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The Practice Effect Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reissue edition (Jan. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055326981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553269819
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.6 x 17.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #848,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be very entertaining, for half of the book. The first half of the book kept me very entertained. Finding a new world, and explaining it, and how it exists was very good, as were the characters. The second half of the book became irritating to me. Every thing could be fixed with the practice effect, regardless that it was something that rarely had ever happened before in the world that the story takes place in. It became a nice easy way to get the characters out of trouble, and was relied on too much. Was the story entertaining none the less...Yes. I could look past those things I have mentioned, I just did not rate the book very high because of it. I am not going to give the plot away, but several of the characters kept the book amusing. I like to read a story and smile every now and then at cute things that put humor into a book even though a tale is being told, and for that I applaud the author. The book left me with several funny images that still run through my head.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
David Brin's earlier work have the show the same beginning skill as his newer novels. Here once again, he masterfully creates a world for his characters and he delivers this world to you in a way that makes the reading easy.
This novel centers around a physicist caught in the middle of office politics in the university he works in. This is not so much the basis of the story but the setting that the story begins with. At the university this physicist has created a device that enables you to explore other worlds on a different plane of existance. However, some minor problems with the use of this device ensue and the initial inventor of this device, who has been brushed aside due to these politics, has been asked once again to help with it.
Totally unarmed with previous information he is thrust into one of these anomaly worlds with only the idea that the physics in control of this world may be somewhat different. What a beginning!
As the main character Dennis Neul explores this world you understand his observations as all from earth would. However, pulling together his various theories based on Earth rules, don't add up and he is forced to adjust his earlier assumptions.
There is a complication that extends his visit and he is thrust in the middle of some hostilities that are currently dominating this world. He interacts with the locals and begins to understand more of the local customs and rules of physics.
This book is classic Brin. His well thought-out science that is so easily portrayed to the reader is a joy.
You will thoroughly enjoy this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have all of Brin's books, but the one that finds itself back into my mind time after time is The Practice Effect. It is humorous adventure with a sci-fi/fantasy setting, which is difficult to do. The book pays obvious homage to my all-time favorites, the Harold Shea stories by L. Sprague de Camp. In fact, it is riddled with allusions to other science fiction works which I assume were favorites of Brin at the time the book was written.
I judge books by the ability they have to leave a lasting image in my mind. Two of David Brin's books have done that; The Practice Effect and the Postman. In each, there are word pictures painted of ordinary people who attained a sort of nobility through their efforts. In the Practice Effect, it was the aviation pioneers like Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart. In the Postman, it was the mythical title character who did an everyday job with an immense sense of underlying duty. For those memorable scenes, both of these books were worth their purchase price.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gee, not every SF book has to be a deep exploration of the limits of the genre. Sometimes you just like to kick back and enjoy yourself. This is exactly what this book is, and it's a great read, fast and fun at the same time, while still throwing up some interesting concepts. David Brin normally is an acquired taste, his Uplift books are some of the best SF books around but then they to be heavy on the plot, stories seem to drag on for years (I think only recently he got around to resolving some stuff from the first trilogy) and he can be a bit wordy. Not here though. Granted the ideas aren't as mindblowing as elsewhere but you know what, who cares? The basis here is that an Earth scientist is sent to another world and trapped there for a bit. The world seems backwards and forwards at the same time, there is caveman technology sitting alongside highly advanced stuff, among other mysteries. The scientist (Dennis) has to try and figure out what the heck is going on before he gets killed, especially since a Baron is trying to take over everything. Sounds like fun, right? Dennis' solutions to get out of problems, especially once he figures out how everything works, are great, and Brin seems to delight in this world, putting a decent amount of detail into it. He uses a SF explantion at the end that makes a tiny bit of sense but by then it really won't matter. There's all sorts of good stuff here, from ingenuity to danger to suspense to action to a bit of romance as well. Even if this isn't the most innovative stuff it's well written and brisk and . . . fun. That's all I can say. It's a fun little book that is more memorable than some of Brin's other work simply because of that. And you can't go wrong like that.
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