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Virtual Fire

Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

May 1970. Vietnam. Cambodia. Kent State. Jackson State. Violent protests erupt on college campuses across America. Paul “Tesla” Simmons and his best friend Toby Jessup are college seniors who spend their time writing programs on Wellston University’s IBM 650 mainframe computer, playing pinball in the back room of the Beef ‘n’ Bun restaurant, and dreaming. President Nixon’s escalation of the war and their friendship with student activist Meg Wells draw Paul and Toby into the antiwar movement and a choice between violent and non-violent protest. As the war and opposition to the war reach their climaxes, Toby, Paul, and Meg become ever more radicalized, only to have their plans overshadowed by an incident that alters the course of their personal histories forever.

Decades later, Paul, a successful programmer in an era transformed by the rise of the computer, makes a revolutionary technological discovery. Realizing he now has the means to change a tragic, yet seemingly minor historical event, Paul acts, and unwittingly sets history on a deadly new course.

Living in the world his actions created, a world where computers are the province of a select few, seeing life as it was only in his dreams, can Paul, with the help of the brilliant young hacker Melora Kennedy, return history to its proper path and restore the dreams of his youth?

From New England’s ivy-covered college halls, to New Jersey’s crumbling cities, to the beaches of Florida’s Gulf coast and the ruins of post-war Vietnam, Virtual Fire’s four narrators relate their experiences of war, resistance to war, the power of friendship, and the power of dreams.

Author’s Note: Virtual Fire contains scenes concerning warfare, post-traumatic stress disorder related to the Vietnam War, violent acts committed by and against antiwar protesters, and explicit language. It includes a compendium of links to books, movies, and music for those who want to learn more about the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement.

©2019 Mendy Sobol (P)2019 Mendy Sobol

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This book is the full meal deal!

Since this book came out about a month ago, I’ve listed to it three times through. The characters are well-developed, the story is riveting and the voice actors shine in their performances. Can you tell how much I love this book? 🤗

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Four Narrators!

I really enjoyed that Virtual Fire had four narrators. Listening to each of them brought the story to life in a way that I have not come across in quite awhile. The story itself comes with a lot of surprises and even lead me to ask myself how I would handle some of the impossible situations that the characters encounter in the story.

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Great Narrators and Writing!

Loved it! The different narrators helped give personality to the characters! The story was well written and engaging!

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Alternate History At Its Best

I downloaded the VIRTUAL FIRE audio book after listening to the author's first novel, THE SPEED OF DARKNESS. This book is completely different, but I wasn't disappointed. In VF, a simple, humane gesture sets history on a perilous new course. It uses four first-person narrators who do a great job bringing their characters to life. The tone is at times melancholy, but the message is one of hope. In addition, VF is a great book for readers who came of age during the Vietnam War and young adults who would like to learn more about that time.