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Off to Be the Wizard Audiobook

Off to Be the Wizard

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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

4.4 (19178 )
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4.3 (17904 )
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4.7 (17906 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charlie 03-19-14
    Charlie 03-19-14 Member Since 2017

    No spoiler reviews which reflect my unflinchingly honest opinion.

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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.

    217 of 243 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 04-16-15 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

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    "IT WOULD BE IDYLLIC, IF NOT FOR THE CORPSES"

    JUST BECAUSE YOU CALL SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DOESN'T MAKE IT, IT.
    If you like John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton, then you will love this. During the first hour, I thought this is cute, but it is going to grow old. Over nine hours later, I am still laughing. As the story grows, it gets funnier and more interesting. If you are driving be careful, you may miss your exit, it is that engaging.

    TECHNICALLY I AM OLDER THEN YOU, I WAS JUST BORN LATER
    I am 56 and barely understand computers, so this was not aimed at me, but I loved it anyway. It was a fun light book, with plenty of surprises. After a while some of the jokes become predictable, but they are still funny. There is a little Connecticut Yankee in here, an updated version. This has time travel, wizards, Lord of the Rings, orcs, etc...

    SILENCE SO THICK, YOU COULD LEAN ON IT.
    I can not say enough about Luke Daniels. His performance is above and beyond. This would be a great book to read, but I believe that Daniels makes it so much more. Don't miss out on this experience.

    HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ME EAT ANY OF THAT STEW?
    I will be getting the sequels.

    52 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Pivik 03-04-17
    Kelly Pivik 03-04-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Hang in there"

    When I started this book, I felt some trepidation. I'd heard it was good, but not as good as Ready Player One. But, I wanted to give it a shot. The first part of the book was infuriating - I just kept wanting to yell "How is this NOT a bad idea? Stop being so stupid!". I almost gave up.

    Then Martin meets Phillip. Suddenly I could not get through the book fast enough. I warn you to be careful if you listen while you drive - there were points when I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over. Luckily, I was in my neighborhood and could go 5 mph. I loved Ready Player One, but this was better in terms of entertainment. I will re-listen to this soon.

    Luke Daniels kills this - I love what he does with Phillip. Phillip is definitely my favorite. He needs his own series!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-31-14 Member Since 2016

    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".



    85 of 104 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexi Rain Morro Bay, CA, United States 01-18-15
    Alexi Rain Morro Bay, CA, United States 01-18-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A Geekfest of good times."
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book because my favorite narrator, Luke Daniels, is reading. As an added bonus, I also fall into the demographic--White girl nerd who started with tech in the '80s.

    Now, I know that previous viewers have said this is more for guys, but that is untrue! In life, I've found, nerd > gender. While we may not make the "obvious jokes," we have certainly heard enough of them to make us smirk when the obvious jokes pop up...so to speak. Oops, I think I just broke the first rule of Magic.

    But I digress. Mr. Daniels' narration was perfection, as always! The storytelling was nimble, witty, and filled with nerdtastic goodness. Unlike another reviewer, I found Martin's reactions to be completely believable and probable, considering the circumstances. I also thoroughly enjoyed the bits of nostalgia. All in all, a highly recommended read!

    26 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan M. Philadelphia 08-05-14
    Ethan M. Philadelphia 08-05-14 Member Since 2005

    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
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    "Bad fan fiction, entertainingly read"

    I came into this book with high hopes - it had been compared to Ready Player One, which was a really fun young adult style wish-fulfillment romp for grown up geeks. I understand the comparison, since this is also a wish-fulfillment romp for grown up geeks, but, man, is this book bad.

    It is badly written, and not just in a first novel kind of way. It is full of awkward phrases and mediocre descriptions, sure, but the problem goes deeper. The novel is set in Medieval England, but there is no attempt to actually engage with the setting which is barely described, and everyone acts (and talks) like 21st century stock characters.

    It is badly plotted. Very little happens overall, and much of it makes little sense. This would be okay if the author wasn't trying to justify consistent rules for the universe he creates, but Meyer spends a lot of time setting up the world and magic system, making all of the glaring logic problems hard to ignore. Further, much of the joy of a time travel novel is seeing the interaction between the time traveler and the setting, but the main character is entirely incurious and Meyer uses the excuse of an "alternate timeline" to avoid any consequences of their actions.

    That leaves us with the humor, which many people seem to like. I am a fan of geek reference humor (see: Scalzi, Stross, Ready Player One, etc) but this generally fell flat, though there were some cute moments. More troubling is the fan-fiction feel to the whole novel, where all the main characters are all-powerful computer geeks in a world full of dumb brawny people. And, of course, there are no women in the novel for reasons that are, ultimately, both stupid and insulting. At least the reader does a game job, providing excellent, completely over-the-top voices to accompany the story.

    The reviews of the book repeatedly mention that it is good value for money, since it is a cheap self-published novel. It may be worth the money per page, but it isn't worth 10 hours of your time. There are many better books out there to scratch your geek wish fulfillment fantasy.

    112 of 165 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 02-01-15
    Farrell 02-01-15

    Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.

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    "A nice diversion"

    Very enjoyable. A bit different. A fun universe to explore. I'm trying to get friends to read it so we can discuss.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 09-27-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 09-27-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

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    "Meyer Can Tell A Story"

    I can imagine a dad reading this to his child, and enjoying it at least as much as the listener. Of course there are the required dense paragraphs of double-talking scientific gobbledygook that modern sic-fi authors need to numb the reader into suspending disbelief. And of course I don't pay attention to any of it. Why not just employ a shortcut like warp-drive oe whatever to move us into the plot? Hey, I paid for this thing to be amused, entertained, maybe even awed. Not distracted by a magician's trick.

    Ah well, everyone's doing it today. In fact I even gave up Neal Stephenson who eventually gave up writing plot for just so much "look at how smart I am" blather. But Meyer gets over that stuff and tells a fun Harry-Potter kind of story.

    I liked it. Definitely because of the great job that Luke Daniels did in reading to me.

    24 of 36 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.

    22 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Modesto, CA 12-14-14
    Joe Modesto, CA 12-14-14 Member Since 2017
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    "This one is very much fun!"

    This book is just honest to goodness fun.

    It reminds me of such fun and delicious - can you say delicious when it's a book? - books as "Old Man's War," and "Ready Player One," Its the story of a guy who discovers an interesting thing about our world and exploit it to his everlasting happiness, joy, and a kind of paradise - it is escapism at its most fun. You lose yourself for a few delightful hours in a mixture of technology and magic(?) or is it simply just technology and more technology? Anyway, you lose yourself in wonderful imaginings. Then, unfortunately, you have to wake up and wait for the next installment!

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
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  • al
    1/29/15
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    Performance
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    "Gum and geeky-ness"

    An enjoyable tale which made me laugh several times, while being quite clever. Very light and extremely enjoyable even if your not a fan of wizard stories.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    10/7/15
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    Performance
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    "Matrix meets mediaeval fabtasy"

    Put it this way, the story is like a mash up of the matrix, ready player one and mediaeval english fantasy. like those? then this is for you. Some parts are really original, but weren't embraced to their full potential. The basis for the story allowed for many possibilities and scenarios, but the resulting plot just seemed extremely unlikely and almost forced to set up the theme mashup. If you put logic aside and just forgive it's shortcomings in setting up the scenario, its a unique story that worth a listen. Can't fault the performance though, great job acting out each character.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Gosport
    9/16/15
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    "Enjoyably ludicrious"

    I have been contemplating this book for some time. I was dubious about it but finally decided to take a punt and I was very pleased I did. Reminiscant of the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin and with hints of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde I found this fun and enjoyable. As they say in the book it 'avoids the obvious joke' and the humour grew on me. Although the story in very fantastical, it is still well thought through. The characters are likeable and believable (for a fantasy novel) and I am looking forward to the next books in the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    12/9/15
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    "Rules of Wizarding."
    If you could sum up Off to Be the Wizard in three words, what would they be?

    Whacky, Fun, Lighthearted.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Off to Be the Wizard?

    Martian passing off clingfilm as magic.


    Which character – as performed by Luke Daniels – was your favourite?

    Phillip, he just injects the character with so much personality.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Do not make the obvious joke.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    Cumbernauld, United Kingdom
    9/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ok"

    easy listening not much thought required good but not if your looking for high fantasy.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Chia
    8/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "great story with a great speaker"

    A friend sugested me this story a few months ago. I should follow his advice more often.
    I greatly enjoyed the story and the speaker is very nice to listen to!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • H. Bacon
    UK
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Light and breezy, but could've been much more"

    I think I expected a bit too much from this book and consequently it didn't quite deliver. The excellent reviews and innovative idea for the novel suckered me in, but I found it a bit wanting. Perhaps even a bit simplistic/childish (although what should I have expected, I hear you ask!?).

    The story was a very straight-forward A to B affair and the humour never got beyond me thinking it was amusing, rather than actually laughing out loud. I think I was just a bit underwhelmed by it all, to be honest.

    Having said that, it was in no way a bad listen and I'm still thinking about getting one of the follow-ups because I like the whole concept of the piece so much... but the fact that I have been spending my credits on alternative books might tell you all you need to know!

    The narration was excellent.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Robyn
    Malmesbury, United Kingdom
    5/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Light-hearted fun"

    The editor's blurb pretty much sums this book up. If you like the tone of the blurb, then you'll like the tone of the book.

    In a nutshell, this is light-hearted, good fun. And it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not.

    That said, it's also quite a clever, humorous take on "if the world and life were actually a computer programme" meets "time-travel". Written and narrated with a little spring in the step.

    A worthy spend of a credit for the pure entertainment factor.

    In a world gone a little bit mad of late - this was a great little escape to simpler times/ life / magic..............and the good guys might even win.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    4/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this!"
    Where does Off to Be the Wizard rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't often listen to audio books more than once, preferring to move onto something different, but after finishing the Magic 2.0 series I found myself missing the characters too much to move on to something else, so I went back to the beginning to listen again.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this audio book, but I ended up loving it! The pop culture references were spot on, made even funnier by the added time-travel element (think modern snarky bromance between computer geek time-travelers from different eras pretending to be wizards in a sanitized Medieval England). I would highly recommend this to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Ireland
    3/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not What I Expected"
    What made the experience of listening to Off to Be the Wizard the most enjoyable?

    The narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characterization, mostly due to the narration, allowed me to be interested enough in the main character to stick with the story to the end to see what happened to him.


    What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    If I had read the book I doubt I would have finished it, not because there is anything inherently wrong with it but just because it is not the type of book I would normally read/listen to.

    The excellent narration was enough for me to stick with the book to the end and feel that it was not time wasted.


    Any additional comments?

    I think so much more could have been done with this story as the idea is a good twist to the more popular Virtual reality type books out there.

    I don't want to sound too disparaging of this book because I understand that my major disappointment with it is due to my own personal taste being different from the genre rather than it being anything to do with the book itself. I was in two minds whether to buy it or not and in hindsight I should have picked a different title.

    However, even though it is not the type of genre I would normally read or listen to it did hold my interest long enough to finish it and thus not ask for a refund.

    So, if this is the type of genre you like then I think you will like this book as it's well written and well narrated. I've given it a 4-star overall rating to be fair to the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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