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Ringworld (A Del Rey book) Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1985

4.0 out of 5 stars 573 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Audiobook Narrator Tom Parker [aka Grover Gardner] captures the personalities of the travelers through individual vocalization and provides smooth, expressive narration. The listener is soon caught up in the adventures of these vivid characters as they struggle to survive . . . a rousing adventure.'' --AudioFile

''Niven's style is such that you can be awed, then titillated, then amused all on the same page. . . . After more than thirty years, the story remains interesting, and the ideas fascinating. I highly recommend this audiobook, whether you've experienced Ringworld already or not. I enjoyed every minute.'' --SFFAudio.com

''[Audiobook Narrator Parker -aka- Gardner] skillfully uses inflection and timing to heighten drama or highlight humorous details as appropriate. Parker (aka-Gardner) deftly brings to life Louis Wu and other members of the 'motley crew' . . . This is SF--and narration--at its best.'' --Kliatt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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8 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Del Rey book
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Pf edition (September 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345333926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345333926
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (573 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Ringworld Engineers is the sequel to Ringworld. In Ringworld, Larry Niven introduced us to the concept of a world made in the shape of an extraordinarily large ring encircling a star. In this book he gives us answers to questions we might not have even asked about the Ringworld, but that others apparently did. After the publication of Ringworld, Niven received numerous pieces of correspondence from people offering helpful information about the details of how the Ringworld would actually function. Niven took inspiration from the enthusiasm of those people and created the Ringworld Engineers in part to publish the answers to important questions about the structure. Around those answers he has created a thoughtful and engaging story that adds in a positive way to the Ringworld legacy.

The basic premise behind the Ringworld Engineers is that twenty or so years have passed since Louis Wu and Speaker To Animals returned from the Ringworld. Since then, Louis has withdrawn into a life of ascetic practices livened up by his addiction to current stimulation. Speaker to Animals (who has earned his full name of Chmeee for the treasure he brought back from the original Ringworld adventure) lives a prosperous life on Kzin having earned high status from his Ringworld discoveries. The circumstance that brings Louis and Chmeee back to the Ringworld is one quite familiar to them, but the situation they face upon arriving on the Ringworld is quite different than when they left. The Ringworld is moving out of position around the sun and the only way for Louis and Chmeee to find out how to fix it lies with the origins of the Ringworld Engineers.

I found the Ringworld Engineers to be engaging and interesting wholely apart from the original Ringworld.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim while serving with the Air Force in South Korea. Honestly, what attracted my attention was the idea of the ringworld itself. A ring with 6 million times the surface area of the Earth built by beings who have abandoned it just sounded so fantastic, I couldn't resist.
This book was anything but a dissapointment. It moved at a good pace and I hardly had to push through any of the chapters. The breadth of this collosal work of engineering is described with a good sense that leaves the reader in awe.
Having been the first of Niven's book I read, this was my first exposure to the Kzinti race which appear through Niven's "Known Space" works. And here is where my only problem with this work is. Honestly, the idea of gargantuan feline-like aliens just seemed a little cheesey to me. Although Niven works out nice background info for this race, I just thought he could have done better with the appearance.
Despite that, this book has some nice original ideas and even a few brilliant ones. It deserves the Hugo and Nebula badges that grace the cover. Very Highly Recommended.
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By A Customer on January 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What most people seem to have forgotten is that the Ringworld books (Ringworld, R.E., R.Thr.) aren't the only books in the series. ALL of the Known Space books must be taken as a whole. For instance, it's impossible to fully comprhend Ringworld E. without having read "Protector." All the known space books link together, PLUA the short stories. I suggest reading them all in chronological order and putting the pieces together yourselves. Sure, it will require more trips to the library, but, hey, whoever said life was easy?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A mysterious (and mad) stranger offers a rich prize to an apparently mismatched crew, if they will undertake a dangerous mission to a strange land - the Ringworld.
Far from a typical adventure yarn, Ringworld is a landmark science fiction story. The worlds and cultures, the future human history, and the technology conceived for this book (and for other related Known Space stories) are a major achievement of imagination. Larry Niven has a gift for making them all fit and work together into a cohesive and enjoyable whole.
The exploration of the Ringworld, a massive artifact of mysterious origins, forms the backdrop for a further exploration of the history and the cultures in Larry Niven's Known Space series.
Ringworld provides insights and intriguing clues about the two principal alien species of the novel, the Kzin and the Puppeteers, and the history of their interactions with the human race. The creation of alien viewpoints and personalities is exceptionally well handled here. Nessus and Speaker-to-Animals are credible characters with unique viewpoints.
I was particularly pleased with the handling of the warrior culture of the Kzin. Speaker-to-Animals is aggressive and proud, but also intelligent, articulate and judicious. Contrast this with the one dimensional, noble but simple minded Klingons of Star Trek NG.
Ringworld has my recommendation. Other Larry Niven books worth reading include Neutron Star and Protector.
I don't recommend Ringworld Engineers, the sequel to this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I'm a self-proclaimed nerd, so perhaps you can take this whole review with a grain of salt. But personally, I think Ringworld is some of the best SciFi out there.

Many points are raised in the other reviews here, and most of them are good. But I feel that far too many people missed the bigger message of it all. Yes, the 200-year-old main character (world-weary Louis Wu) winds up explaining technical jargon to a 20-year-old bimbo in a situation where characters obviously take a backseat to the great technical underpinnings of the universe... but a scene or two over, he also switches sides with a line something like: "The world's greatest lover was a friend of mine... we're going to need gravity for this."

The point of the novel isn't just to follow the typical drivel of who's starstruck for who or who's the best at splurting out technobabble WHILE you just happen to be in the future, it's to set back in awe of the setting and the world in which all of those little things happen. Truly, the Ringworld itself is the greatest and best character in this book, and everyone else (even Louis Wu) really is playing second fiddle to the main course- a structure so unimaginably complex that scientists will be (and have been) fueding over it for generations to come.

Marvel at the lasers and stasis fields. Wonder at the scenic vistas and the incredible settings. And maybe, just maybe, you'll get attached to the band of rogues caught up in all of this along the way. All in all, it's mostly about the journey and the setting, and just going along for the ride.
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