Download Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus Audiobook

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus Audiobook, by Orson Scott Card Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Orson Scott Card Narrator: A Full Cast Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455192670
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In a not-too-distant future that is not quite ours, there has been a major scientific breakthrough, a way to open windows into the past, permitting historical researchers to view, but not participate in, the events of the past.

A small group of scientists and historians, carefully trained, spend their days viewing the human past through a machine, the TruSiteII. It takes a particular talent to search the past for moments of significance, to focus the machines and track individuals through the depths of time, but a woman named Tagiri is more than just talented—she has a knack for finding interesting lives.

But the world Tagiri lives in is a tragic place, the human race reduced to a population of less than one billion after a century of war and plague, of drought and flood and famine. There have been too many extinctions; too much land has been poisoned. The remaining people strive to renew the Earth while they search the past for the causes of their plight.

Then one day, while watching the slaughter of the Caribe tribes by the Spanish led to Hispaniola by Christopher Columbus, Tagiri makes a discovery that will change everything; she discovers that the woman she is watching is seeing her, too, as a vision sent by her gods.

Can the past be changed? Can the Earth be restored? Can it be right for a small group of people to take action that, if it succeeds, will wipe out the entire time line in which they live, even if the death of an entire planet will be averted?

And even if the answer is yes, where do they begin?

In one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels of his remarkable career, Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is the best book Orson Scott Card has written since 1985, when his Ender’s Game won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Stefan Rudnicki is the guiding force behind this intriguing novel, which involves alterative history and time travel. His deep voice and measured pace lend the sense of dignity and realism needed to sustain the book’s high-concept plot: an attempt to change the devastating effects that Columbus had on natives of the Americas…Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, and Moira Quirk utilize their talents well in voicing the Spanish explorers and the native leaders they influence prior to Cristoforo Colombo’s landing. Together, the narrators bring all these characters alive.”

    AudioFile

  • “A bold and compassionate alternative history filled with believable historical and fictional characters.”

    Library Journal

  • “Another superior addition to a superior body of work.”

    Booklist

  • “Readable and engaging, full of likable heroes and unmistakable villains…Pastwatch raises many significant and vital questions about humanity’s social development, that mixture of flaws and promise.”

    Locus

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Interesting read | 3/27/2016

    " I love many of Orson Scott Card's books and this ranks up there just below the Ender and Shadow series. Loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karl | 2/20/2014

    " never finished. lost interest. I'm not saying it's unreadable, just that it didn't hold my attention, and I got bored. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin | 2/14/2014

    " Fantastic... what great science fiction is all about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/13/2014

    " I found OSC's story of the Pastwatch with his take on alternative history provocative and appealing. The story deals with paradox and the hypothetical ethical dilemma of manipulating the past to affect the present and future. The driving hypothetical questions for the story include 'What if Columbus never returned from his voyage to the Americas?' and 'Might some group from a different future have tried to influence Columbus to undertake his explorations in order to change a different thread of history in which the Americas colonized Europe instead of the other way around?'. Card asks some interesting questions about the role of community and religion in the development of culture and unfolding of history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcus | 2/8/2014

    " Started off a bit slow. It really picked up in the middle and second half and turned into a great read. I enjoyed the historical aspects (not sure about the accuracy). The vote to put the project in place was a bit unbelievable, but not a big distraction from the overall plot. I think it would have been a bit more believable to have a few folks go rogue (and would have resulted in deeper/flawed characters). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luann | 1/31/2014

    " As always, Orson Scott Card tells a great story. I'll never think of Christopher Columbus the same way again. I haven't read very many alternate history books, but I did enjoy this one a lot. I HAVE read several time travel books, and I always like to contemplate the effects time travelers to the past have on the future. Although in this one, they are deliberately traveling to the past in order to completely change the future, which makes for an interesting change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 1/27/2014

    " One of my favorite books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hitbybus | 1/25/2014

    " I would give this book a 3.5 if that were an option. I really liked the time travel concepts and the pacing of the book. Where I feel it let down was the ending. Everything just came together too neatly and easily and I really had a hard time swallowing it. Anyway, I enjoyed to the journey, if not the final destination. I also was a little unhappy with the christian brow beating that goes on in this book, but I just ignored it/took it for what it was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 1/20/2014

    " If you suspend your knowledge of what Christopher Columbus accomplished and also consider the evil that the Europeans introduced into the new world, then this book provides a way to reconcile the two. I liked the premise. "

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

    " I remember reading this years ago and I loved it. I came across it this week and thought I should add it to my list. I think Card must have a thing for time travel, it seems to show up in a lot of his books. I liked his take on it in this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teddy | 1/16/2014

    " Amazing. Makes you think about how the little things are important in history. Strongly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany | 1/1/2014

    " A wonderful, believable, and enthralling alternate history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 12/24/2013

    " I liked this book, but I am a fan of OSC. I enjoyed the blend of science fiction and history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mariah | 11/25/2013

    " i HATED this book. I really truly did. Even though there were some good parts, it just dragged on and on and on. I would live if i never had to read this again. The story was just nonsense and jumped around too much and was just too much at once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emmaj | 11/9/2013

    " Great "What if..." story. What if we could go back in time and change Christopher Columbus? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 11/2/2013

    " Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. One of the writer's best. This should have won every science ficiton award out there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marci | 10/9/2013

    " One of my favorite Orson Scott Card books in which a future society creates technology that allows them to do back into history and "fix" what went wrong. The book does a good job of exploring all the moral issues involved in this, and as always, Card's characters are phenomenal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jena | 10/5/2013

    " Fantasy, fiction and a few facts. The ending of this book is amazing. It's a grand finale and a let-down all in one. One of my favorite books of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 4/4/2013

    " Interesting alternate history possibilities and twists on the story of Columbus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie | 4/2/2013

    " In some ways, this book reminded me of Michael Crichton's book, Timeline. I also liked how it made me think about language and the environment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/15/2013

    " Highly entertaining and with an extraordinary number of twists. Though some of the premises stretch credulity, they are fascinating and thoughtful nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taryn | 11/23/2012

    " Orson is a genius. This was a facinating book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Davis | 11/2/2012

    " One of my absolute favorite sci-fi books, and just favorites in general. A great mix of history (I'm such a history nerd) and future science. Some great philosophical stuff towards the end as well. I really can't review any of this without spoiling it, so all I can do is tell you pick this up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 12/9/2011

    " A fascinating concept, but it just moved way too slowly for me. The book didn't pick up until the storylines in both times comverged, and by that time, there were only a few dozen pages left. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. | 7/28/2011

    " Author postulates what would have happened had pre-Columbia American Indian societies responded to the intrusions of European exploitation differently. An intervention from a future society makes this possible and history is reimagined. regularly assigned in one of my courses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Writerhime | 5/22/2011

    " One of the best books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natasha | 5/17/2011

    " I really like books that are different and this seems to fit the bill. I did however struggle with a number of premises in the book. I could totally get behind needing to change this event in history if the reason behind it were different. Otherwise, the writing was great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 5/5/2011

    " This is one of my favorite books of all time. If you like time travel, then you will love this. It is one of the most fantastic stories ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 4/28/2011

    " I read this book once before, several years ago. While I love sci-fi, I've never been a huge Orson Scott Card fan, but this book was amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 4/7/2011

    " Loved this book. An great take on how people claiming to be Christian can do horrible things. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paige | 3/30/2011

    " This book blew my mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 3/28/2011

    " An excellent example of how history can be fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 3/21/2011

    " I remember reading this years ago and I loved it. I came across it this week and thought I should add it to my list. I think Card must have a thing for time travel, it seems to show up in a lot of his books. I liked his take on it in this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorie | 3/8/2011

    " Really interesting concept. Good, Solid sci-fi. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordan | 3/6/2011

    " A very intriguing novel on the history of Christopher Columbus. Shows aspects that most never would have ever realized "

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

    " Maybe even better than speaker for the dead. I need to read this again sometime but gave my copy to my father-in-law who used it in a course he taught at Ricks and now the book has been adopted by his daughter. Somehow the provenance of the book no longer is tied to me. "

About the Author

Orson Scott Card, the author of the New York Times bestseller Ender’s Game, has won several Hugo and Nebula awards for his works of speculative fiction. His Ender novels are widely read by adults and younger readers and are increasingly used in schools. Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy, American-frontier fantasy, biblical novels, poetry, plays, and scripts.

About the Narrator

Calvin Trillin has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1963. He is the author of thirty books. His nonfiction includes Jackson, 1964; About Alice; and Remembering Denny. His humor writing includes books of political verse, comic novels, books on eating, and children’s poetry. In 2012, he was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor for Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff. In 2013, he was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame.