It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble.
Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.
Off to Be the Wizard is a light, comedic novel about computers, time travel, and human stupidity, written by Scott Meyer, the creator of the internationally known comic strip Basic Instructions.
Magic will be made! Legends will be created! Stew will be eaten!
©2013 Scott Meyer (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I got this book yesterday and listened to the whole thing almost straight through (a few breaks here or there for some basic sleep etc). I couldn't stop smiling through the whole read- the narration was great and the story really well put together.
It's funny- very rarely do books actually make me laugh, but this one did. It lays out the parameters for the various plot devices, time travel primarily, quite well and then sticks to them. A lot of books (or movies) with this topic end up all over the place with plot holes or painful logical inconsistencies. Meyer avoids this trap.
It's certainly not earth shatteringly profound or intense. But it's well written and extremely entertaining. Most importantly, at least for me, it is surprisingly creative and held my attention raptly for the duration- clearly.
To expose bias, I am clearly in Meyer's demographic- I'm 30 years old and a lifelong geek-child of the techie generation. But I think if you are interested in a book like this, you will probably be of a similar bent and will find the various pop culture references/nods entertaining.
If you are looking for an engaging, light, happy, and entertaining listen, give this a try. You won't be disappointed.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
The opening of the book had me worried... it was sloppily written, in fashion to get the plot moving as quickly as possible. The protagonist isn't well thought out... he's smart enough to be an elite hacker, but his intelligence is otherwise absent from anything he does thereafter... for the entire duration of the story.
The character discovers that he has the powers of a god, but this is quickly forgotten by both him and apparently the author. Like in the movie "Bruce Almighty", we're supposed to believe that our character is so unimaginative and selfish that the only thing he can think to do with his powers is to improve his own little life in small and insignificant ways.
But before you can get to frustrated with the story, Meyer throws you backwards in time, and the story takes a turn for the weird(er). Here in the past, Meyer has thought things out a little bit more. If he researched the time period, it doesn't really show... but he has built an amusing cast of characters.
Here the book starts to take on the flavor of Cline's "Ready Player One", one of my favorite light reads. Meyer's characters are funny, and the humor is geared at an audience who is familiar the life of 1980s computer geeks.
Everything stays fun and light. I wasn't bored for an instant. Oh, and the narration was hilarious.
The ending was satisfying within the scope of the story... but then, the scope of the story was very small.
As a listener, what I really longed for was for our hacker protagonist to play around more with the code he's discovered... outside of this one little pocket of use that he's fixated on in the past. Play with more variables... discover things... surprise me.
Anyway, Meyers has a lot of promise. I hope that he continues writing... and that next time he takes his writing to the next level.
Good listen for the price. I recommend it if you liked "Ready Player One".
I already knew this would be at least half way decent with Luke Daniels narrating. He does an incredible of job of bringing life to the characters. But when I started getting into it, I realized this was a very smart and well written in terms of blending the modern day with magic. I thoroughly enjoyed the Matrix-esque ideas that were presented in a fun way.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
This is Scott Meyer's first book. He has an online comic that I've been reading fro a few years also, and so I'm guessing that's where he's honed his writing skill (I think he also used to be a stand up comedian). Anyhow, the story is pretty good, and it's very well written. The narrator, Luke Daniels, does a great job, and I think he really adds something to the audiobook. Both a coworker and I agreed that we will listen to Scott's next book. It's been quite a few books since I've given straight 5 stars all the way across. It's also been a while since I've bothered to write a an actual review. This is worth it.
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.
Audiobooks that are fun and funny are my favorites. Off to Be the Wizard is definitely fun and definitely funny. That's why I chose to listen to it, even though I knew nothing else about it or its first-time author. And that's what I liked about it.
But is was off the mark, not in the same league as its nearest relatives -- Mr. Penumbra, Ready Player One, Year Zero. There were too many logical inconsistencies within its internal logic, the voices were over the top -- in the end, a great premise somewhat squandered.
Most importantly, and I hope this isn't a spoiler (it is revealed early on), this is a time travel story in which nothing anyone does can affect the future outcome. Kind of pointless, no? I would definitely have found a way to make the future part of what was at stake. In addition, with time travelers arriving from different points in time, there is another missed opportunity in not setting more of the story in those times rather than mostly in medieval England.
Subtle voicings. Philip could have just been given an English accent, not an annoying over the top English accent. Jimmy is supposed to be smart, why does he sound so much like Ratso Rizzo? Thankfully, Martin sounds normal enough, otherwise the book would have been unlistenable no matter how good the writing.
Yes. It would still be fun and funny. And perhaps the filmmakers would make the proper changes to improve the story.
While the story definitely comes to a conclusion, the final minute or two unmistakably hints at a sequel. Hopefully the author himself can improve the story line in the next segment, and hopefully a new narrator can be found.
This book is light fare, very predictable. Clean enough for kids, and the computer programming, time travel, teleportation . . . reality is a computer program that can be manipulated if you can write code . . . makes for an interesting premise.
The author is able to incorporate some amusing ideas, but not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments.
I haven't finished the second half of the book. Maybe I will, but for now just want to "read" something better. It's very light and thin and shallow, and there are times that I would be interested in something like that. Just not now, so I've noticed that after starting this book I have already moved over to another book, and even gone back to a book I finished a few months back.
What is lacking here is depth. And, maybe it is a depth that comes with living life and making observations. Noticing things that can be added to flesh out a story. I don't know if the author is young or maybe doesn't get out much, but the little things that other authors have noticed - like behaviors, or agendas, or patterns, or all the sensory input we all get every day - are missing. The richness of life and the complexities of human interactions are not in this story.
But, for someone interested in light and easy background listening that doesn't take a lot of concentration to remember details, characters, and events . . . this is perfect.
This book is delightful, and a really fun listen. Not too serious, but entertaining, well thought out, charming, intelligent, and nicely-written. Overall, it exceeded my expectations in every way.
As to the narration—Luke Daniels was unknown to me prior to this book, but I'm an instant fan. He reads like he's telling—rather than reading—the story, and his characterizations are great!
No—not just great, actually remarkable and amazing! For example, there are very few narrators who can even approximate sarcasm, but for Mr. Daniels, getting it perfect is no problem at all. His portrayal of Phillip, the hero's mentor, is energetic and hilarious. His portrayal of Martin, the hero, is humble, articulate, and spot-on. And he manages female characters without any of the annoying squeakiness or nasal affectations that so many narrators resort to. This guy truly understands his craft.
If you're looking for a diverting listen that bridges the gap between fantasy and sci-fi in a really fun way, it would be hard to do better.
Yes. It is the combination of a wonderful book with an excellent narrator.
I found this book because of Luke Daniels. I loved his work on the Iron Druid Chronicles so I searched for other books he narrated. That is how I found this jem of a book.
First the author had a very original idea for the book. Then he was able to weave in a nice story line and some good humor. Even the title is very clever.
I have no idea!I haven't read the print version but really enjoyed the audio version.
Martin. Anyone who thinks that a breakdancing avatar is the best way to say hello has to be the best
Pace of the performance was good but for some reason the voicing of Phillip was over the top and almost sarcastic (when the character wasn't) at times.
Not an extreme reaction but it did make me chuckle as it provided some distraction on my commute to and from work each day.
The sequel is out soon. I think that I know what my monthly credit will be spent on ...
Fun. Inventive. Witty.
I can't tell you that or else I would ruin the story!
Performance is off the chart! Some people complained that Mr. Daniels yelled too loud in certain parts but honestly it wasn't an issue if you didn't have the audio blasting. I tried to imagine those parts with him speaking in a normal tone and it just would have been terrible.
Because reality bytes...
Just get the audio and listen... so good.
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