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Flashforward | [Robert J. Sawyer]

Flashforward

A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.
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Publisher's Summary

A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than 20 years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.

©1999 Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1231 )
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3.8 (684 )
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Story
4.0 (679 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-14-11
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-14-11 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "real Science fiction"

    This is not Sci-Fi, this is Science fiction at it's best. I have not seen the t.v. series, but the book makes me want to watch. The miles past by so quick as I listened to this book. I usually like to listen to NPR in the morning and then listen to a book, but I kept finding reasons to leave NPR and listen to this book. The science is not over your head and RS keeps your interest all the way. It is not a time travel book, it is a glimpse into the future and the results that causes and there are some very interesting causes. RS is the Asimov of our age.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Riverton, UT, USA 04-23-09
    David Riverton, UT, USA 04-23-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Goes Nowhere"

    When I heard about the concept for this book and that they are going to make a TV show based on it (and even comparing its potential to Lost) I couldn't wait to get this book.

    Never has so much potential for a good story been wasted on such mundane trivialities. Rather than something to explore or some kind of conspiracy to be uncovered the characters spend a novel that is more than twice as long as it needs to be deciding what they should do now that they think they know what the future holds.

    I recommend saving your time and money, read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, wait for the TV show (to see if that will be better than the book, which won't take much) and go get something better. Heaven knows there's plenty of it on Audible and its not this book.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karina Netherlands 01-08-11
    Karina Netherlands 01-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring because of the details"

    Couldn't bear to listen to this for very long, thanks to the lengthy descriptions of irrelevant details, such as each character's hair style. Also a case of an author showing off his knowledge whilst not relevant for the plot. Perhaps the story got better later on, but this was not for me.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Franklin, TN, United States 08-06-10
    Dave Franklin, TN, United States 08-06-10 Listener Since 2005

    Dave

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    "OK if you're a Physicist"

    I bought this largely because of the TV series. The book was very interesting and enjoyable up to about halfway through. It then got into such scientific mumbo jumbo that I was totally lost and could no longer follow the plot. I want to be entertained when listening to a book. I like to laugh, be shocked and associate with the characters. I became so confused with the scientific jargon and terms that I just about stopped listening but endured it to the boring end. This reminds me of the most recent books from Stephen King. I used to be a huge King fan and then his books endings got so bizarre that I stopped reading his work. This book follows the same pattern of being interesting and enjoyable for the first half and then turns into this weird psychedelic out in left field ending. I guess I have found another author to put on my "don't read" list. A tital waste of a credit!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin BrightonUnited Kingdom 05-28-10
    Martin BrightonUnited Kingdom 05-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dull"

    I was looking forward to this book because I had found the TV series increasingly irritating. However, it was at least entertaining in its way, unlike Sawyer's novel which is terribly dreary with uninteresting two-dimensional characters and an excess of tedious dissertations on quantum physics. I really wanted to get this book behind me so that I could move on to something more enjoyable. Shades of Philip K Dick -- great idea, amateurishly written. The best bit is definitely the chase, which is quite gripping because you really don't know what's going to happen. On the other hand, you don't really care.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan P. Mcgarvey 11-22-09

    S_McGarvey

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    "Great premise, but disappointing follow through"

    I downloaded FLASHFORWARD because of ABC's new TV series of the same name. One of the best premises ever, lots of intriguing clues/possibilities, but the end left me cold. Too . . . silly. I became bored listening to the last chapters.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Fan Virginia 07-07-11
    Book Fan Virginia 07-07-11 Member Since 2008

    Ima

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Save your credits...not like the TV Show"

    While I thought this would be 'similar' to the TV Show, be forewarned that this story is very different. While usually the book is better than the show (take any Stephen King or Dean Koontz book as an example), the TV folk took an idea (by Robert Sawyer) and made it much, much better. Not to give any spoils here - this book is a flash forward 20 years (not 3) into the future and 85% is about Theo trying to solve his murder. Ok, see what's wrong here...3 years is somewhat imminent whereas 20 years who really cares. No FBI, no bad guys, no nothing but Lloyd, his fiance and Theo. Too bad there is not more here as I really enjoyed the TV Show with its many different plot lines - not much here other than a good idea (the flash forward) that someone else took and made much better. Save your credits for something else...

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 07-14-14
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much science too little story"

    Well written and interesting ‘Flash Forward’ is heavy on science but light on substance. After seeing the TV series I was really excited to read this book. I wanted to hear more about people’s visions and their views of the future but reader is limited to a very small number of visions and some additional visions which relate to those of the main characters. The mystery surrounding Theo and his murder is interesting but not enough to overcome the constant flow of science to make this a truly great story.

    Mr Deakins does a great job with the narration getting all of the accents and foreign pronunciations spot on.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Locke Tampa FL 10-10-10
    J. Locke Tampa FL 10-10-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weak and full of holes"

    Only 52 minutes left and I'm finding it hard to finish. I went through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (57 hours) in less than a week but this 10 1/2 hour book just doesn't do it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-15-10
    02-15-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Awesome hard science"

    This book combines excellent character development, a fantastic premise, an interesting story and excellent hard modern science for an amazing read. I downloaded it just three days ago and have already listened to it twice. I also loved that there are a few open ideas/questions as the end for the reader to ponder, instead presenting an answer to every last question/unknown presented in the story. I also found the narrator to be easy to listen to, with an unaffected voice that also distinguished well among different characters. I've been waiting to hear some good SciFi about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and this certainly fulfills my expectations with a work that is fun and exciting.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 61 results PREVIOUS1237NEXT
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  • Ghazala
    Chinnor, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
    7/8/10
    Overall
    "Great book, awful narration"

    I am about half way through the audio of this book and I am thoroughly enjoying the plot. Quite different from the tv series but that's ok for me.

    My only complaint is the narration - I find it quite hard to believe in any of the characters as all their accents are the same, regardless of nationality - the New Zealand accent is particularly amusing! I would rather the narrator didnt try to put on different voices for each character if he is going to do it badly.

    For me, this really lets the audiobook down which is disappointing as I'm quite fascinated with the subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hazel
    Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom
    6/1/10
    Overall
    "Brain bending!!"

    First of all - if you are expecting a book of the TV series - forget it. This book was so much better than the TV series which was based (very very loosely) on it.

    Robert J Sawyer is a real old fashioned intelligent science fiction writer, the kind that gives your brain a real work out. The information about the real places such as the Large Hadron Collider is woven into the story extremely well giving it depth and believability. The fiction elements are blended in so skillfully that you really have to stop and think about where the science stops and the fiction begins.

    The book works on many levels, once the reader has been introduced to the idea of a 'flash forward' glimpse of the future then the real questions start and they come thick and fast. What impact would it have to know in advance that in 20 years you would or would not be famous? How do we know whether the future is fixed and does free will really mean anything? What about the millions of people killed by the event and how do the authorities cope? How do you prove what causd the phenomenon without killing millions more people in the process?

    Add to the mix a murder mystery where the crime won't take place for twenty one years and you have a classic sci-fi tale up there with the likes of I-Robot and Foundation. I can't help but think that this would have made a fantastic movie if handled correctly rather than the seriously dumbed down TV series.

    As an audio book, the production was great, the narration was excellent and I was hooked from start to finish. More like this please....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    11/20/09
    Overall
    "Don't bother"

    Really not worth the trouble - wooden characters with stilted dialogue, lumpen plot and a smattering of futurology: "Windows 9", hovercars and big televisions anyone?

    The TV series shares little more than the title. This is probably a good thing as the book lacks all the excitement found in the dramatization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beverley
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    11/10/09
    Overall
    "Brilliant!"

    This is a beautifully written and thought-provoking book which is well read by the narrator. It raises the fascinating questions of how life would change if you could see 20-years into the future, how much that vision would dictate what actually happened in the future and whether or not the future is pre-determined. This is a great read and much better than the TV series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ken
    Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom
    1/21/10
    Overall
    "Flashforward"

    Decided to see how this compared with the television series and you can see where the TV series gets it's ideas but other then that theres not much link. As with another reviewer I felt the TV series has more drama however this is a very good book and parts 1 and 2 are well written, interesting and make you want to listen to more. However - the ending is dreadful and a major let down and rather ruins the rest of the book. The first 2 parts on their own would have had a rating of 4/5 but the final part is a 1!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-15 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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