David Elkins's Reviews > Ringworld

Ringworld by Larry Niven
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's review
Oct 18, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read from October 16 to 17, 2010

Read through this over the weekend and I have to say that Niven goes to great lengths to describe the Ringworld and is largely successful in conveying the vastness of the world in comparison to Earth. However, much could have been done to improve the reader's access to Niven's own visualization of what the Ringworld looked like. I found myself skipping over directional references often because they just became too confusing without concrete reference points. I was also disappointed by Niven's characters. While there was some interesting interactions among the species, the characters were rather bland and stereotypical sci-fi roles (Hero: slightly flawed but always make the right decisions; Woman: beautiful, sexual plaything of the Hero; Fighter: rough on the outside, learns to be soft on the inside; Brain: analytical, but ugly). The latter third of the book is filled with lots of descriptions about traveling which nearly bored me to tears. Still, it was fun to imagine a world shaped not like a sphere but like a ring which spans many thousands of times the surface area of Earth.

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