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Download Venus Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Venus Audiobook, by Ben Bova Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,132 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Bova Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Grand Tour Series Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781470800765
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The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system, its ground hot enough to melt aluminum, its air pressure high enough to crush spacecraft landers like tin cans, its atmosphere a choking mix of poisonous gases. This is where the frail young Van Humphries must go—or die trying.

Years before, Van’s older brother perished in the first attempt to land a man on Venus. Van’s father has always hated him for being the one to survive. Now, his father is offering a ten-billion-dollar prize to the first person who lands on Venus and returns his oldest son’s remains. To everyone’s surprise, Van takes up the offer. But what Van Humphries will find on Venus will change everything—our understanding of Venus, of global warming on Earth, and his knowledge of who he is.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bova proves himself equal to the task of showing how adversity can temper character in unforeseen ways.”

    New York Times

  • “Bova’s new novel will indeed please his fans, as it offers his usual mix of solid science, serviceable (if sketchy) characterizations, and lickety-split plotting with plenty of cliff-hangers…As a voyage to an unknown world, it excels.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Stefan Rudnicki’s voice is deep and resonant…[and] works well for this book. With its stately pacing, technology-heavy setting, and detailed descriptions, Bova’s story is an old-fashioned space opera, and Rudnicki’s narration is reminiscent of a 1930s radio announcer performing a Buck Rogers serial.”

    AudioFile

  • “[A] well-researched, thrills-and-chills descent through Venus’ pressure-cooker atmosphere. With solid science, a palatable environmental message, and an inspiring character arc for unlikely hero Van, Venus delivers guilt-free, man-against-nature SF in a tight, page-turning package.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “A top-notch adventure story of broken dreams and lifelong hatreds that match the turbulence of Venus itself. The author’s excellence at combining hard science with believable characters and an attention-grabbing plot makes him one of the genre’s most accessible and entertaining storytellers. Recommended for SF collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “A leading light of hard SF and space advocacy turns his attention from Mars to Venus…Hard SF fans in general and Bova fans in particular will generate strong demand for his highly respectable new effort.”

    Booklist

  • “Exciting and vividly wrought.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 2/10/2014

    " I didn't realize it when I started, but Venus is actually one of an extended series by Ben Bova. This particular installation follows the weak, ineffective, and largely unlikable Van Humphries, son of a powerful billionaire who can't stand his younger son. His older son Alex, Van's beloved brother, was killed on an expedition to Venus, and he places a very large reward for anyone who can bring back his son's body. Van, who will be left penniless without the reward, decides to undertake the mission, competing against his father's hated enemy for the money. The catch is that Venus is likely the most inhospitable planet in the solar system, with an atmospheric pressure similar to the deepest parts of the ocean, clouds of sulfuric acid gas, and temperatures that can melt aluminum. In the end, it was the adventure of exploration and discovery, as well as the fascinating imaginings of Venus, that pulled me through this book. Van is somewhat self-centered and whiny through the majority of the plot, but it's a small price to pay for a seat on the first expedition to a dangerous planet, and danger-free at that. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cindi Trainor | 2/8/2014

    " (june 2004) i can't believe i actually finished this. it was horribly written, and i barely cared about the hysterical characters--particularly the snivelling protagonist--to bother to turn the pages. still, the science (fiction) kept me reading til the lurid and quite predictable, comic book ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Christensen | 2/1/2014

    " I haven't read all of the Grand Tour novels yet, but this is one of Bova's best, and I have read a lot of Bova. The main character is more fully defined than in many of his other books, and it's yet another fast, fun romp through the solar system. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip Benge | 2/1/2014

    " Ben Bova is a great scifi writer and this book is very readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Hamad | 1/27/2014

    " By far the weakest so far of the Grand Tour books, this one follows a fairly cheesy storyline into the clouds of Venus. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arthur | 1/2/2014

    " With all the things he is not, Van, training to deal with it. You who are in opposition against him fight him. That is what he muses in his high adventure. Or a round trip to Venus, at the top of its clouds and certainly its secrets, and a kind of story that tell what is not left to wonder about all the times nor offered. All human beings on the earth and the moon, the future of life in cities without many of the concerns of being sick or immortal, witness indescribable adventures from space, the earth was unable in the past to reach. Earth is under a debate globally, and collects its data for proof to demonstrate a kind of evolution of the planets are underway. This book is interesting and well written. The scenario opportunity presents a fast read and walk-quality of the neighboring sister planet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christo | 1/2/2014

    " Good story, filled with action and unexpected twists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shoshana | 1/2/2014

    " The narrator is horrid, but the story is interesting. He shows some character development over the course of the book, but he only becomes less horrid, not likable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 12/7/2013

    " An easy read. I enjoyed aspects, but found the protaganoist a little whiney and insipid at times. And very predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 11/28/2013

    " the grand tour of the universe to Earth's sister planet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ | 11/27/2013

    " this,if a film would be bovas stupidly expencive blockbuster,..rich with action & them characters we've met before,.exciting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donald Parker | 3/4/2013

    " Cutting bova some slack for his other novels. This one wasn't worth the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allen Petro | 1/29/2013

    " Another in the Mars book Series. This one was not nearly as good as the others. Somewhat disappointed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 5/14/2012

    " trying to get dad to actually pay attention to him , very real and relatable topic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 4/30/2012

    " Van Humphries is his father's unloved second son. He becomes engaged in a race to Venus to recover the remains of his older brother despite a life threatening medical condition. During the expedition he discovers many truths about himself and others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg Sidor | 4/18/2012

    " Bova again creates an exciting, strange world based partly on science. The characters could be fleshed out more (like a lot of sci-fi), but I recommend this as good escapist literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter Walton-Jones | 3/17/2012

    " Goodish space opera action story. Told at a fast pace and enjoyable (but not strongly written) characters...a little predictable in the plot twist, and unlikely in the action sequences but a fair holiday read overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rod | 1/15/2012

    " Not everyone's cup of tea...quite pulpy science fiction, but I've become a sucker for Bova's "Grand Tour" series, as I attempt to write a sermon-series on the planets and the mythology that surrounds their names. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh | 11/20/2011

    " Lots of science, lots of action, good characters. Awesome! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 8/2/2011

    " The science is good, The fiction is okay. Story is a bit juvenile, but still fun, even though the twist ending should be obvious less than halfway through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christo | 4/26/2011

    " Good story, filled with action and unexpected twists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 4/11/2011

    " I haven't read all of the Grand Tour novels yet, but this is one of Bova's best, and I have read a lot of Bova. The main character is more fully defined than in many of his other books, and it's yet another fast, fun romp through the solar system. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 3/2/2011

    " An easy read. I enjoyed aspects, but found the protaganoist a little whiney and insipid at times. And very predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh | 2/20/2011

    " Lots of science, lots of action, good characters. Awesome! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drew | 9/2/2010

    " Man's first landing on Venus, all on a dare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 12/29/2009

    " Bova again creates an exciting, strange world based partly on science. The characters could be fleshed out more (like a lot of sci-fi), but I recommend this as good escapist literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 7/20/2009

    " the grand tour of the universe to Earth's sister planet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rod | 2/6/2009

    " Not everyone's cup of tea...quite pulpy science fiction, but I've become a sucker for Bova's "Grand Tour" series, as I attempt to write a sermon-series on the planets and the mythology that surrounds their names. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 12/5/2008

    " I love space opera. Pure brain candy! "

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About the Author
Author Ben Bova

Ben Bova, six-time Hugo Award winner, received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.