th, a geologist working in Death Valley finds a mysterious new cinder cone in very well-mapped area. On October 1, the government of Australia announces the discovery of an enormous granite mountain. Like the cinder cone, it wasn't there six months ago.

Something is happening to planet Earth, and the truth is too terrifying to contemplate.

©1987 Greg Bear (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Forge of God

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Wonderful Listening, But the Editor?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would absolutely recommend this book. Greg Bear does the best job of bringing hard science into speculative fiction of anyone I know. The story never subsumes the science, nor the science the story. VERY satisfying to the head and the heart.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Very satisfying.

What does Stephen Bel Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The last third of the book is loaded with stuff that would not have changed the story at all if it hadn't been there. Sorry, Greg. If it hadn't been for Stephen's excellent reading, I wouldn't have stuck with it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wonder if this book could have gotten published these days. Every story now seems so addicted to "it all works out in the end" that true tragedy isn't really dealt with. I really liked the fact that Greg Bear acknowledged that sometimes the worst case happens. He has a silver lining, all right, but it doesn't eclipse the catastrophe of the event.

Any additional comments?

Honestly, the last third of the novel was full of things that covered in 20 pages what could have been covered in one. Perhaps when one is Greg Bear, editors are (or were) reluctant to intervene. In any event, one of the advantages of having a good narrator is that his energy can carry you through the slow spots. And I really appreciate that, because the last pages of the story were really worth getting to. I would certainly buy another Greg Bear book, as I've done in the past, and will certainly look for anything narrated by Stephen Bel Davies. Hurrah and thanks to you both. A great yarn.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

Thank you audible. I have been waiting years for the audible version of this novel, and am not disappointed. In my opnion this is Bear's best work. A perfect balance of science and drama, with very compelling characters. It builds slowly but brilliantly to its inevitable, terrifying, and heart breaking climax. Though it is bleak in some ways, and frightening, there is the ever present flicker of hope throughout. It is thoughtful, intelligent and haunting... A science fiction classic.

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Simply not fun. Rarely if ever entertaining.

Would you try another book from Greg Bear and/or Stephen Bel Davies?

I might give Greg Bear another shot someday, but I would definitely not pay for it. Stephen Bel Davies did a decent enough job.

What could Greg Bear have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could've cut out the tons of superfluous point-of-view characters that were only there to fluff things out, and make the story seem more widespread. They rarely added anything to the story, and their undeserved melodrama just dragged things out and muddled things. "Oh look, here's another person that has no idea about what is going on, and is struggling with their emotions."

The first two acts of the book are a complete waste of time. Incomprehensible aliens mess with humanity's heads for no reason, while the central protagonists heads up a presidential task force that travels all over the world, discovering absolutely nothing.

There are perhaps two interesting ideas in the book, buried under acres of contrived angst. There is no story arc. No character development. Some decent speculation on how one can blow up the earth, and what that might look like. And hours of boredom.

Which scene was your favorite?

The one where nothing happened, and people were angsty and uncertain about it. Then something semi interesting popped up, and the story suddenly cutaway to another boring character before you could be entertained.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I thought Bear would be better.

Any additional comments?

Save yourself the trouble and read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia instead. You'll get just as much out of it with out wasting hours of your life.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The reader could put a turbometh junkie to sleep

He could have a great career as a children's bedtime story reader or sleep therapist.

12 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 10-29-19

Quit with 10 hours left.

My god I hated this book. When one of the characters—there are a bunch and I couldn’t keep any of them straight—thinks about how he misses his wife for like the 10th time in an hour, I deleted it.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Narration

If you could sum up The Forge of God in three words, what would they be?

The narrator is really engaging; he completely brings the story alive. With most books it takes me a little while to get into the story, and this one was no different. But after about 30 minutes or so I was hooked. Very entertaining.

8 people found this helpful

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huh?

a few hours into this audiobook. so far it's like lemony snickets on valium. a real snoozer with no point to it. not even word soup, more like word gruel. but, I shall carry on...after all, I paid good money for this crap.

5 people found this helpful

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Fascinating concepts

I loved the philosophical approach to 'Earth as our home and the center of everything' vs 'the universe as our home and Earth is just a living being trying desperately to mature and spread seeds before time runs out.' The science fiction elements of the story and plot are accessible, good for those who don't read hard core sci-fi. Action is sparse and the author makes a character driven plot tick forward with an increasing urgency. Best I've read in a long while.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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good premise but long and frustrating journey

the premise is interesting. but you have to endure tons of pointless characters and situations. and his excessive use of descriptive language made me feel like I was reading a mad lib story.

2 people found this helpful

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Pointless and way too long

Pointless: There is really very, very little substance to this book. The initial "mystery" is ultimately completely wasted space. There's little to no character development, and the little there is is completely random and ham-fisted. New concepts are thrown in at random (the spiders). There's Deus Ex Machina (almost literally). A bunch of interesting stuff simply happens "off screen". And in the end, it's all for naught anyway. This is not a well-crafted story, it's a bunch of concepts badly connected by too many words. Buy Moving Mars or Queen of Angels instead.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. L. Swinburn
  • 07-20-16

Fabulous sci Fi

A wonderful story told by great actors. If you have not discovered Greg Bear yet do so now.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Justin in the Pub Oxford
  • 04-25-20

Boring. tangents everywhere. incredibly dull

What a terrible novel. 90% of the story is not about the story but about uninteresting characters who you care nothing for. It is like watching the worst American soap opera. Dreadful characters. it's a sci fi story in the sense that aliens attack. But the characters and world react in no way like people would if the world was ending. Far too much vacuous and plodding dialogue which has no impact or even relation to the story. I got this on a recommendation, people love this book but for me, it became a challenge to my sanity to get to the end.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 12-02-13

Slow but good

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It's a slightly passable storyline, but way too slow moving. the end was kind of predictabe, but too many loose ends.

If you’ve listened to books by Greg Bear before, how does this one compare?

n/a

What three words best describe Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

realistic, American

Could you see The Forge of God being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

no

Any additional comments?

n/a

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucy
  • 06-26-12

Slow, dull, wordy and painfully long

I bought this because I was intrigued by the premise and love a good sci-fi story. However, by the end of the 19+ hours, I had lost the will to live and just wanted it to be over. Here are some reasons why:

1. there is far too much description about everything - the scenery, the science, the characters' inner thoughts - all of this just slows down the action. There were entire sequences were nothing much happened and, half way through the second part, the story stopped to allow the characters to have long moments of introspection about the meaning of life, death etc. For what seemed like hours (and it probably was) - nothing much happened. In fact, I ended up fast forwarding the book by 30 seconds at a time to see when the story would pick up again. I was totally bored and frustrated by this stage

2. there are so many characters that it was difficult to keep track of them all (especially on audio). This also resulted in a huge amount of 'he said, she said, he said, she said' which was distracting. The number of characters also made it difficult to know who was the hero. I presume this was Arthur since he was in the story the longest, but he wasn't all that relatable and I found it hard to warm to him. In fact, I didn't really care at the end what happened to him - which is never a good sign.

It wasn't all bad - the idea is good, reasonably original and raises some interesting questions. The narration by Stephen Bel Davies is excellent - his accents were superb and he brought the different characters to life. The ending did not disappoint.

If you like your books full of inner thoughts, descriptive sequences and philosophical debate then you might enjoy this. I prefer books to have strong characters and a good brisk pace that keep me hooked to the very end. The only reason I managed to finish listening to this was out of curiosity to find out what happened in the end, not because I cared. I’m not sure this was the best use of 19 hrs of my life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-13-18

vividly described and at times moving..

I'd read the story some years ago and the audio book didnt disappoint. Well constructed and told

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Duncan Forbes
  • 06-28-16

Still WOW!

I've read this book many, many times. it's great to have listened to it here. Well read.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 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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  • Jud
  • 07-12-21

Well read but awful accents

The narration is let down by the excruciating Australian and English accents. English as in RP English spoken in England. Up there with infamous cockney accent in Mary Poppins.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eng865
  • 01-18-19

A little dull and dated.

To be honest it was background noise, no characters that I had any empathy with.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 07-23-18

performance...

the performance was almost cringy in places especially with the Australian accents. I found it hard to keep listening to the performance, it lacked in emotion and emphasis throughout.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Stu
  • 09-10-16

Most boring book i've read on Audible

What disappointed you about The Forge of God?

Just very very tedious and the narrators Australian accent is quite possibly the worst you will ever hear on an audiobook, it hurts to listen to this, it really does.

What could Greg Bear have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

headline " one 10th as good as EON."

Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Bel Davies’s performances?

not if he as to do accents...

What character would you cut from The Forge of God?

The president

Any additional comments?

can i get my credit back ?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-23-20

slow... then fast!

Nobody destroys a planet, and a civilisation, and commits global genocide quite as well as Greg Bear.

Written in the 1980s about a future 1990s there's a lot of amusing missteps, but the payoff for careful attention to this story is moving, gripping, and Greg-Bear-style epic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ronald McCoy
  • 08-24-19

Grand scale epic...

Old school science fiction takes on an epic story, leading to something big final scenes. I don’t like to give too much about the story away, because this is very much a mystery. If you like grandscale science fiction, that involves interplanetary themes, then this may be one for you!