Is Thomas Phillips crazy, or is it the rest of the world? In Richard Cox's mind-bending thriller, realities become blurred and lies are exposed as Thomas begins to figure out the truth behind his life. Andy Caploe contributes to the mysterious narrative concocted by Cox, using a searching and inquisitive tone to capture Thomas' sense of confusion as he navigates the strange events of his life and begins to wonder if all of it is fiction. An intriguing mix of The Truman Show and Philip K. Dick, Thomas World is a great addition to New Wave science fiction.
Thomas Phillips knows he's losing his mind. He's been losing it for as long as he can remember. And yet, when a strange old man asks him to consider that he, out of everyone in the world, knows the real truth, Thomas' life begins to spiral out of control. He loses interest in his job and is fired. He refuses his wife's suggestion of psychiatric care, and she leaves him. In the end, Thomas is alone. Except he's not, because someone seems to be following him.
What if you were Thomas? Where would you go? What would you do? What if you realized every person in your life had been scripted to be there? What if you were haunted by the idea that you'd lived all these encounters before, hundreds or even thousands of times before? And what if the person watching all this time was you?
Thomas World explores what happens when the borders of reality start seeming a bit pores...when things start bleeding through the edges, challenging ones perceptions of the universe. The grand tradition of Dickian, New Wave SF is explored by Richard Cox in this 21st century thriller!
I really loved this. It reminded me of classic Philip K Dick. A very unique and creative storyline and I was totally sucked in. Well narrated.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
With an author by the name of Richard Cox, of course a story based on the life and writings of Philip K Dick is to be expected. Thomas World is a tale about an individual who possesses many parallels to the famed sci-fi author Philip K Dick. While the tale begins with a seemingly 30 year old slacker named Thomas losing control of his life and mind, the tale gradually evolves into a series of odd coincidences including both allusion to P K Dick wiritings as well as paranoid, narcissistic delusions with some basis in fact. Central to many Dick stories as well as this one is the question of whether this universe is "real" or an artificial construct of some other intelligence. Inconsistencies with how the world and people operate become the basis for questioning and explaining all the imperfections around us that point to this presumed artificiality.
Thomas gradually arrvies at the conclusion that he exists in an artificial reality centered on himself. Clues to distinguishing "reality" from fantasy are initially subtle and eventually are rendered unnecessary. Simply defining "reality" becomes increasingly difficult, but it's the variable motivations and reactions of secondary characters towards Thomas that creates confusion as to exactly what is transpiring.
One special note for the listener, this is one instance when an abridged version might be preferable since near the end there is an uninterrupted, one hour long reading of the sequence of the digits of pi (at 2 per second, that's >7000 individual digits) - which in a printed version could be skipped over easily. Since pi is an irrational number and doesn't repeat, it can be used as a source of truly random numbers for specific computer applications, but one full hour is pushing the bounds of endurance.
The narration is subpar with little distinction even between genders. At times, it was difficult to follow conversations with more than two people.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I saw this in book format at Barnes and noble but I never got around to reading it. I saw it got mixed reviews on audible but I gave it a shot. The plot was engaging and the story's pace was very good. You have to have an interest in speculative fiction in order to enjoy the story. It was like an episode of the x-files or outer limits. The only part that was lacking was towards the end where the narrator reads off a long winded sequence of numbers... For an entire 20 minute chapter. However the good outweighs the bad and it is a story worth listening as long as you like sci-fi
What disappointed you about Thomas World?
The last hour was so irritating that I could not finish the book.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I would have left out the last hour which consisted of literally 60 minutes worth of narrated numbers. The point could have been made in 30 seconds.
Which scene was your favorite?
I cant remember - again the completely unnecessary narration of the unending pie number was so mind numbing that it overshadowed anything good about this book.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thomas World?
Same as above
Any additional comments?
I have more than 500 books in my library & this is the only negative review I have ever written. This was a good book up until the aforementioned hour long droning on of repetitive numbers.