Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Garden of Rama (Rama #3)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,315 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
In the year 2130 a mysterious spaceship, Rama, arrived in the solar system. It was huge - big enough to contain a city and a sea - and empty, apparently abandoned. By the time Rama departed for its next, unknown, destination many wonders had been uncovered, but few mysteries solved. Only one thing was clear: everything the enigmatic builders of Rama did, they did in threes ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 608 pages
Published December 1993 by Orbit (first published September 26th 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Garden of Rama, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Dune by Frank HerbertEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Best Science Fiction
417th out of 2,144 books — 3,404 voters
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor VingeSnow Crash by Neal StephensonRed Mars by Kim Stanley RobinsonThe Fall of Hyperion by Dan SimmonsJurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Classic Science Fiction - 1990-1999
178th out of 212 books — 100 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 02, 2011 Lee rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
There's a scene towards the end of the sixth Harry Potter book where Harry and Dumbledore find a small basin of water with a much-needed magical item at the bottom of it. The water is cursed, though, and they can't simply reach in and grab the item, nor scoop out the water; the water has to be drunk in its totality before the item can be attained. And you just know that water's going to taste bad. Think the purified essence of a thousand Domino's pizzas and then multiply that by three. Yes, that ...more
This is where the Rama series ends for me. A lot of the Rama mystery is gone. Clarke appears to be completely absent in this one and Lee is just not cut out to fly solo.

The first quarter was interesting. There was still some focus on the Rama mystery. The rest of the book, however, is tedious and pointless as it focuses on the human society aboard Rama. Basically society breaks down and ridiculousness ensues.

This is not what I wanted in a Rama sequel. I wanted to learn more (but not too much) ab
Si Barron
Nov 23, 2012 Si Barron rated it did not like it
Loved the first Rama novel; number 2 something of a disappointment- this one is a major let down. What I liked in the first 2 is the mystery and the sense of weird erieness; the inexplicable killings and the strange surreal architecture; also the loneliness and emptiness.

These elements do appear in the first half of this book- I loved the description of Nichole venturing ito the Avian lair and walking down miles of empty corridor before coming to a solitary door. Yup these bits make me tingled w
Stephen T Shores
Jun 07, 2013 Stephen T Shores rated it it was amazing
I don't really understand why this novel has to much negative feedback. It's true, the first third of the book does proceed rather slowly at times, but it has to in order to make sure that the entire story is set up, not only for this book, but for the books to come. If you jumped ship before finishing this novel, you shouldn't review the book. I think the main thing people don't like about the Rama series after the first book is all the human drama. Rendezvous with Rama is a good sci-fi novel, ...more
Robert Devoe
Aug 26, 2013 Robert Devoe rated it it was ok
When I read this novel as a teenager, I loved it, as I totally enthralled with the Rama series and the writings of Arthur C. Clarke in general.

As I read this book a second time as an adult, I realized that this book is really just lousy, and it was extremely evident that this was not in any part written by the master author Mr. Clarke, but instead was likely written entirely by Gentry Lee and signed off on by Mr. Clarke's agent for some quick cash.

This "Sci-Fi" novel is better suited for a dri
Jim Razinha
May 07, 2013 Jim Razinha rated it it was ok
Torn on this one...the story might have gotten three stars for being a relatively mindless read with fairly good flow, it was still mightily flawed. First, two men should not presume to write first person from a female perspective - even if one of those men claims to have bounced the story off of his wife; the first quarter of the book was in the form of diary entries of a carryover female character from Rama II...and reminded me of early sci-fi sexism. The second quarter was decent enough scien ...more
Ed Tinkertoy
Sep 12, 2012 Ed Tinkertoy rated it it was amazing
This is part three of the series and my second time reading it. Again, I just didn't remember things the way the book presents them. In this book the family has reached the Node, been informed by the aliens that they are to be studies as are all other species the aliens can find anywhere in the universe.

Meanwhile, the family has expanded to 5 kids. They are then informed that they can all leave the Node to go back to their solar system except two must remain at the Node. The oldest person agree
Greg Sidor
Aug 03, 2011 Greg Sidor rated it it was ok
This is the third in the series and I've read them one after another. "The Garden of Rama" is by far the weakest entry. The first book focused on the mystery of the craft and its absent creators. "Rama II" followed another expedition that delved deeper into the craft. The third installment gets hung up on humans who aren't that interesting, and predictable themes that don't fit into a series about enigmatic aliens.

As strange as it sounds, "The Garden of Rama" needed less of a human element. Nico
Looking much forward to read its following book.
This book gave me thoughts (once again) to ponder about the human situation towards itself and its attitude towards other species. Gave me the shudders!!
At another instance, it also pointed out about the pleasures (and possible rewards) of experiencing things anew.
A Fantastic Book, in a Fantastic Series! :) :)
Apr 01, 2012 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2009 Caroline rated it liked it
So, this is the third book in a series of at least four, possibly more. I don't know though; my mom handed me this one thinking I'd like it. So I jumped in without really knowing anything that happened before the story started. It added a mystery piece to it, which was pretty cool. And they give enough information throughout that I could guess what was going on, and even get those kind of questions answered. I think they even did it in a way that the information would not have been redundant had ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2007 Miguel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with Clarke's other books, I found this to be a serious page turner and got through it in a handful of sittings. He keeps the Rama mystery interesting even if events are a little bit predictable. What Clarke and Lee do wrong here is stuff the book up with flashbacks to flesh out main characters. The authors should have relied more on pages of action and dialogue, which they do better but which frequently seemed abridged.

My other gripe, and this is a complaint about the series generally, is t
Jan 11, 2013 LKM rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sooo, disappointing. Enjoyed reading about the parts about Rama, totally disliked the whole human parts of it and specially towards the end. (view spoiler) ...more
Todd Martin
Jul 07, 2015 Todd Martin rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The Garden of Rama is the third installment of a four part series. It's better than the second book, but nowhere near as good as the first.

On the positive side:
- It accurately portrays humans as the dysfunctional assholes they are.
- A bit of the mystery that can be found in the first book is re-introduced.

On the negative:
- The plot quite literally goes nowhere (the ship travels to Sirius only to turn right back around and return to Earth).
- The characters are uninteresting.
- There's qu
Jul 14, 2015 Perderders rated it liked it
Ya que hay que valorarlo en una escala sobre 5 se queda en un tres, pero bastante más próximo a un 4 que el anterior. En mi opinión, mejor narrado, con conflictos mejor planteados, y más interesante en general.
Jun 12, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing
Heavens to Murgatroyd and back again! Shamelessly inventive and enjoyable. Less mysterious than Rendezvous with Rama, less confined than Rama II, a grand, grand adventure. Little leggies, I'll miss you.
Storyline: 3/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 2/5

This was better than Rama II but still not as good as Rama I. I've seen warnings that fans of the first should ignore the rest of the series, and while I agree that you are better off skipping the second book, I think that the original Rama fans could still enjoy this. This recommendation deserves some disclaimers through.

The plot: One of the big disappointments of Rama II was that it really didn't give us anything new or different from th
Alex Lee
Apr 14, 2016 Alex Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi, 2016
In a way this book changes the nature of the entire series, where humanity itself is shown as being unworthy of being on Rama. The study of sci-fi at its greatest has always been humanity itself, not the mystical/magical possibilities of science. Here, Clarke and Lee outdo themselves by showing that a deeper intelligence examines humans while humans wonder at their role in the world and universe. The ending is deeply disappointing for two reasons.

1. Humans center on their own power and territory
Nov 15, 2015 John rated it really liked it
It is really hard for me to decide on a rating. The book seemed to go through several incarnations, some of them were brilliant, and some mediocre. Spoilers throughout.

I was completely drawn in by the first section of the book. The trip to the megastructure and the time spent on it were fascinating and imaginative. But then the story switched to the new characters, and expanded. It seemed to take a nose dive at this point. At times this section felt like a melodramatic morality play. However, th
Joris Vankerschaver
Jan 23, 2015 Joris Vankerschaver rated it did not like it
While I loved Rendezvous with Rama and Rama II, I simply could not get through this book. The writing is wooden (the Dutchman is "dour", wines are so good that "they could have passed the inspection of all but the most learned oenologists", ...), and the plot is at the same time tedious and far fetched. This must be a first, but even the acknowledgements section managed to annoy me with its pompous declaration "The novel deals in considerable detail with women, especially the way they feel and t ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it
This is the third book in Clarke's Rama series, and the second one written in collaboration with Gentry Lee. It picks up more or less where Rama II leaves off, and I think because it's a continuation of a story, it's easier to get into that the former was.
In this book, we learn a bit more about the purpose of Rama. We meet some strange new characters, lose track of a couple characters, and encounter a rather depressing plot development and commentary on human nature. I'll try not to spoil anythi
Христо Блажев
Вторият том на “Рама” превръща фантастичната сага във фамилна драма
”Градината на Рама” проследява приключенията на тримата космонавти, които бяха “отвлечени” от втория космически кораб, който напуска Слънчевата система веднага след безуспешния опит на земляните да го унищожат с ядрен удар. Напускайки орбитата на нашата звезда, “Рама II” се устремява към новата си дестинация, а земляните трябва да намерят начин да се устроят в една странна, враждебна среда.
Alex Grama
May 02, 2016 Alex Grama rated it did not like it
I can't take it anymore. I stopped exactly at the beginning of the following paragraph:

"She rolled over and looked at Richard quizzically. 'It's about Katie,' he said. 'I really need your help ... There's another of those youth get-acquainted dances tomorrow night - you remember we told Katie last week she could go, but only if Patrick went with her and she came home at a reasonable hour. Well, tonight I just happened to see her standing in front of her mirror in a new dress. It was short and ve
Aug 23, 2016 Christopher rated it did not like it
In space, nobody can get an erection.

That's the takeaway from the first third of The Garden Of Rama where the three surviving astronauts (Nicole, Richard, Michael) from Rama II try, and try, and try, and try, to conceive and repopulate the human race as it exists in a giant space tube.

The notion of a unorthodox family unit forming on the Rama spacecraft seemed promising as eventually children are had by Nicole and Richard. But the train goes off the rails when Nicole decides she REALLY needs to
Keith  Blodgett
Jul 11, 2016 Keith Blodgett rated it it was ok
Horribly predictable. Humans will ruin and kill whenever and whatever they can. Including themselves. The need for power, ownership and prestige still run strong in future humans sad to say.
One thing I found so anomalous it angered me a great deal. Living near Florida's NASA base and having read science fiction since I could read even I know man's greatest enemy in space is fire so why was an entire habitat developed and designed with fireplaces?
And when you have a chance at participating in wh
Rushabh Hathi
Mar 02, 2016 Rushabh Hathi rated it it was ok
Are you kidding me?
I mean ok so suddenly, they decide the start the book as Nicole's memoir! And what's in the memoir? 13 years or life in Rama and how she is the saviour of humanity and helps bring 6 lives in this universe! And in the turn of events, the memoir suddenly stops and again narrative starts where they reach a certain place called as "The Node" where a supreme being is cataloguing all the lifeforms in-universe and boom! the author describes how kids play at the waystation!

This is not
Feb 03, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur C. Clarke's body of work exhibits an arc of development from starry-eyed optimism regarding the human condition to pessimistic skepticism. "The Garden of Rama" was seemingly written just beyond the cusp. This is a novel that's all over the map, but this is not meant by means of criticism. Indeed, based on the first half of this novel, there would be little or no way of predicting the twists and turns which lead to its conclusion. Generally speaking, the first half focuses more on the scie ...more
Matteo Pellegrini
Jan 22, 2014 Matteo Pellegrini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza

Il libro riprende la storia nove mesi dopo la fine diRama II, seguendo la storia di tre astronauti dall'espedizione diRama IIche rimangono intrappolati a bordo della gigantescaastronave generazionalealiena, di forma cilindrica kilometrica, che Clarke chiama Rama II, diretta verso lo spazio profondo. Nel corso del viaggio, nascono 5 bambini. Simone Tiasso Wakefield, Catharine Colin Wakefield, Eleanor Joan Wakefield, Benjamin Ryan O'Toole e Patrick Erin O'Toole, vengono partoriti daNicole Des Jar

May 31, 2014 Cyrus rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I blame myself a bit for this one. After reading "Rendezvous" I thought how tragic it was that Arthur Clark, who has such an interest in humanity seems to have so little interest in humans as individuals. All the wonders of Rama, and nothing to bring it home on any kind of real personal level.

Enter Rama II, with something that very much resembles characters with lives and motivations, even if they were inexpertly handled; a trifle soap operatic at times even. It's nothing but the characters for
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fantastic Voyage II:  Destination Brain
  • Bright Messengers: A New Novel Set in the Rama Universe
  • Ringworld's Children (Ringworld, #4)
  • Legacy (The Way, #3)
  • Jupiter
  • Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy, #1)
  • Manifold: Origin
  • The World at the End of Time
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)
  • Isaac Asimov's Caliban (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #1)
Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

Rama (7 books)
  • Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1)
  • Bright Messengers: A New Novel Set in the Rama Universe
  • Double Full Moon Night
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
  • The Tranquility Wars

Share This Book

“Jealousy is a terrible thing. “It doth mock the meat it feeds upon” is an understatement. Jealousy is completely consuming, totally irrational, and absolutely debilitating. The most wonderful people in the world are nothing but raging animals when trapped in the throes of jealousy.” 2 likes
“We wanted you to have a feel for the size of your habitat, in case you needed that to be more comfortable with the design process.” 1 likes
More quotes…