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Idlewild | [Nick Sagan]

Idlewild

He wakes alone, nameless, in a strangely bucolic day-after-tomorrow world. His amnesia is near-total; he cannot remember his name and doesn't recognize anything around him, but he knows with absolute certainty that someone has tried to kill him – and will surely try again. As he tries to discover the identity of the person who wants him dead, he quickly begins to unravel sinister truths, which make it clear that the ramifications of his search are far greater than he could ever have imagined.
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Publisher's Summary

He wakes alone, nameless, in a strangely bucolic day-after-tomorrow world. His amnesia is near-total; he cannot remember his name and doesn't recognize anything around him, but he knows with absolute certainty that someone has tried to kill him – and will surely try again.

Not knowing who, if anyone, he can trust, he reacquaints himself with eight companions, all of whom are being trained (for what?) at an esoteric academy run by a cryptic superintendent named Maestro. As he tries to discover the identity of the person who wants him dead, he quickly begins to unravel a series of sinister truths, which make it clear that the ramifications of his search are far greater than he could ever have imagined. Much more than his own life is at stake.

Idlewild takes the best of its genre and transcends it, creating a story that will appeal to readers far beyond the traditional science fiction fan base.

©2003 Damned If I Don't Productions; (P)2003 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Sagan may have more imagination than he knows what to do with – a wonderful thing in a new author." (Kirkus Reviews)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (295 )
5 star
 (83)
4 star
 (87)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
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1 star
 (25)
Overall
3.6 (88 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (11)
Story
3.9 (86 )
5 star
 (33)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Craig Grand Rapids, MI, USA 08-21-03
    Craig Grand Rapids, MI, USA 08-21-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    134
    4
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    Overall
    "Great story"

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It was a realitively easy listen. I gave only 3 stars because the author did not make enough commitment to characters and details. I was not drawn into their world enough to feel a personal stake in the characters. Good twist to human behavior and instinctual self-preservation.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan M. Cambridge, MA 02-18-05
    Ethan M. Cambridge, MA 02-18-05 Member Since 2000

    On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1935
    ratings
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    144
    94
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    668
    14
    Overall
    "Excellent work by Carl Sagan's son"

    This is a happy confluence of superb narration and compelling writing. It is best to know as little about the plot as possible before begining, but this book can be thought of as a much darker Ender's Game. There are excellent characterizations of teenagers, a fast-moving (if initially confusing) plotline, and some intriguing twists. It is a dark book, however, with a not always likable narrator, so those who prefer light and breezy might be advised to move on. Otherwise, this is one of the best science fiction offerings on Audible.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geraldine 08-31-04
    Geraldine 08-31-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    18
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    1
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    Overall
    "Wonderful! This is a must!"

    Of the many many Audible books that I've listened to, this is only the second time that I've ever been moved to write a review.

    This is one of those books that is so well written, and draws you in so completely, that for days afterward you see the world in a slightly different way. That, to me, is always the sign of an amazingly good story.

    I remember seeing this book in the book store when it was first released. It looked like a fascinating premise, but for some reason I walked out of the store without it. I'm glad that I decided to listen to it on Audible! Now I've spent the past 8 months waiting for the release of the sequel, "Edenborn". I sure hope that Audible carries it!

    Download this one. Listen to it. You can't go wrong.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter USA 04-01-04
    Peter USA 04-01-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Overall
    "What a debut!"

    Well, everyone's mileage may vary, but for me this is the best audiobook I've heard in a very long time. It's hard to describe without giving away the plot, but this is a dark, weird, Matrix-like story that starts out one way and winds up somewhere completely different, and along the way it amuses, provokes, tickles and disturbs. It takes a little while to realize where it's going, but once it comes together, look out. I had chills by the end of it. For a first novel, Idlewild is terrific, and honestly for a fifteenth novel it'd be pretty darn good too.

    Four and half stars, and I'm rounding that up to five.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Sunrise, FL, USA 05-16-05
    Christopher Sunrise, FL, USA 05-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
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    80
    8
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    1
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    Overall
    "Fantastic in the truest sense"

    This was the 2nd best sci-fi audiobook I have heard thus far (out of many) with the best being Orsen Scott Card's "Ender's Game". This novel has a similar feel to that novel, and the author knows how to get you "inside the head" of his characters in a like fashion. Like all good sci-fi novels, technology is a backdrop for characters to wrestle through weighty and complex issues, both spiritual and pyschological in nature. This is not a "light" novel, it had a definite depressing feel to it which I felt was very effective.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 03-26-13
    Heather 03-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
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    84
    43
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    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Woah, what a twist!"

    What I love about this book is that it feels like a YA book but isn't. The reason for this, I imagine, is that the characters are young adults, so it fits. I don't want to say much about the book as the value mostly lies in the twists about the world of the novel. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the prose and especially the short delves into human psyche and philosophizing on some topics. I highly recommend the audio book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-27-08
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 05-27-08 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3402
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    401
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    9
    Overall
    "Better than Most Sci Fi"

    There are many annoying technology problems with this book (that were completely avoidable), so if that kind of thing really bothers you, you will not like Iderwild. I had to grit my teeth and accept the premise and just go with it. The narration is excellent, the writing is very good, and the story is quite acceptable. This is nowhere close to Ender's Game or The Matrix, but it was substantially better then most science fiction, and much, much better than most VR sci fi. There is good vocabulary and few cliches. This would be enjoyed more by people younger than I am - so I rated it at 4 instead of 3 stars. Only the main character is really fleshed out, but that is consistent with the story - so can be forgiven. You do have to listen very attentively to keep track of where, who and what you are - take your attention away for a moment and you will find yourself lost - focus and stick with it and it will be well worth the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Allen, TX, USA 06-25-05
    Mark Allen, TX, USA 06-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    14
    8
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    1
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    Overall
    "Mixed Feelings - Some Good and Some Boring"

    I have very mixed feelings about my enjoyment of this listen. The story line was very imaginitive and I liked being surprised as the author slowly unveiled the mystery of the story. There were very interesting parts. But my problem is that in between the key plot points, there was a lot of very boring parts. It's almost as if the author stretched a very good short story into a novel by adding a lot of filler. I am not sure whether I will try the sequel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Austin, TX, USA 07-19-04
    Don Austin, TX, USA 07-19-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    107
    12
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    1
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    Overall
    "Didn't Like It"

    For me, this is the sort of story that I need in printed form. I kept getting lost in the various virtual worlds and was never really sure when the real world appeared. I'm still not sure we ever left the virtual world. Not sure I would want humanity repopulated from the nutty characters in the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan USA 06-22-04
    Dan USA 06-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Loved it"

    tremendous book, highest recommendation

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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