This is a typical hard-SF novel from Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke was famous for epic science and exploration (e.g., "2001"), but not for his characterization, and it shows here. While a planet-sized alien artifact flying through the solar system should engender a sense of awe, I found myself bored through long stretches of the book describing the explorations of Rama's interior, and ultimately I could not care much about the characters or about Earth (largely because neither are ever seriously threatened). My opinion is a minority one among classic sci-fi fans (obviously, since it won so many awards), but this book was more of a chore than a pleasure to finish. The science and sense of scale is worth more than 3 stars and Clarke's writing is efficiently descriptive in the old school sci-fi style, but rating "Rendezvous with Rama" purely based on how much I enjoyed the story, I can't give it a higher rating.