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The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty: (humorous fantasy and science fiction for young adults) Paperback – July 7, 2014
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Paperback : 409 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0991055403
- ISBN-13 : 978-0991055401
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.03 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Argon Press; 1st edition (July 7, 2014)
- Reading level : 13 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #786,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Many of us have worked in offices, cubicle farms where we feel the pressure every day to succeed, with a glowering boss looking over our shoulder or through the glass of his corner office. Plus, we have the co-workers: the brilliantly cool guy, the sweet girl, and the jerk who makes it his mission in life to ruin yours.
Young Bernie works in such an office. He looks human, and many of his mannerisms are very human. After his celebrity father abandons him and his mother, he becomes shy and withdrawn, cowering within his father's massive shadow. He eats his lunch in the cafeteria and wonders what will become of him.
What's different about Bernie? Oh, yeah. He's a god. And he works at an office where it's his job to create universes. That's right, UNIVERSES.
And you thought YOUR job was tough.
In this job, if something you create doesn't turn out right, it's policy to clean the slate and start over, no matter how many billions of lives might be erased in the process. Such is the way of beings of such immense power. But the soft-hearted Bernie doesn't have such callous disregard for his creations in him.
Though there were times that the narrative went into a little too much detail, the seamless admixture of philosophy, metaphysics and astrophysics is a thing to behold. I cannot recommend this read any more highly.
The story is about a young God who has almost everything going against him as he begins his career as a universe builder. An old rival sets out to destroy everything that he accomplishes, but as bad as things get (and mind you, they get REALLY BAD!!), he doesn't give up.
With his entire career, life in jeopardy he CAN'T GIVE UP!!
This story actually shows us what we can do also if we just keep going when things seem beyond our control and life doesn't look like it is ever going to get any better, just hang in there!
Mr. LeBel invites us into a "Universe" of his own construction and immediately makes us care about a young god named Bernie. We are shown that Bernie, who has godlike powers in the Universes he creates, still suffers from the angst of a typical young person on the cusp of manhood. He worries about his Mom, wonders if it was his fault his Dad divorced her, has trouble understanding women (who doesn't?), he has problems with peer pressure, he is the object of bullying from an equally powerful and more unscrupulous god, and to top everything off, he actually cares about his creations. He sees them as sentient beings, rather than constructs that can be tossed away once you loose interest.
I do not want to give away any details, they are so special you will want to discover them yourself. I heartily recommend this book to young readers and old veteran bookworms alike. This is a finely crafted blend of science fiction and fantasy, with a generous dose of whimsy that makes it hard to put down. You care about Bernie and his friends, you smile when they make good choices, and you hope the author will continue to expand his "Universes" and invite you back once more.
Top reviews from other countries
Bernie's predicament is simple: freshly off the benches of God School's building program, he gets a job, but in order to pass his probation he must impress his very strict boss. It wouldn't be an easy task on a good day. When Bernie's work is being sabotaged, it becomes impossible.
This is just one of the layers of this story - the surface one - but dig deeper and you'll find there is so much more to Bernie as a person. Multiple factors influence his personality and convictions, and growing up fast isn't easy. Popular teenage themes wind around the main plot - self-confidence, social mingling, incipient attraction, a need to prove oneself, the youngster's place within his community - and all are treated with finesse and understanding. I wish I had a book like this to read when I was that age. But even now, I have enjoyed Bernie's story far more than originally anticipated.
The narrator's voice is so smooth, I picture him as a wise old storyteller that may have seen the passage of many millennia, sitting in a rocking chair with a thick tome on his knees. Observations and dialogue are peppered with humor, and the whole blends together into this really satisfying package. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve.
This book works on so many levels - it's suitable for youngsters and mature readers alike. If you like fantasy with a good dose of wit and originality, then this book is for you. Five shiny stars for Bernie. I'm certainly looking forward to a sequel. Will there be one?
I warmed to the main characters almost immediately, with one (Bernie) reminding me of myself when I was much younger, but the concept of young gods learning their skills in school, and going on into the business of creating and building universes is the main draw of this novel but then it's not, because it draws you into a sub plot that becomes the most important plot and how Bernie deals with it, how his friends deal with it, how his enemy deals with it, it's a coming of age novel with huge doses of humanity at its best, exceptionally well written, it flows well, the comedic aspects of the book are nigh on perfect, you feel for the characters and you feel for his creations.
I look for a few things in a book to make me want to give it five stars
Longevity, readability, feeling, page turning, emotional, satisfying, and fun.
The Universe Builders has this by the bucketload.
I am totally not the right age group for this book, but I recommended it to my friends children after I read it and they all loved it, so it obviously appeals to all age groups. It is well written, they story is amazing and I can't wait to read the latest adventures of the gang of friends that Bernie hangs out with. Everyone needs a Lenny in their life.
Please let Bernie have it out with his Dad. I so want to see that showdown.
I'd definitely read a follow up