TS Chan's Reviews > The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
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really liked it
bookshelves: physical-owned

4.5 stars.

This critically well-acclaimed science fiction novel certainly deserves its laurels.

"Wildly imaginative, really interesting.." so proclaimed Barack Obama about this trilogy. From what I can gather after reading this book, I already wholeheartedly agree. The Three-Body Problem is a truly unique and original science fiction within the realm of plausibility. Melding real-world science, history, philosophy, religion and fantastical ideas, this novel delivers a beautifully-written (and translated) narrative which engages the mind, heart and soul.

The story starts against the backdrop of the brutal Chinese Cultural Revolution, which afforded a highly relatable and realistic basis for its central plot. The narrative combines both present time events and flashbacks to provide the backstory of a major character who suffered through that bloodshed period. Characterisation might take a slight backseat to the plot development, but I enjoyed the unfolding of the story together with the scientific bits so much that it did not become an issue for me.

It is also actually quite frightening how much I identify with the ideology presented in this thought-provoking novel. Is humanity worth salvation with the destructiveness it presents to this wondrous planet?

Even if God were here, it wouldn't do any good. The entire human race has reached the point where no one is listening to their prayers.

I opted to write a shorter review for this simply because part of my enjoyment was derived from knowing as little as possible. It was timely that I recently had the impetus to read up on theoretical and astrophysics as this helped my (little) understanding of the science in the novel. Having said that, one does not need to really know or fully comprehend the technical details to appreciate the story. However, if you are a fan of science, fiction or otherwise, who will love to see the application of these fundamental theories in a captivating story, do yourself a favour and pick up this book sooner than later.

I will also like to thank my wonderful friend, Celeste, for gifting me with the hardcover copy of this stunning book for my physical collection.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
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Reading Progress

October 22, 2016 – Shelved
October 22, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
February 2, 2018 – Shelved as: physical-owned
June 23, 2018 – Started Reading
June 26, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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Petrik Great short review! Cant wait to see your thoughts on Dark Forest! :D


message 2: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Petrik wrote: "Great short review! Cant wait to see your thoughts on Dark Forest! :D"

Thanks, my friend! I won't be starting The Dark Forest immediately yet as I have a lot of RL stuff happening for the next few days. Am excited though since that is a favorite of yours.


message 3: by Celeste (new)

Celeste Great little review, love! Glad you enjoyed it!


message 4: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Celeste wrote: "Great little review, love! Glad you enjoyed it!"

Thanks, my love!
And thank you so much for the birthday present to complete my hardcover collection. :)


Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー Fantastic review! My boyfriend loved this one but I struggled with all the physics.


Audrey The physics was about the only thing I found interesting. :/


Jody Wonderful review, TS! :) Books 2 and 3 are even better.


message 8: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Jennifer (Jen/The Tolkien Gal) wrote: "Fantastic review! My boyfriend loved this one but I struggled with all the physics."

Thanks Jennifer! So you didn't finish it?


message 9: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Audrey wrote: "The physics was about the only thing I found interesting. :/"

True, the characterization was not exactly compelling at this juncture. But somehow the story was sufficiently empathetic in a strange way regardless of that. Did you read the rest of the trilogy? Heard that it gets better.


message 10: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Jody wrote: "Wonderful review, TS! :) Books 2 and 3 are even better."

Thanks, Jody!! Yay! I can't wait to start The Dark Forest this weekend. 😆


Audrey I haven’t read further. I heard the characterization gets better, though.


message 12: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Audrey wrote: "I haven’t read further. I heard the characterization gets better, though."

That's what I've heard as well. Anyway I'm starting the next book soon.


Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー TS wrote: "Jennifer (Jen/The Tolkien Gal) wrote: "Fantastic review! My boyfriend loved this one but I struggled with all the physics."

Thanks Jennifer! So you didn't finish it?"


Haven't started it but for about 10 pages! Building up the courage. But I'm going to and will consult him on what I struggle with.


ChopinFC Awesome spoiler-free review! I read your preview about the second book, it really peaked my interest on this series!


message 15: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan ChopinFC wrote: "Awesome spoiler-free review! I read your preview about the second book, it really peaked my interest on this series!"

Thank you, Rod! After finishing Book 2, I really cannot recommend these books enough. 😄


message 16: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid Great review! Sounds complex and intriguing.


message 17: by TS (new) - rated it 4 stars

TS Chan Zoe wrote: "Great review! Sounds complex and intriguing."

Thanks, Zoe! It really is intriguing.. but I don't think it's terribly complex although the hard science can make it less enjoyable to readers who don't like too much of it.


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