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March 11, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Immortality, Inc. by Robert Sheckley

Immortality, Inc.
by Robert Sheckley
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publish Date: January 1, 2012
Format: Unabridged MP3 CD, 5 hours | 48 minutes
Rating: 4 of 5

Welcome to a world which has conquered death. A world where one can live again and again in a new body and ultimately gain entrance into the hereafter. If you have the money to pay for it.

Thomas Blaine was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike when his car suddenly swerves and crashes into oncoming traffic. When he wakes up he hears someone say, “He’s alive now”, followed by a discussion of his ‘death trauma’. Thomas soon discovers that he has been snatched from the moment of death, transported to the year 2110 and deposited into a host body to be a part of an advertising campaign by the Rex Corporation, a manufacturer of power systems. But body stealing is illegal, the ad campaign is cancelled and Thomas is free to leave. And he can keep the body, or so he is lead to believe.

Thomas is a yacht designer from the year 1958; everything in this future world is foreign to him. The first mistake he makes is to stand in a long of line people only to find out it is for a suicide booth. The next person he meets, a much too friendly stranger, treats him to a night on the town and then tries to steal his body. Staying out of trouble is going to be a challenge.

Written in 1959, this classic science fiction novel was the winner of the Hugo award and the basis for the movie Freejack. A little dated by today’s standards, yes, but put yourself in the 50s, and it was an innovative book. Attitudes towards women were typical of the time and if you can overlook that, the writing is quick, witty and often humorous. It’s a good example of how much science fiction writing has changed in the past 50 years.

I listened to the audiobook which was wonderfully performed by Bronson Pinchot. His fast and fun delivery made me laugh out loud more than a few times. He gave life to characters that could have been stale or cliché if I were reading instead of listening.

Recommended for a few escapist, fun hours of good old fashioned science fiction.

Source: Review copy from Blackstone Audio, reviewed for Audiobook Jukebox.


Leave a Comment
  1. ashleybros / Mar 13 2012 9:02 pm

    Whoa, I had no idea this was already the premise for a book. Airhead by Meg Cabot also deals with a body transplant done by a corporation for an ad campaign. It’s about a tomboy who gets put in the body of a supermodel and has to fulfill her contract in exchange for the body transplant, so… a bit different.


    • Leslie / Mar 15 2012 12:56 am

      I hadn’t heard of Airhead but I think there have been a few twists on the body switching theme over the years.


  2. theguildedearlobe / Mar 14 2012 12:17 am

    I love Bronson Pinchot as a narrator. I am currently listening the Rumo & his Miraculous Adventures, which he narrates and it’s excellent.

    I’ve listened to a few older scifi titles recently, and some have held up rather well, while others, not so much. I’m glad this one worked for you.


    • Leslie / Mar 15 2012 12:54 am

      The narrator definitely made the difference. This was fun to listen to. Stainless Steel Rat was another oldie that I found enjoyable due to Phil Gigante’s excellent narration.


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