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Hunter's Run [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

George R. R. Martin , Gardner Dozois , Daniel Abraham , Kati Nicholl , Kerry Shale
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2008

A new benchmark in modern SF. A sharp, clever, funny morality tale that answers the biggest question of all: what makes us human?

A fight in an alley behind a bar: a visiting European is knifed by local thug Ramon Espejo and all hell breaks loose.

The dead man was a diplomat on an important mission to São Paulo, and next day Ramon is on the run heading north in his van toward land that no one has ever explored, or even thought of exploring, land so far only glimpsed from orbit during the first colony surveys.

There are women still alive on São Paulo who can recall the initial descent onto an untouched world. All the cities of the south have bloomed since then, like mould on a Petri dish.

Ramon was among the second wave of colonists. He’s gone from being nothing in the hills of Mexico to being nothing on this strange alien world. His only friend Griego tells Ramon God meant him to be poor, or he wouldn’t have made him so mean. Ramon’s rage has never deserted him. It was there in the alley behind the bar, but he can’t actually remember why he killed the European.

Leaving all the hell and shit and sorrow of Diegotown behind, Ramon’s plan is to look for minerals in the unmapped lands while the heat dies down. He’s made a bare living prospecting so far, expecting each trip to be the big one that’ll make him rich, and this one is no different. The first samples he blows out of the mountain, however, bring down the mountain upon him as well and a whole undiscovered alien race. Ramon is tethered to one of them and set to ‘perform his function’. Whatever that means, he’ll find out. And he’ll remember why he killed the European.


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition (Reissue) edition (2 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007264062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007264063
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 12.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,296,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Hunter’s Run is a good old-fashioned adventure story in which one man is pitted against the law, the elements, terrifying creatures, and himself … gripping and enjoyable’ Lisa Tuttle, The Times

‘Intriguing … dark and gritty … the Byzantine political intrigue bears Martin’s hallmark, and although it’s not fantasy, those awaiting the next instalment of his Song of Ice and Fire sequence could do worse than pick this up’ DeathRay

‘Adventure here meets psychological development and a rich setting’ Sunday Age (Australia)

‘An action-packed sci-fi tale, which questions what makes us human’ Glasgow Herald

‘The novel’s intertwined hunter-hunted and psychological-transformation tensions make for a compelling and satisfying read’ Locus

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In a fight outside a bar Ramon Espejo kills a man. Next day, all hell breaks loose. The dead man was a big shot, a diplomat on a mission to the out-world of Sao Paulo. Ramon goes on the run, heading north toward unexplored territory, land so far only glimpsed from orbit during the first colony surveys.

Ramon has gone from being nothing in the hills of Mexico to being nothing on Sao Paulo. He makes a bare living prospecting for minerals. Maybe God meant him to be poor, or he wouldn't have made him so mean. He can't even remember why he killed the European, only the drinking, and the rage that followed.

Better to be alone in the wild landscape ... off the map, beyond law and civilisation. Each trip out he's sure will be the big one that'll make him rich. This one, too.

Instead he finds something else, something terrifying. Or rather, it finds him, and uses him: as humans are used by species more intelligent than themselves. But Ramon Espejo is about to prove what a man is capable of. Ramon is about to demonstrate what it is to be human; to be angry, intelligent and alive. And he is about to discover his function in the broad flow of the universe. And why it was he killed the diplomat in the first place ... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff From Some Excellent Writers! 29 Aug 2007
By Christopher Halo VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
When Ramon Espejo, a prospector and local thug, kills a diplomat in a brawl at a bar, he flees as far as he can from the rest of humanity. What he doesn't realise, is, how far. Hoping to make his fortune (and avoid the police) he goes to the mountains where he comes upon something so utterly profound that it changes him forever...

Hunter's Run, is above all, a character-driven novel. It focuses on what makes us, and what it is to be human. Captured by alien life on his own planet, Ramon is used as a hunter to track down someone else who escaped them not long ago. Later, it becomes clear who that other person is, and Ramon changes with that knowledge, as he realises what it is to be who he is.

I really can't say more without spoiling the story, but, the crux of it is a physical and psychological journey, a journey to understand himself, his race, and the alien race better. It was, and indeed, George R.R. Martin does say so in the afterword at the end of the book, reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn in some senses.

With the knowledge that the alien species are hiding from their enemies, the Enye, enemies with whom humanity works with (and, unbeknown, is being used by) Ramon gradually begins to feel more and more for his captors. I would have liked, though, to have seen more reason for what the Enye have done, and I think that would only have added to the story.

It's a richly realised world with a clear set-up. The language, and the description of the alien races is some of the best I've read. Ramon is also one of the few protagonists in science-fiction who has been of Mexican origin. The authors talk of the reasons for this in the fascinating Q&A at the end of the book.

A very good book from a "dream team" of writers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and action-packed! 27 Aug 2007
Format:Hardcover
This story's first incarnation was a novella titled Shadow Twin, which was a limited edition published by Subterranean Press in 2005. Unfortunately, I haven't read the novella-length version of this book, so I can't draw comparisons between the two versions. All I can say is that Hunter's Run is a damn good read!

With this being a collaboration between George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham, I was concerned that their different writing styles would result in a work lacking a certain cohesion. I'm glad to report that such is not the case. The whole tale streamlines quite seamlessly and one can never tell where one author's inspiration or style ends and his collaborators' begin.

Survival, identity and loyalty are probably the three main themes explored within the pages of Hunter's Run. And although there's enough action to satisfy most readers, what with the principal protagonist being pursued by aliens across outlandish wilderness, the underlying storyline which carries this novel remains that of Ramon's inner journey.

Ramon, Hunter's Run's main character, is far from being a likeable fellow. Truth to tell, he's quite antipathetic at the beginning. And yet, as it gradually dawns upon him that he might be more than a fry or two short of a good meal, Ramon slowly grows on you. This character growth is without a doubt the most compelling facet of this book.

Even though the supporting cast consists of a number of characters, only Elena and Maneck play important roles in the greater scheme of things. This doesn't mean that the characterization aspect leaves something to be desired. After all, Hunter's Run is, essentially, Ramon's story.

The worldbuilding, though well-done, is not a predominant characteristic in this novel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, exciting and a few surprises 18 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is without doubt the best new Science fiction novel I have read in many years.

As literature it may not be brilliant, but there are many things to enjoy.

There's a lot of action in the extended chase.

There is a character wholly alone-at least in human terms- with a huge puzzle as to who and what he is.

Excitement, puzzles, one tough hombre, and a neat ending.

Maybe, if you want to analyze it as you read it, then it could be said to be predictable.

However, don't let that stand in the way of a really, really good read, and a book that benefits form a second reading.

The only book I know to compare it with is Barry England's marvellous "Figures in a Landscape".

The longer you wait to read this, the more you'll regret the lost time once you do.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 21 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is very different to my usual texts so it took a little while for me to get into it. However, saying that, I really enjoyed it in the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT WITH RESERVATIONS 30 Nov 2013
By Clive
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to confess, up front, that I am no sci-fi buff. I don't, normally read the genre of sci-fi that's set in the future or on alien planets etc although I do read a fair amount of the genre that is set in some quasi-medieval period in a sort of 'Middle Earth'. As such, I am an avid George RR Martin fan (A Song of Ice & Fire series) and Daniel Abraham (both the Long Price quartet and the Dagger & Coin series are great). I'd never heard of Gardner Dozois. The premise of Hunter's Run sounded intriguing and, as it was co-written by two of my favourite authors (I ignored Mr Dozois) I had high expectations. And there's the rub.

If I ignore the provenance, then this is a pretty good sci-fi story. The characters are well developed and the descriptive narrative sufficient to paint a vivid picture of an alien world, even if it is very like Earth. The basic moral dilemma upon which the story rests, and which I can't reveal without it being a spoiler, is fairly good but I did feel that the possibilities weren't fully exploited. There is also a gapping flaw in the logic of the story as the main character; a very street wise and cynical creature, is given a tale by one set of aliens, regarding the nastiness of another alien species and he just accepts it as gospel truth, without question. He has the opportunity to question it but he doesn't. As this then drives the rest of the plot line, it seems to be a bit of a leap to me. The conclusion is also a bit vague for my tastes.

However, the overall writing style is pretty good and the story itself is sufficiently sound to hold the interest easily. Hence the four stars.

My grumble is that, without knowing that Mr Martin and Mr Abraham had a major hand in this novel, I would never have guessed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I could visualize it all happening. Will read it again and will pass it on for others to enjoy.... or not as the case may be.
Published 10 months ago by Doodles
5.0 out of 5 stars Like audio
Great story enjoy fiction of this type with alien connection and down to earth humour Mr RR Martin is a great author
Published 11 months ago by Jakz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The book was a great read. Could read a whole series of it. Unlikely protagonist. Setting was an interesting blend of mexican culture and sci-fi outter space feel.
Published 14 months ago by John Wynne
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books much to my surprise
A classic sci fi story but perfectly achieved. The main character is so strong it raises the book way beyond the normal. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mj Pickles
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick, fun read
It took a while for me to get into the story (possibly during one of the author transitions) but in the end thisis a nice "The outer limits" style novel with some well designed... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2010 by Neil J. Pearson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, as always from Martin
As always, George R. R. Martin has put his name on a good book. This time the focus is squarely on the concept of identity and the struggles of facing yourself. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2009 by Estag
3.0 out of 5 stars intricate character development, but very dull novel
hunter's run is a very readable character-driven scifi about a man, hunting another man at the beck and call of an alien slave driver. Read more
Published on 28 Dec 2007 by Toby Andersen
4.0 out of 5 stars a god read
this is a great read, won't say much on the plot, other than this is a story of self discovery for the protagonist. Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2007 by M. McCann
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish ...
This is one of the worst books I have read in a long time. The storyline is boring and doesnt grip you. The characters lack depth and generally unappealing. Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2007 by Cyberdude
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