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Whipping Star by Frank Herbert rating: 4 of 5 stars
Superbly narrated by Scott Brick.

What I like best about Whipping Star are the conversations between McKie and the Caleban, and I like them for the same reasons that I like reading philosophy - they explore the difficulty of communicating about abstract concepts and the grounds of existence and experience.

These conversations are set in a storyline that bears a certain resemblance to a police procedural. It takes place in a universe where a variety of different "sentients" interact.

Herbert does a good job of creating actually alien aliens and exploring how they interact and manage to work together.

The sexual politics aren't so great. There is a powerful female character in the book, but she is a vain, sadistic villain. The only other character in the book who is identifed as female is the Caleban, but Brick gives her a male voice. Given how the Calebans communicate, this makes a certain amount of sense and it works for me, but it does leave only one female character, at least for the audio version.

View all my (goodreads.com) reviews.

Other stuff I've listened recently:

"Where Angels Fear to Tread," a Hugo-winning time-travel novella by Allen Steele. I enjoyed it. He expanded it into a novel called Chronospace, which I have heard is not very good.

"3:10 to Yuma," a short story by Elmore Leonard. I found it forgettable. I enjoyed the recent movie based on it. The movie expands the story considerably.

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