- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: September 20, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B01L082SCI
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
$14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime
Sold and delivered by Audible, an Amazon company
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-4 of 1,956 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The premise concerns one Bob Johansson, a self-proclaimed nerd, but a very successful one at that. He's made a lot of money from software designs. Basically, he's your typical engineering genius and all-around problem-solver, and this serves him well as the novel's events unfold. At the start of things, all is mostly well for Bob, who, despite some losses in his love life, nonetheless is reaping the rewards from the recent sale of his software company and is just looking forward to a life of leisure and peaceful recreation. Suddenly fate steps in and sends him off into a Futurama-like state of cryogenic limbo. When he wakes up, a hundred-and-seventeen years have passed, leaving Bob stranded in the future without any connections to the life he once knew: family, friends, and even the English language have all moved on.
From here the news gets even stranger. As it turns out, Bob is, uh, not exactly himself anymore. Or is he? It's hard to say, really and is one of the things you as a reader have to work out for yourself. On the one hand, technically, Bob really is not Bob anymore: the entirety of his brain has been scanned and uploaded into a special, high tech cube, so there is nothing organic about Bob that remains any longer. He exists now as a computer program that merely thinks it is Bob. And yet, on the other hand, from this Bob's point of view, only a few moments have transpired from his last conscious memories to the present moment. So, despite all evidence to the contrary, Bob still feels like Bob.
This idea of uploading one's consciousness is an intriguing concept, and the author does not dodge all of the existential questions that go with it. Does Bob have a soul? Is he truly a conscience being? Or is he just a very clever computer, a "Chinese Room." Bob's situation, if restricted entirely to these sorts of questions, would still make for a stimulating read; however, this is only the opening salvo. As the novel progresses, many more challenges to Bob's status are presented to the reader, and all of it is done in such a plausible, sane, and, thankfully, non-overly-dramatic way, that the result transcends into an invigorating, imaginative fantasy that just keeps expanding in its scope. It's all very satisfying.
It might be worth mentioned that the author manages to accomplish all of this without the use of gratuitous profanity, graphic sex, or bloody violence, yet it's not as if these elements come across as noticeably absent; they just aren't needed and so aren't missed. Does this make the novel family-friendly? Surprisingly, the answer is not necessarily. Religion is a major theme of "We Are Legion: We Are Bob," and those who practice it are not always portrayed positively to say the least, so this aspect might prove too mature for younger listeners.
"Bob" isn't just a lot of deep, philosophical musings, though; mainly its an epic adventure story reminiscent of classic sci-fi adventures, such as "When Worlds Collide." Other literary influences abound: there's a bit of Orwell here, a dash of Arthur C. Clark there, and I detected Andy Weir's "The Martian" in Bob's attitude and general approach to problem-solving. Phillip K. Dick's "Mr. Spaceship" deserves a special nod, as well.
I could go on, (references to "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" are everywhere, for example). Suffice it to say that homages are plentiful in "Bob" and are one of the things that make it so much fun. This is not to say, ultimately, that the book is unoriginal; exactly the opposite is true. I don't think I've ever read a novel quite like this one, especially in its approach to storytelling . I did a bit of research and discovered the writer's website, where he describes himself as an "irate reader" who has now become a "nervous author." I suspect that by "irate" he may mean that in many ways stories can irritate us as much as they entertain.
I'm always irritated, for instance, at stories that present their heroes with some extraordinary set of circumstances (such as time travel), yet somehow the hero just adapts immediately, as if this sort of thing just happens all the time. I would be completely freaked out if I actually traveled through time. Likewise, at minimum, I expect a few paragraphs of reaction. Just once I'd like to see a protagonist completely freaked out, at least for a little bit. It's just these sort of irritations that the author avoids altogether. His characters take time out to experience the moment instead of moving forward right away to the next plot point. Nothing feels rushed and everything seems to unfold exactly as it should. In many ways the book feels like a sci-fi novel written especially with the fans in mind.
Thus, although it may seem like a bold statement to make, it seems to me that "Bob" marks the arrival of a brilliant, new voice in sci-fi. Dennis E. Taylor has written and published one other novel prior to this one ("Outland," published in 2015), but, apparently this was before he got an agent. Although the first novel received highly favorable reader reviews, overall sales were slow, and no audiobook was produced. This new novel, on the other hand, is receiving the full Audible Studios treatment, and its Amazon sales rank so far is in the top thirty books sold. With narrator Ray Porter's amazingly nuanced performance, here, I wouldn't be surprised if demand for this title increases dramatically.
Author Dennis E. Taylor, may end up having to redo his "about-me" profile, as a result, where he self-identifies first as a computer programmer but only last as an author (right behind "snowboarder"). More about him may be found on his website: [...]
Read the author's blog and it is good to see that 3 books are planned. Yes, this one ends somewhat abruptly with many unfinished storylines, but that is pretty much required by the way the story is being told. Some plot lines came to a natural break point, others clearly will be developed more down the line.
This is an amazing adventure in space with hints of where the story may go that keep you constantly wanting to read more. Some other reviews mention the fact that the story ends rather abruptly and at first I was upset by this. But I went to the authors page and found he is working on books 2 and 3 even as I type this. So to me him ending the book without really resolving any of the major conflicts is not a problem. I think it only adds to the level of suspense and excitement at the prospect of getting to read the next books.