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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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About the Author
Businessmen are serious people, right? Not always. Steve LeBel — hospital president, technology entrepreneur, algorithmic trader — is definitely not serious. Not when he writes. Whimsy overcomes him at the word processor. Whimsy is at the core of his novel, The Universe Builders, which is told with LeBel’s unique balance of seriousness, humor, and whimsy. Steve lives in Muskegon, Michigan with his wife and two cats. When not writing, he can be found cursing the stock market, or thinking up new plots for The Universe Builders.
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Top customer reviews
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.
A recent graduate and a beginning builder, he goes to work for "The Business" and his first assignment is creating a universe, because that's what builders do.However, his arch nemesis, Billy, the guy in the next cubicle, is bound and determined to wreck not only his universe, but any chances Bernie will be able to stay at the job for very long.
This is the kind of book you want to never end, at least for me. It was one of my first kindle app downloads. It kind of sat there for a while until I opened it and basically read it in huge chunks. I could see the author was influenced by other authors and their work. Smatterings of Bullfinch's Mythology,The Phantom Tollbooth, The Borrowers, Start Trek in all its permutations, Star Wars, Freaks and Geeks, Home Alone, Japanese anime,and Harry Potter all dwell in this fantastic story full of light, love, responsibility, reciprocation and peace. It's a fantastically hopeful book, written not only for adults, but for kids. It will challenge you, make you mad and then rethink the idea of karma
And other reviewers are right, it is very whimsical. It will make you challenge yourself. And, in my opinion, it should be one of those "rights of passage" books that end up sermon illustrations on Sunday morning.. READ. THIS. BOOK.
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.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, but I’m very glad I gave it a go. This interesting tale is filled with laughs, fun, enjoyment, and emotion. It made me happy and sad, while laughing out loud at Bernie and his experiences. I was vested in seeing Bernie succeed, and I kept turning the pages to find out if he did. I truly cannot wait to see what LeBel has in store for readers next.