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Extended Audio Sample Glasshouse Audiobook, by Charles Stross Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,330 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Stross Narrator: Kevin R. Free Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2006 ISBN: 9781449843717
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Hugo Award–winning author Charles Stross delivers “credible and bold SF” (Science Fiction Weekly) that continually pushes the boundaries of the genre. Glasshouse is a Kafkaesque tale in which a man, Robin, awakes in a clinic with severe memory loss. Finding himself targeted by a deadly opponent, Robin takes a calculated gamble and volunteers to be one of the subjects of an unusual study in the Glasshouse. But once there, he finds that the true terror has only begun.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stross is peerless…It’s one nightmarish panopticon that Stross has built here, and I can think of no greater testament to its effectiveness than my own relief at having been liberated from it.” New York Times Book Review
  • “Brilliant…With nods to Kafka, James Tiptree, and others, Stross’ wry SF thriller satisfies on all levels, with memorable characters and enough brain-twisting extrapolation for five novels.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Stross turns in another bravura performance with a fanciful glimpse at life in the twenty-seventh century…Stross amusingly recasts our own era into one of the ‘meaningless customs’ while blending suspenseful action with inventive, futuristic technology.”

    Booklist

  • “Hugo Award winner Stross takes an original and often playful approach to his visions of the future. He examines questions of identity, gender, and the human condition in the context of the SF thriller.”

    Library Journal

  • “A perfectly tuned combination of gravitas and glee (the literary/cultural references are a blast). Stross’ enthralling blend of action, extrapolation, and analysis delivers surprise after surprise.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A 2007 Locus Award Nominee
  • Winner of the 2007 Prometheus Award
  • A 2007 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee
  • A 2007 Hugo Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron | 2/19/2014

    " Okay, Britt and Josh. Okay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart | 2/18/2014

    " Glasshouse was one of those books that managed to paint a picture of a distant future that made our present day look like the middle ages. What made the book most appealing was not the technical wizardry that was at the core of the book but the romantic arcing story line that was just buried below the surface. I am not a reader of romantic fiction as such, but the love the main character felt for one of his fellow travellers was so compelling I finished the book with a lump in my throat. In case people are reading this thinking, but what about the sci fi, it was there by the bucket load. If you are purely looking for a romantic tale then the science will baffle you, at times the science nearly baffled me, that was the point of the novel it was set so far in the future the economics, the medicine the society we take for granted just did not apply, science had evolved us to such a state. The biggest surprise of the novel was how satirical it became, to the extent I laughed aloud at times. There are some disturbing scenes of domestic violence and vigilantism, but I feel they worked, as they were important to the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie Revell | 1/29/2014

    " Not, perhaps, one of Stross' best novels, although its perfectly enjoyable. It starts out rather slowly, but builds up as it develops (indeed, the ending is, if anything, rather rushed). Some interesting ideas, of late 20th century western civilisation viewed through the eyes of a very different culture in the far future, as well as questions of identity, given the viewpoint character's near total amnesia about his past life. But, on the whole, it fell a little short of some of the best of Stross' work... perhaps there's just too much background to set up in terms of the viewpoint culture and its history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mia | 1/24/2014

    " Another really fun read. If there were half-points, I'd have given this a 4.5 -- not a 5 though, because of a few noticeable flaws. There are times when there's a little too much of a deus ex machina (via machina ex machina?) quality to the solutions, but they are used to good effect, you only kind of see them coming. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 1/21/2014

    " This was fun - a real page-turner, and explored some interesting ideas. Would have been 5 stars, but the ending was much too tidy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/16/2014

    " A little time travel "experiment" in which subjects from the future are sent back to the DARK AGES: 1990s-2000!! Infused with plenty of ironic humor as people in the far-off future try to make sense out of our "archaic" trends and customs. Highly recommend if you enjoy sci fi! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon Salt | 1/14/2014

    " Another great book by Charles Stross. I love the way this guy thinks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 1/9/2014

    " Excellent pacing. There's a hard left turn in the early part of the book. The ending is a little disjointed, which may or may not be on purpose but either way meshes thematically with the events anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathanstray Stray | 12/28/2013

    " Pretty good 21st century SF/Cyberpunk "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bernard | 12/12/2013

    " A sci-fi espionage thriller, that plays with the ideas of identity. It reminds me in a way (and I think with reason) of the television show "The Prisoner". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 11/26/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. Though the level of luck and coincidence that unfolded for the protagonist was a little over the top it was easy to ignore most of the time for the sake of science fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Stenis | 11/13/2013

    " High concept cyberpunk with a lot of problems: confusing exposition, inconsistent characters, and a panopticon with rules that fade in and out. But Stross's confidence with the idea of technological singularity keeps the pages turning. I can see why this was nominated for the Hugo (and didn't win). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chet | 5/1/2013

    " A future "experiment" which imitates "the dark ages." Complex SF that is highly readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bennet | 3/3/2013

    " I enjoyed it but I don't think I'll get used to the strange words that Charles Stross makes up to describe furturistic technologies. In my opinion he tends to fall into the story without giving the reader a chance to get used to the foreign concepts. But then that's just an opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pierre | 8/25/2012

    " Loved it. I want more Stross. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 deep | 7/20/2012

    " Highly recommended. Read it in few days spending hours at a time. Gender, identity, sociology, wakapow hard sci-fi all rolled together in a relentless stream of social commentary, engaging twists and provocative ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Tackabery | 5/4/2012

    " DRM causes our current age to be erased from history. Fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirby | 2/23/2012

    " I enjoyed Glasshouse, but I felt like I was waiting for the story to reach a middle point right up until the end of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cody Jensen | 1/5/2012

    " This is probably my favorite book I have ever read. Ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya | 6/10/2011

    " Intriguing, good plot twists. At times a bit predictable though, and the technical jargon can be a bit much. Still a fascinating read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cody | 5/3/2011

    " This is probably my favorite book I have ever read. Ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 4/23/2011

    " With most books by Charlie Stross, I have a hard time putting them down. Glasshouse I actually found that I had to put down a few times, because my heart was pounding. It's an amazingly engaging book, and one I enjoyed a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Carter | 3/30/2011

    " Every advocate of "gamification" should read this book to see exactly how achievement systems are inherently totalitarian. Besides that, a good twisty story brimming with brilliant SFnal ideas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jourdan | 1/22/2011

    " A bit jumbled at the start, but very creepy once things got going. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justin | 1/8/2011

    " I wanted to like this, I really did. But I didn't. It dragged on, the subplots went nowhere, and the ending was highly unsatisfactory. I suppose it was nice to read some good, queer-positive science fiction, but I was hoping for better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mieczyslaw | 1/5/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this - entertaining and exciting in parts... Stross is good! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 emma | 1/1/2011

    " Like Neuromancer, but with a protagonist who's really into his feelings. Also, not awesome. I didn't make it far. Maybe five chapters, maybe less. Meh. "

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About the Author
Author Charles Stross

Charles Stross is the author of the bestselling Merchant Princes series, the Laundry series, and several stand-alone novels, including Glasshouse, Accelerando, and Saturn’s Children. Born in Leeds, England, in 1964, Stross studied in London and Bradford, earning degrees in pharmacy and computer science. Over the next decade and a half he worked as a pharmacist, a technical writer, a software engineer, and eventually as a prolific journalist covering the IT industry. His short fiction began attracting wide attention in the late 1990s; his first novel, Singularity Sky, appeared in 2003. He has subsequently won the Hugo Award twice. He lives with his wife in Edinburgh, Scotland, in a flat that is slightly older than the state of Texas.

About the Narrator

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and six-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.