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Download The Dragons of Babel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Dragons of Babel Audiobook, by Michael Swanwick Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (527 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Swanwick Narrator: Dan Butler Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781449838157
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Winner of five Hugo Awards, Michael Swanwick is an icon within the fantasy community. The Dragons of Babel has drawn sterling reviews for its blend of magical elements with postindustrial atmosphere. 

When a mechanical war dragon crash lands in his village and declares itself king, Will le Fey is forced to become its lieutenant. Although he eventually breaks his enslavement, Will is banished by the townspeople, who no longer trust him. While he travels, he befriends a superhuman con artist and an immortal girl with no memory. And when the trio winds up in the extraordinary Faerie metropolis of Babel, Will becomes a champion to the tunnel dwellers below the city.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Well written, beautifully conceived, it is one of the very few fantasy novels I can unreservedly recommend. I love everything about this book.”

    Michael Moorcock, Nebula Award–winning author of the Elric of Melniboné series

  • “If you haven’t read Michael Swanwick yet, you’ve been missing some wonderful prose…Con men and warheelers, cluricauns and hobgoblins, and a stunningly beautiful elf-woman who rides a hippogriff all entice and enrapture Will, and the reader as well.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “Triumphant…A heady literary stew. This is modern fantasy at its finest.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Earthy, bawdy, and often brutal, it’s a story that will keep science fiction/fantasy fans involved till the end.”

    School Library Journal

  • “This complex narrative is a little scary and a lot witty…Intriguing and action packed…Fascinating.”

    VOYA

  • “Impressive and often spectacular.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2009 Locus Award Nominee
  • Winner of the 2009 YALSA Alex Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric Orchard | 2/19/2014

    " This book has an amazing first half and is consistently inventive through out. I thought I was going to give it a higher rating until the end when a skillful fantasy became an uneven farce. A brilliant book in any case.Reminded me a lot of Gaiman's Stardust and Neverwhere and a bit of Pratchett's Discworld books but far crasser then either. The opening scene where a mechanical,sentient, steampunk dragon crashes into a village is amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mandy | 2/19/2014

    " Too dense for pleasure-reading and not literary enough for smart reading "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lane | 1/30/2014

    " I've read a couple of Swanwick's short stories, for which he is primarily known, but I've really wanted to read more of his stuff for a long time now. Unfortunately, The Iron Dragon's Daughter, his previous novel in the same setting, has been out of print that whole time, and I didn't want to read his latest until I read the first. I finally gave up finding a copy and read this one; luckily, as far as I can tell, the two are self-contained. Also luckily, I really liked it. The novel is pretty episodic (you can really tell Swanwick is primarily a short story writer), but, other than a little bit about four fifths of the way through, I really dug all those episodes. Lately, I've been getting tired of all the faerie stuff in a lot of fantasy, but a post-industrial Faerie overflowing with races and monsters, with little of the tedious faux-medieval stuff? Much more interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cynth | 1/15/2014

    " I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. It's unlike anything I've read. The story starts out one way, the second half feels like the author switched stories on you, and the end....I'm really not sure how the end ties to the first part of the book. the author introduces certain characters who you expect would play a big role and this is not the case. There are also pivotal scenes that you expect would lead to some major action at the end, and this does not happen. This felt like a book the other put together with everything he thought was cool. When I realized that there was just a few more chapters to go, I was shocked. There was so much more that needed to be elaborated on. And the end was so anti-climatic. I am still left wondering what was the significance of certain scenes. With that being said, the book still kept my interest, because it was just different and unpredictable. I feel like this book had such great ideas but the author did not follow through with them completely. *I wrote this review on BN.com and decided to copy and paste "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 carmen! | 1/14/2014

    " Only okay. I love this book's science-fiction-fantasy world and the author's completely random style. By which I mean, random shit keeps happening; my brain is never allowed to have things "figured out". But the actual story in this one was kind of lame. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck Childers | 1/5/2014

    " Best modern fantasy in a long time, and remembers that "punk" is a major part of steampunk. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 tezcat | 12/26/2013

    " Vaguely mirroring the equally magnificent (and possibly superior) IRON DRAGON'S DAUGHTER, but -obviously- by no means a sequel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 12/25/2013

    " This novel is set in the same darkly-drawn baroque world as Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter. It is a compelling read, but the character development is not as strongly written as in most of Swanwick's other novel-length work. "

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

    " This book is impressive all the way through, but the ending is truly stunning. The convoluted plot is beautifully finished in a surprisingly satisfying manner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Quinlan Friesen | 6/9/2013

    " The over all story is good but it has a lot of swearing and... content. I think I am going to stop reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 6/3/2013

    " First in series, For teens. Fantasy "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 6/3/2013

    " This is a strange and involving fantasy story in a different vein; it takes place in the land of Faerie in the machine age. Lots of the fantasy tropes here but with a twist that makes them real. Mostly because Swanwich is a very fine writer with a great imagination. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicholas Gourlay | 5/23/2013

    " This novel was like taking a rollercoaster ride through somebodies imagination. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 stephen | 5/13/2013

    " this book is very sexual it has some things many readers find either repulsive or invigorating i know that for me it was not about the sexual part but it was about the adventure hidden within the pages "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stella Fowler | 5/8/2012

    " I'm having trouble getting into this book... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 1/10/2012

    " I'm not sure Swanwick's successful in combining postmodern self-referencing, steampunk fantasy, a Bildungsroman and a critique of military adventurism and the notion of spreading democracy by force (complete with obligatory 9-11 reference), but hell, it's more ambitious than a lot of fantasy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 9/24/2011

    " I read about the author in Starlog and liked the idea of a darker side to the fantasy world. It was interesting seeing how he mixed modern and fantasy elements. Sometimes it was jarring but not unpleasantly so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 5/3/2011

    " Three and a half stars, rounded up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eden | 2/26/2011

    " This book is impressive all the way through, but the ending is truly stunning. The convoluted plot is beautifully finished in a surprisingly satisfying manner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 1/20/2011

    " A great book, very different from what you would expect in a fantasy (or even in a bastardized fantasy story with streaks of steampunk and science fiction) Some neat twists and turns all throughout. Very recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/2/2011

    " Such an interesting and creative world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Quinlan | 11/11/2010

    " The over all story is good but it has a lot of swearing and... content. I think I am going to stop reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 6/28/2010

    " Great book i mean any fan of the genre should read this "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 carmen! | 6/3/2010

    " Only okay. I love this book's science-fiction-fantasy world and the author's completely random style. By which I mean, random shit keeps happening; my brain is never allowed to have things "figured out". But the actual story in this one was kind of lame. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 5/17/2010

    " I'm not sure Swanwick's successful in combining postmodern self-referencing, steampunk fantasy, a Bildungsroman and a critique of military adventurism and the notion of spreading democracy by force (complete with obligatory 9-11 reference), but hell, it's more ambitious than a lot of fantasy. "

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About the Narrator

Dan Butler, an actor, writer, director, and producer, has had major roles on and off Broadway and has appeared in numerous television shows, including Frasier, House, and Monk. He cowrote and directed Karl Rove, I Love You, and has appeared in such feature films as Crazy, Stupid, Love; Silence of the Lambs; Enemy of the State; and Fixing Frank, among others.