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Customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
89
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 March 2013
I've just been laid up in bed after a (routine) operation for about 5 days and read 6 science fiction books. After this one I had to get up because I knew that anything else I read after it would feel flat and uninteresting. This was the most enjoyable thing I've read in that genre for years. Spot on the mark for being up to speed with modern paradigms/technology and philosoph-ethical conundrums, all woven into a hard and gutsy plot; and with some good characters. I really can't praise it enough. Blows most other stuff out of the water. As a (struggling!) writer myself, I would say that if I had written this I would (1) be inordinately proud, and deeply satisfied for the rest of my life (2) want to rewrite the end. In particular I wanted to know more about the Seeker and his buddies (you'll have to read it to find out who I mean). Of course this is a sign of a good book/writer, and the pace and attention to detail was flawless right up to the last few pages. At the end, one or two of the other characters started to crack a little too, but read it and make up your own mind. I humbly suggest maybe he should have ended it a few pages earlier (and let our own imaginations take over?). It's still a great story (and manifesto?). My only other quibble: Some 'bits' (which at the author's own admission were included from previous short stories) added little or nothing to the story. I don't mind (I don't expect life, real or imagined, to be simple/neat), but if I'd submitted the story to a literary agent I suspect they would reject a quarter of it as not relevant. Still, I HATE that market-driven imperative to keep us constantly on-plot and breathlessly turning pages: This was a welcome return to real imagination/writing, and it kept me avidly reading (and digesting) the (plentiful!) pages right up to the last twenty or so. So: 5 stars 'cos it's a must-read; but......
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on 18 January 2013
It took a little perseverance, but once I had become comfortable with the multiplicity of characters and timelines, I really enjoyed this book.
I am now looking forward to UPLIFT (Trilogy)
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on 11 February 2013
loads of concepts and story lines some are great some not so overall a bit rambling and untidy but with some interesting ideas but they seem a bit lost
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on 31 July 2012
I have always liked David Brin's books so when I came across this one I was a bit concerned about the low ratings but bought it regardless.

I found it a very good read, laughing out loud at times and really enjoying how all the various strands and ideas came together.

Although this is more an ideas book with the various theories about the Fermi paradox explored between the characters it does have an underlying believable world with it's share of well imagined SF elements and even a few action scenes.

I later read that some of the chapters were previously publised short stories (or developments of them) but I honnestly did not spot the joins while I was reading it.
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on 19 December 2012
In answer EXISTENCE continually diverts the imagination. David Brin's style makes for easy reading and at every turn, there is a twist.
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on 24 April 2014
I found this book very confusing and hard to understand. I wonder at the reason for writing it! I must have missed the point completely!
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Brin has always been an author to make me not only think but one that generates a story that as a reader makes me think after I put the title down. It's inventive and of course the what if questions are ones that haunt you long into your sleep as you try and think what the events would do in our world if the events within were to come to pass.

The pace is solid, the prose decent and as usual with David's writing the reader is in for a treat as the pages take you through a real journey of discovery. All in a solid read but for me, asking the reader to question their own thoughts as well as understanding is a worthy thing in itself. Solid, capable and definitely a book I enjoyed.
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on 14 February 2016
great post apocaliptic
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on 7 January 2016
Very intresting book
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on 8 October 2012
I was left struggling to finish the book just to find out where it was going. Numerous characters are brought into the storyline only to disappear without adding anything. If you are looking for a gripping read then I'm sorry but this is not it.
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