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Waiting for the Galactic Bus Paperback – Import, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; First Edition edition (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553175947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553175943
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,090,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Watkins on February 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
....
Waiting for the Galactic bus begins at the begining...of the human race that is. Some aliens who can exist in solid form or in energy are taking a trip around the universe, tripping all the way since they're young and want to try the latest and greatest in sensory experience through thier equivilant of drugs and extreme sports. They happen upon a planet where they spend some time drinking in the rich atmosphere and experiencing various solid forms, getting drunk on the sensations. When they're ready to leave, two brothers in thier number who are considered trouble makers and losers are too drunk and get left behind. The others decide they'll come back for them in an aeon or two, serves them right for being drunk jerks, right?
Barion and Coyul wake to find themselves alone, with nothing but the primitive life of Earth to keep them company. Since they're so bored, one decides to give self-awareness to a monkey and start a human species. His brother warns him against this, as there are serious laws against elevating species before they are prepared for it, the disasters resulting from such irresponsible advancement of a species are terrible and the punishments severe. But, since the deed's been done, might as well improve on the design, right? figures the other brother.
And so, it is the begining of all the creativity, sadness, hope, destruction, love, hate, art, and violence. Barion and Coyul soon discover that this new species just keeps going on after they die in the form of consious energy. Not quite sure what to do with them, they decide to throw them a party, and "Upstairs" and "Downstairs" develop, and religions on earth develop and influence the way the realms develop.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Wehner on June 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved it. It was such a new look at classic evolution that I couldnt help but love it. The descriptions of Heavon and Hell, or Topside and Below Stairs, were so funny and imaginative that I fell instantly in love with the places. While I was reading it I tryed, on numerous ocassions, to describe the book to my friends and teachers who rewarded my efforts to enlighten with very strange looks. In fact the only person who didnt give me a very strange look was my best friend who instantly wanted to read it. We both enjoyed it alot and think others will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas O. Gray on August 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a strikingly original fantasy novel about fascism and foolishness. Humans, it postulates, are a species condemned to struggle against the pain of having "a mind capable of conceiving eternity trapped inside a body that dies." Two energy beings, blind drunk after over-indulging (in what?) at a graduation party on a series of backwater worlds, miss the bus home. Facing the prospect of eternal boredom, they begin to tinker with the mental capacities of a few unlucky apes, and presto, "Christ, Beethoven, Auschwitz, thumbscrews and philosophy, Magna Carta and White Supremacy, poetry, poison gas, nuclear fission and romantic love" are born. Fast-forward to present day, and the two decide to intervene to prevent the marriage of Charity Stovall, an intelligent but unthinking religious hanger-on, and Roy Strider, a small-minded, vicious proto-fascist. But they do it by show-and-tell, convincing Charity and Roy that they're dead and letting them roam through Heaven and Hell to find wisdom--or damnation (it's your choice, after all). Highly entertaining, packed with original, witty, novel conceptions and ideas. (About the only book I can think of that resembles it to a degree: Robert A. Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land.") Four stars instead of five only because the characterization is limited in depth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Book Works on May 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Light on character, heavy on philosophy and ideas, Godwin throws some big stones at evangelical Christianity without taking on any of the really tough questions. The plot revolves around energy beings from another galaxy who foster intelligent life on Earth... only to discover that humans are flawed (ala Brin's Uplift series). Superficial and cartoonish in places, clearly heartfelt and deeply moving in others, never as funny as Godwin seems to think, the story ultimately collapses on Godwin's inability to provide a character about whom the reader really cares. Hence reminiscent of the absurdities of Vonnegut.
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By A Customer on June 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Waiting for the Galactic Bus and its sequel, The Snake Oil Wars (to which I give a rating of 10), are fabulous commentary on zealotry and fanaticism. Mr. Godwin is a wonderful writer and very humourous. His dedication for The Snake Oil Wars says it best: "To those lucid and courageous minds who gave us the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, Falwell, Robertson and the God-inspired Rule of the Rightous. To those intrepid souls who fight with unflagging zeal to remove from libraries dangerous books they have not read and from theaters those spiritually toxic films they have not seen, believing that thought is a controlled substance and secular thinking hazardous to mental health." Such wise and wonderful words! Two of my all time favorite books.
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By PKB on September 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Waiting for the Galactic Bus is one of the best book finds I have ever made.
The premise was a bit of a shock at first, but it was witty and intelligent.
I laughed and grinned a lot while I read this book, but there were also places
that jostled me awake. I don't know how many copies of this book(and it's sequel
The Snake Oil Wars) I have purchased in total, but I made sure through this purchase
that I would always have a copy just for me.
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