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Summary

Once a hero, now a pariah, Richard Muller is humanity's last hope.

Richard Muller was an honorable diplomat who braved unimaginable dangers to make contact with the first-known race of intelligent aliens. But those aliens left a mark on him: a psychic wound that emanates a telepathic miasma that his fellow humans can neither cure nor endure. Muller is exiled to the remote planet of Lemnos, where he is left, deeply embittered, at the heart of a deadly maze - until a new alien race appears, seemingly intent on exterminating humanity. Only Muller can communicate with them, due to the very condition that has made him an outcast. But will Muller stick his neck out for the people who so callously rejected him?

©1969 Robert Silverberg (P)2016 Skyboat Media, Inc., and Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Man in the Maze

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!!!

Robert Silverberg + Stefan Rudnicki = Pure Perfection!!
Both story and narration kept me entertained every single minute.

2 people found this helpful

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Deserving of more exposure

Whilst elements are very much of their time and genre, the story is one of those which could be transposed equally into almost any setting, given that it deals primarily with human nature and society. Well worth the read and/or listen. Rudniki occasionally mispronounces something, but his performance is strong and well-suited to the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb despite...

... the book's archaic 1960s portrayal of women. But hey, we wouldn't throw Jane Austen or Bram Stoker out the window because they reflect the sexism of their time. Or perhaps we should!

Anyway, it's a gripping book with a bizarre and ingenious plot device at its core: on a distant planet there's a deadly and impenetrable maze, a solitary human lives inside, and mankind needs to reach him. But he has a terrible affliction which makes him psychologically unbearable (literally unbearable) to those who approach him...

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

Other reviewers are right about women in this book -- their presence in the story is for aesthetic and sexual reasons only. That is rare nowadays. Yet I can't judge the book for it. In a way, it's an interesting contrast to our current times and to how characters are written nowadays (which is often just as bad but in other ways).
My understaning is that everyone lives for so long in this fictional world that monogamy and shame are things of the past. There seems to exist shame of aging, though. 'If you can choose to look young, why wouldn't you?' said a character, feeling offended by his comrade's older body. People seem to live for fun -- or how a male writer imagined fun would look like -- bathing naked in front of dudes, sharing a girl between friends etc. Frankly, our current reality is quite close to this fictional world in the way how people buy and sell youth.

I'm simply not interested in women, so it was a boring experience for me to listen to these fantasies. Now, if the protagonist was swimming naked with his nipples perking above the water too -- then it would be something. :)) Otherwise, he is quite boring for a protagonist.

1 person found this helpful

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The question it ask you, will you love society even when it reject you

To love society even when it outright ostracises you and cast you out, interesting idea.
Is is it worth to love that which abhors your existence.
Quite the question?

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"The Labyrinth of Lemnos."

A brilliant book which presses all of the right buttons for this reader: good writing, descriptions which give just enough to form pictures in the mind but leave enough to the imagination, a touch of surprise, of horror, of future fears as well as the terror of the present, and three contrasting but fascinating protagonists. Old mid twentieth century ideas SF.
All performed by an appropriate narrator, Stefan Rudnicki.
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Highly recommended, and available to download for free from the Audible+ programme

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I know it was of its time, but still ...

A lot of this book was grating. Women barely exist, and what purpose they do have is to look pretty and have sex, which they are always up for. They have no jobs, or opinions, or education. And, in fact, I'm pretty sure that it's not so much that it was like that in the late 60s as that the author wanted women to be like that, so I'm not happy to just let it go because 'that's how it was'.

The structural bits of the story, the world, the aliens, the technology, were all great and moved along at a good pace but I strongly disliked all of the characters for different reasons. There is no hero in this book. Plus the author was not as deep and meaningful as he clearly thought he was. That's the downside of an audiobook, you can't skim past all the self indulgent twaddle.

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Good story, I enjoyed it

I bought this book about 40 years ago but moved house so many times it stayed in boxes for a while and finally I lost it.

Was happy to find it for free on Audible. It was a good, well-written story. I enjoyed it, but the barrator’s voice is so deep and so slow I had to listen on 1.2x speed to make it interesting.

Well worth listening to.

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Very good!

Great story and great narrator I'm surprised this isn't more mainstream the only bad thing was that it was short!

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An enjoyable Sci-fi story.

Well written and narrated. Inspired it seems by some real classics - in a good way.

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  • Elle L.F.
  • 20-12-18

dry

well this book shows it's a age bit. It's more of a contemplative piece than an action one. Not a lot happens it's kind of boring. The narration is fine if a little bit dry. The material is dated and if you are a woman who likes science fiction you will be used to the high level of misogyny present here. Females are not in the story unless they are sexual partners and their nudity is described in detail. They have no personality and all they want to do is be pleasing sexually and be looked at. So, there you have it. Read at your own risk.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Anita
  • 10-09-20

1969 sci fi for men

Good story except for the author's 2 dimensional women characters. Guess women in this future have nothing better to do than swim naked and wait for their space man?

20 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-08-20

A must read for anyone that doesn’t understand that the male patriarchy is a real thing?

Sci fi was written for males. This book’s treatment of females makes it seem to be written for 1948 males not the 1968 males it was written for.

Also hilarious to think this book was “woke” at the time with its view on Columbus.

But this book treats females as “the people males have sex with.” It is shocking and eye opening to see a woman’s place reduced to the things males do when they aren’t working.

The must read moment comes when the protagonist assures himself the sexual partner he is with is young. She maybe 20 or 90. With the medical treatments of his world it is impossible for him to know. But he’s pretty sure she’s 20 actually! Because, you know. How much that matters.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 09-10-20

Great concept but problematic

I thought the other reviews might be exaggerated, but women really are relegated to pleasure objects. Characters are also two-dimensional and not especially intriguing.

That said, the story itself is exciting, if not occasionally confusing. The book also seems to end without a satisfying resolution.

I would still recommend the listen if the description caught your attention.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Isler
  • 29-01-21

Excellent Read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well thought out and and it didn't waste any time. To the people that are saying this book is sexist.....come on, don't be so sensitive. This book IS NOT sextist. Just because the female characters in this book aren't as developed as main characters (which happen to be male) does not make it sextist. it's a short book, give it a break. I think people need to relax a little and enjoy the story.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-20

Solid classic sci-fi

I love classic sci-fi and especially Robert Silverberg. It's a good book, not the best thing in the world, but it's short, has a decent plot, and has some interesting philosophy to think about, what else do you want?

5 people found this helpful

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  • Z Moore
  • 11-09-20

disappointing

I'm half way through this book and the story is interesting but I am really put off by this book's really terrible treatment of women. Another reviewer described the female characters in this book as 2 dimensional and I think that is generous. There have been no significant female characters. The female characters that are there are only there for sex or spouses. They have no personality. I had to go back and see when this was published. I thought I had stumbled on something really old but this was released in 2017. I get that the main characters is supposed to be an asshole and that can work in a book sometimes, but this isn't just the antagonist's point of view.

The story itself is interesting as far as I've gotten. The first man to make contact with an alien race has banished himself after the experience left him impossible to be around. But a new alien species has a arrived and a starship has been sent to bring the man back for his unique perspective on understanding alien minds.

I can't recommend this to anyone.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Dintelman
  • 09-01-20

an amazing story

a story full of Hope and Humanity as well as all of the dark inside their of and of course the narration is top-notch

5 people found this helpful

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  • C. M. Hersam
  • 11-01-21

Exceptionally mediocre

And dated. If it wasn’t free I might just be annoyed. As it is, it provided background for doing a closet clean out. Hoped ending might make it worth it. Sadly I was wrong.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nikki Bruises
  • 06-09-20

Splendid!

What a fun read, really enjoyed this story! It is certainly a good read for any scifi lover :)

3 people found this helpful