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Off to Be the Wizard Paperback – March 29, 2013
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|Paperback, March 29, 2013||
The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
the Basic Instructions webcomic is throughout, but magnified a
thousandfold by the fact that there are more than four panels of
words. :) The characters are nicely developed without being overdone,
and the interactions between and among them are great. The use of
different eras of technology shows a little of the author's geekiness
(which is a good thing!).
For a first novel, taking on time travel is a bit ambitious. But the
boundaries are well-laid out up front, sensible (as much as time
travel can be :) and internally consistent. And the use of characters
from different times all together is very well executed -- more
sophisticated than a lot of established authors' attempts at the
topic. Plus, the shout-outs to other culture (Star Trek, Star Wars,
Tolkien, Apple, mythology, music, and so on) are nice touches without being
All in all, it was fun and funny AND quirky and clever. *Really*
great when you remember it's a first novel.
I highly recommend it, and I'm a fairly tough customer. The E-book
version is a steal, as well -- the ratio of enjoyment/$ is WAY up
Not only was the book filled with a very enjoyable brand of wry humor - and a more sophisticated, subtler type of humor than usually appears in the comic, in my opinion - it was well-written, with likable characters, good character development, a rewarding (if fairly standard) plot, and just about zero time-travel inconsistencies or plot holes. That last bit is important to me because I'm picky enough that any incongruencies can definitely un-suspend my disbelief, but the author defined the rules early and then stuck by them fastidiously.
The prose, sure, is not going to compete with Updike or Wallace for sheer sentence-by-sentence beauty or complexity, but it's really quite good, and never clunky or strained. Better than the prose in a lot of the novels on "best seller" lists, at any rate.
All in all, the book delivers exactly what it says on the tin - "a light comedic novel about computers, time travel, and human stupidity" - and delivers it well. A really enjoyable read.
Scott - Mr. Meyer? - if you chance to read this: Well done! You clearly left yourself some room for a sequel, and I think you should go for it! :)
In more deft hands, say a Terry Prachett or John Scalzi, this setup may have led to some sharp satire but here we only get a straight ahead bash them on the head, get frantic and then charge to the ending sort of short novel. There is nothing wrong with that except perhaps some lost opportunities, but gosh, no novel or any art form is really complete in the fullest sense.
The upsides to this bit of fluff have been lauded by other reviewers here so I won't repeat them. The issues I had which others may not have had are a few and lead to the docking of a few stars. First, I'm fine with suspension of disbelief. There is no way you can enjoy this novel if you can't accept the existence of that .txt file and I can. What bugs me is when authors distort what we know is real. Frex, if I am reading about dragons attacking France, I'll go for the dragons but if the author has Germany west of France just over the Pyrenees, I don't buy that.
Here the time travel takes us to roughly King John era England. The protagonist specifically travels there because they speak English and by gosh, they do. They speak 21st century American English as well. Gimme a break. Then we have the natives who are casual with not only modern devices (among them a Pontiac) but 'wizards' who have more tricks than Superman and Batman combined. However, we're told they won't accept a female doing these tricks. So the natives aren't disturbed by Pontiacs but they are by tricky females. Hmmm.Read more ›
Spoilery? I guess. Maybe. I never understood why the main character doesn't just go into the past, like by a year, fix all the mistakes he made, then live for hundreds of years to gain experience and practice. It's not like the other wizards would ever know, they're in their own time period. In fact, just keep moving backwards in time till before the first ones arrived, show up, and make yourself the new lord of all.
Messing with time makes plot holes. Authors should avoid it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It starts with a premise similar to the Matrix, then goes in a completely separate direction. The book itself is a bit on the silly side, but it's an easy read and I found it... Read morePublished 2 days ago by KDB
I was not expecting to enjoy this book. I really did though! I should say that I'm a 36 year old mom of 2. We started reading this together, my boys and I. They are 9 and 11. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Ct
At the end of the day programs consist of state and behavior. This book takes that concept and runs wild with it. Super cool book!Published 5 days ago by Nicholas
Great book, very entertaining. The audio narrative is hysterical.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
The story and writing were very good. Its a shame then that Amazons formatting deleted nine pages of it. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Bradley
A funny look at archaic programs, or the Commodore 64 . A humorous look into a fantastic tale of what if. Programmers? ROTFLMBO I can hear a dear friend say, "stupid programmers! Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
Great book and it's part of a trilogy! Can't wait to order the other books.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is the first book in a trilogy; my review applies to all 3 books.
This is more of a comic book or pc game than a book. Read more
I loved this book! I don't think I've had this much fun reading a book since I was a kid. I honestly don't ever remember laughing out loud while reading a book (or in some cases... Read morePublished 11 days ago by EvilTwinBrian