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Off to Be the Wizard | [Scott Meyer]

Off to Be the Wizard

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (446 )
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4.6 (422 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles TULSA, OK, United States 03-19-14
    Charles TULSA, OK, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic"

    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.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    flossdaily Bayonne, NJ, United States 03-31-14
    flossdaily Bayonne, NJ, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2011

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

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    "Fun and funny... amateur but enjoyable"

    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".



    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Chicago, Illinois, United States 03-31-14
    Brian Chicago, Illinois, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2013
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    "An enjoyable surprise!"
    What made the experience of listening to Off to Be the Wizard the most enjoyable?

    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george United States 05-02-14
    george United States 05-02-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.

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    "Enjoyable story, great narrator."

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-26-14
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-26-14 Member Since 2007

    jesuva

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    "Annoying voices!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story premise was creative and had a lot of potential, but ultimately was very forgettable.


    Would you recommend Off to Be the Wizard to your friends? Why or why not?

    No- too incredibly lightweight.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I was less interested in a dramatization than a reading, so the exaggerated voices (both in quality and volume) made this sort of annoying.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 06-27-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2011

    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.

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    "Wizard Just a Little Off"
    What did you like best about Off to Be the Wizard? What did you like least?

    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.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. It would still be fun and funny. And perhaps the filmmakers would make the proper changes to improve the story.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 06-24-14
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Very light, maybe child or teen level, but amusing"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 05-09-14
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2011
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    "It would be hard to do better!"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Turner Salt Lake City, UT United States 04-19-14
    Carrie Turner Salt Lake City, UT United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Enjoyed this one a lot"
    Would you listen to Off to Be the Wizard again? Why?

    Yes. It is the combination of a wonderful book with an excellent narrator.


    Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Reedy 05-31-14
    Ann Reedy 05-31-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Geeks 'n' Wizards"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Off to Be the Wizard to be better than the print version?

    I have no idea!I haven't read the print version but really enjoyed the audio version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Martin. Anyone who thinks that a breakdancing avatar is the best way to say hello has to be the best


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not an extreme reaction but it did make me chuckle as it provided some distraction on my commute to and from work each day.


    Any additional comments?

    The sequel is out soon. I think that I know what my monthly credit will be spent on ...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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