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Reviews of the Audiobook

Immortality, Inc.


Immortality, Inc.
Written by: Robert Sheckley
Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
Genres: Immortality | Science Fiction
Published: 6th of October, 2011
Length: 5 Hours 48 Minutes

 

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Description
Want to be immortal? You can be in AD 2110. Just go to the Hereafter Insurance Corporation and hook yourself up to the Machine. There’s nothing to fear. That is, if it happens to be working right, and if nobody slips another mind into your body when you’re not looking, and if you’re not on a poltergeist hatelist…

First published in 1959 as a startling, revolutionary novel of the future—then pushed to new cinematic limits as the feature film adaptation Freejack in 1992—Robert Sheckley’s unsettling vision of tomorrow is a trenchantly witty novel of a future where everything has improved except the bumbling human race, which just can’t let itself enjoy a good thing when it finally gets it.

Thomas Blaine awoke in a white bed in a white room and heard someone say, “He’s alive now.” Then they asked him his name, age, and marital status. Yes, that seemed normal enough—but what was this talk about “death trauma”?

Thus was Thomas Blaine introduced to the year 2110, when science had discovered the technique of transferring a man’s consciousness from one body to another, when a man’s mind could be snatched from the past, as his body was at the point of death, and brought forward into a “host body” in this fantastic future world.

But that was only a small part of it, for the future had proved the reality of life after death and discovered worlds beyond or simultaneous with our own—worlds where, through scientific techniques, a man could live again, in another body, when he died here—and had in the process established the reality of ghosts, poltergeists, and zombies.

What did it all mean? How had this discovery of what they called the “hereafter” shaped the world of 2110?

Thomas Blaine found himself living in a future where the discoveries and techniques imagined by people of his time, though realized, were completely overwhelmed by discoveries no one had ever dreamed of.

 

The Audiobook Review
Morgan Hobbes Morgan Hobbes

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Reviewed: 2021-01-14

Classic 50s Sci-Fi Mind-Swapping Fun

Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley is another classic sci-fi that's been on my list for a while and have only just got around to reading. I'm on a bit of a nostalgic kick at the moment, and this one fits right in. The future of 2110 as imagined in the 50s.

Mind swapping, indeed, mind-stealing is now commonplace. The afterlife is now a certainty... if you can afford it, of course. Our hapless hero Thomas Blaine awakens in the year 2110 in a new body after a fatal car crash killed him back in the 1950s. His mind, ripped through time just to prove it could be done.

There are certain allowances that must be given for the time it was written. The (possibly) only black man in 2110 isn't named, only referred to as "negro", plus other ways of thinking most of us have now evolved past. But don't let that put you off, the story is solid as they come. I've read a bunch of reviews of people who hate the ending... but to them, I say they were simply not paying attention.

My only real gripe is that the story is rather short. There's quite a lot hinted at going on which we only really graze across. A few plot points I'd have enjoyed digging a little deeper into.

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot who did a decent job, though his female voices left a little to be desired. Some of the more memorable characters were the more... insane one. Crackpot sounding doctors, furiously talking eccentrics. Pinchot really seemed to get full-on into those types of characters.

One last thing - the line to the suicide booth floored me. As a longtime fan of Futurama, I now know where they got the idea from!

 

 

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