©1999 Robert J. Sawyer; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal." (Publishers Weekly)
This is a discrete story from what I was first exposed to, the TV show. A little less conspiracy-ish and more just generic random happinstance, this is still an interesting exploration of the Flash Forward event, which offers a lot of different ways to see the impact of everyone suddenly having a glipse of their future selves actions.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
I was drawn to this book because I was a fan of the TV show of the same name and premise (apparently the only fan in existence of the short-lived series, at least according to the show's creator, Marc Guggenheim, whom I met on the set of a later show). The book has little in common with the series other than that basic premise, but it has its own rewards nevertheless, not least of which is that Flash Forward the novel is more highly regarded as SF literature than the show is among TV sci-fi.
The basic premise, and I don't think I'm giving anything away here, is that all of humanity blacks out at the same moment, each person having a short vision of a moment or two in the future. The remainder of the book is about understanding the visions, reacting to them, debating them philosophically, scientifically, and spiritually. This works best in the context of individual story lines, the best of them a murder mystery where a man tries to solve his own murder. The concept of "show don't tell" is well exemplified here...
... exemplified as well when the author tells instead of shows, the story bogging down when the debate literally becomes a debate, the characters discussing and arguing the scientific or spiritual causes of the flash forward as well as its ramifications, especially in the second and third sections. Sawyer is known in his overall work for examining the point at which science intersects religion, and that is certainly a major theme in Flash Forward, especially the concept of free will vs. destiny, examined in both scientific and spiritual terms.
Thought provoking and worthwhile, even if it could have been better told.
Porbably not. I thought the characters were too simplistic and did things that you don't believe they would actually do.
As mentioned previously i thought the characters needed more believable personalities and the end of the book was a stretch. It is a great idea for a story and the book keeps your interest even though half the time you are saying "c'mon!"
When given the choice to listen to the last 5 hours of this book that I paid for or a national public radio fund raiser.... I picked the fundraiser.
I appreciated some of the basic science lessons, but the back story of how this affected the relationships of the basic man and woman was a little boring. Ok, a bunch boring. I wanted to hear about this catastrophe from the level of the President, CDC, Homeland security etc...
It was a bit like a zombie apocalypse story where all they focus on in the story is how this is going to change the relationship of a husband a wife. There was a bigger story here to tell, but we never zoomed out far enough to see it.
Flashforward feels like a great short story that has been forced into a full length book. The characters are well written and fairly well fleshed out but the story drags. The plot feels more like a tool for the illustration of various dimensional and quantum theories, and several are spelled out throughout the book. The narration is good over all, although there is little character voice work. Nothing about this story is particularly bad, but at the same time there's not much great either.
Read the book a while ago and forgot about it. Saw the audiobook and bought it. Wasn't disappointed. The spoken version made more sense. Never been very keen on time travel stories (with the exception of Heinlein's "Door into summer".), but this is well written and the assumptions consistent.
I don't understand why it is so highly rated. It's predictable, thin... poor, just poor.
I found the style reminiscent of Dan Brown, if you like him and Sci-Fi, this may be the book for you...
The performance was OK. Not stand out, but not good enough to detract from the terrible writing.
I actually caught myself expressing my frustration out loud more than once.
Not particularly. I liked the idea but the scientific theory did not get me engaged. I love my Sci-fi and a good "time travel" idea but this did leave me disappointed.
The scientific explanations should be dialled back. Some is helpful, but I felt there was too much in this novel and it became frustrating. With an audio book you listen to every word. You don't skip past in case there is some important information key to the storyline so you slog through.
The narrator did a great job with some amazingly complicated terms, names and foreign languages.
It was a TV show and that is why I purchased the book. I didn't get a chance to see it all and wondered how it all worked out. The production people really did only extract some key concepts from the novel and took it elsewhere. I think I preferred what I saw of the show.
I got to the and went, "Really, that's it?" It had some good moments, interesting concepts, and left you thinking about many things, but I did feel let down by the ending.
Yes. I liked the science element.
The main character
Good story. I think their was an emotional element missing.
Someone who enjoys
Cut the over-thinking by the characters, especially as a cheap trick to lengthen a countdown.
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