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The Seems / Der Schein - F.B. Dranes erster Auftrag (The Seems #1)

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,006 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews

Becker Drane knows exactly how The World works

You know the rain we had two weeks ago, or that nightmare you had last night? Becker Drane can tell you exactly who or what was responsible because Becker works as a Fixer for The Seems. From the Department of Weather to the Department of Time, The Seems is the world-behind-our-World, and it keeps everything running smoothly.

Hardcover, 332 pages
Published 2009 by Fischer Schatzinsel (first published September 18th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,863)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

I had to sign some kind of form at the front of this book before reading it, so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell you any of this…but here goes.

Imagine that The World we know is constructed somewhere else. The sunset is painted daily, the world’s rain is regulated through a huge water tank, and a Good Night’s Sleep is packaged, processed, and sent to you nightly, with a specially built dream enclosed just for you. Beyond the In-Between, every d
Aug 13, 2008 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middlegrade
Becker Drane didn’t know what he was doing when he applied for the Best Job in the World, but when he was picked to train to be a Fixer, it changed everything. See, the World doesn’t just run itself. It is organized, programmed, and tended to by the inhabitants of the Seems. Seemsians regulate rainfall, dream sequences, weather patterns—you name it, it’s organized by Seemsians. And every now and then something breaks down, and they have to bring in a Fixer to fix it. Fixers can only come from th ...more
Oct 05, 2009 Raina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j, sci-fi, funny
Have you ever wondered how the world works? What I'm about to tell you is top-secret information. Underneath everything in the world - every Twist of Fate, every New Idea, every night's Sleep - is an organization known as "The Seems." The Seems is run like a corporation - there are departments, there are hierarchies, there are manufacturing assembly lines. And Becker Drane has been recruited to work for The Seems as a Fixer.
There are only 37 Fixers, and they are highly trained to deal with any
Alison Livingston
I really enjoyed this book because of the cleaver puns. It reminded me of 'The Phantom Tollbooth' with it's turning cliches into literal objects. "Time Bomb" for instance, really is a bomb, and "Bed Bugs" are people who invent nightmares.

Some reviewers commented that Becker did not act like a kid. That is true. He did not at all! He was a pint-sized James Bond and it bothered me a little, but I give a lot more leeway to kids books than I do adult books. I think kids like to read books about kids
Andres Hudson
Lo habia pausado en Marzo del 2015.
Y me arrepiento fijate. Es una historia buena, para pasar el rato y no aburre para nada, aunque sea una lectura para pre adolescentes.
Es un libro que te saca más de una carcajada, una lástima que la editorial haya decidido tan solo sacar los dos primeros. Pero bueno, si me quedo con las ganas de más luego de leer el segundo. Me leo los otros en inglés.
Me gustó muchisimo como los autores crean ese mundo de los SEEMS.
Y sobre todo esos 3 Apendices que te dejan al
Feb 22, 2008 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
This was an okay book -- quite imaginative, where the world is controlled not by nature but by another world altogether -- the world of Seems. They have departments for everything, Weather, Time, Sleep etc... and when something goes wrong they call in the Fixers, a group of folks from earth that have the 7th sense to find the problem and fix it before anymore disasters strike. Twelve-year-old Becker Drane because the youngest fixer in Seems history and his first assignment is to find a glitch in ...more
Samantha Eve Kennedy
Loaned to me by one of my fabulous students, I had a blast reading this book. (I can't wait until she loans me the next two in the series.) Falling under a genre I like to think of as "fun and cute scifi/fantasy," this particular book reminded me to believe in the things which cannot be easily seen. The humor is along the lines of Piers Anthony (punny but without being quite as over-the-top slapstick), and the feel good ending made me smile on a rainy day. I highly recommend this book for those, ...more
Nov 24, 2007 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dreams, other worlds, fixing
Becker Drane is 12 years old and a "fixer" in The Seems - an alternate world that controls much of our world's daily function. Becker's first offical mission is to fix a glitch in sleep, that could threaten The World as people know it.

While this was an entertaining book, it's not one I'll be raving about - not because it was bad (it wasn't) but it just didn't connect with me personally. Possibly because I couldn't tell if it was Sci-Fi or Fantasy (and it kept bothering me) and possibly because i
I really enjoyed this book for an introduction to sci-fi. If you've already read a bunch and love the genre, there are better books. 12 year old Becker Drane who thinks he's an average joe, gets invited to a whole new world where he's the man to fix the problem, as a fixer. I would recommend this book to advanced 5th -8th graders (especially boys) who are just being introduced to sci-fi as a possible interest. I think the series will only get better from this one as Drane goes on many more missi ...more
Kat O'B
Listened to this on CD during commute. For the first chapter or so, I wasn't sure I was going to like the narrator, but he did a nice job differentiating the voices of the characters and grew on me as we went along. The story is fun and creative-- as a 9-year-old, the main character, Becker, fills out a questionnaire in a diner that turns out to be a job application for a position in The Seems, the place on the "other side" where the employees actually run the day to day workings of OUR world. I ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were two versions of this review you could have gotten. One was a gigantic, sprawling lecture of a review, featuring my comments on everything from determinism to clichés. Fortunately, you ended up getting this one. Consider yourself lucky; the other one would have been very boring. The Glitch in Sleep is a novel about many things. It’s a novel about religion. About destiny. About emotion. About pain. But, mostly, it’s a novel about connections.

Becker Drane is a Fixer in the Seems, a worl
Aug 10, 2008 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think middle schoolers will enjoy this book but I found it disappointing. I think my trouble was that I never could buy the premise. It was just too improbable for me to go along with completely. The idea of the Seems - behind our world manipulators of everything from weather to sleep - was too unlikely, and a 12 year old assigned to fix the vast and complicated problems too much of a stretch. 12 year olds will probably like it though!
Ryan Jensen
Do you remember that dream you had last night. Becker Drane knows exactly who gave you that dream. He knows who gave you that scar and made you fail your last history exam. Becker Drane is fixer, a person who fixes things in the universe. For instance, A storm can only happen when the red switch is switched and the blue lever is pulled. This opens up the Global tank of H2O.

When Becker is assigned his first mission, he receives “The biggest hot-dog a christmas vendor could sell.” Says his assista
Apr 11, 2008 Luann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was okay. Good for teaching figurative language to kids, but that was a way over done. I am sure I missed a lot and I know kids would. I'm not into sci-fi, but wanted to give it a shot. I'm not sure I would even recommend it to my good readers at school.
Jun 16, 2009 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Not a very well realized story of a team of universal repairmen whose mission it is to keep the world running smoothly. The humor comes from a lot of double-entendres and the fantastic way the world really works.
Dec 26, 2008 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author was trying too hard to be clever. I had no reason to care about the story because the characters were so flat.
Monica Edinger
Jul 21, 2008 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a lot of fun. Should have gotten more attention when it came out. Just read the sequel and it is great fun too.
Sep 04, 2009 Becca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really, really bad. Poor HP! I only read it because it was set in my hometown, and then it make HP bad.
Inventive, playful and thoroughly original, this novel plays with the idea that the world we know is not all it seems and that there is another world just beyond it, one that works mightily to see that our reality is kept merrily spinning.

There are brilliant characters here. But the story sometimes gets trapped in its own cleverness. I also found the footnotes to be more than a little puzzling since they often didn’t have anything to do with the written text. Less verbiage, more matter would be
Spanish Springs Library  Book Buddies
We're reading The Seems series by John Hulme and Michael Wexler this month (October 2010) for Book Buddies at the Spanish Springs Library.

The "low down" on the authors:

Hulme & Michael Wexler grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey...and both still live there— just a few blocks from each other—today. the two met in high school where they were both on the tennis and soccer teams. Michael is also an accomplished singer and songwriter. In addition to writing, filmmmaking and music, the pair created
Jen Bookout
Aug 17, 2010 Jen Bookout rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
The Seems are a race of people who have built and control everything that happens on Earth--weather, planets, sunsets, sleep, etc. Becker Drane is a human "Fixer", someone who is responsible for fixing the machines that power all the different elements of our world. For his first assignment, Becker has to find and fix the error that is keeping everyone on the Earth wide awake.

This book just didn't do it for me. I really like the basic premise, but the plot was thin and the characte
Aug 10, 2013 Colette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep is the start of a series that follows a 7th grader, Becker Drane, who literally has the weight of "The World" on his shoulders. I enjoyed the imaginative concept of this story, but the execution fell short. When creating an entire new environment, it is important for the reader to be able to picture the original setting as the author does in his/her head. Scott Westerfeld makes a great example of this as he created the world of Uglies beautifully. In The Glitch in ...more
Andy Jiang
Feb 10, 2013 Andy Jiang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: february-2013
I'm on page 21 of this book and I think this book is really interesting. It's about the people that controls the amount of rain fall on Earth. I was actually confused a bit by the book because it starts off talking about some farmers on Earth then transfers into the people that controls the rain. I thought this book would be about normal people but I guess I got a nice surprise.

I'm on page 197 of this book and it was completely different than I expected from my first update on page 21. I thou
Jun 09, 2011 Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Have you ever read a book, absolutely loved it, then a year later you hardly remember any of it, let alone the title, but things all around you keep reminding you of it? That's what happened to me with this book. I'd been racking my brain on what the title was called, but I couldn't remember for the life of me! Then, the other day, I was at the library, and I found it!! And I knew that it was the book I had been thinking about!! This only happens to me when I read a really interesting or amazing ...more
Kimberly Hirsh
Becker Drane has the best job in the world: he is a Fixer in The Seems, a behind-the-scenes society where all the things that happen in The World are orchestrated. He jumps full-force into his first mission: fixing the glitch in sleep. No one in The World can get any sleep, and it has kept several important things from happening. If Becker can't fix it, the Chain of Events will disassemble and life as we know it will be destroyed.

The greatest strength of The Seems is the complex world its autho
More on this later, but really waffling between 3 and 4 stars.


Unlike Foibles, which tend to pop up in a single machine, unraveling its inner workings but usually staying put, Glitches move from machine to machine, trashing everything in their wake. Becker knew the only way to stop one is to track it down and Fix it, before it does damage beyond repair.


Deep in the sub-basement of the factory was where they manufactured Snooze--one of the three key ingredients (along with Refreshment and
Apr 06, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, Ok, it's a kid's book but I read the whole thing with my 10 year old, and I'm trying to read 100 books this year so give me a break! Now I'm trying to get my 14 year old to read this, because it was one of the most clever books I've ever read, and has quite a high reading level. Extremely engaging and clever - this author is a master of double meanings! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, can't wait to read the next two!
Andrew Benson
Apr 29, 2010 Andrew Benson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an interesting twist on who or what we think the world is run by. I've always wondered how dreams are made. This book offers an explanation of how many of the things we encounter each day happen. The book makes you think of different possible answers. Anyone who has ever wondered about the unknown should read this book.

Beaker - age 10 (the main character) fills out an application for "the best job in the world". After several months pass a stranger gives him directions and tools f
Dec 08, 2010 BookKids rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Becker Drane has the best life in The World. Not only does he get to live here in our reality, but he also gets to work in The Seems, the world behind our world that controls how The World works. Got a drought? It’s probably a problem in the Seems, and Becker’s job is to Fix the problem. As the youngest full Fixer ever, Becker can’t wait for his first solo assignment — at least, he can’t wait until his problem is a Glitch, one of the most difficult problems that can beset a system in The Seems.

Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
Aug 30, 2008 Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 to 15 year olds
Guess what?!? The world is not what it seems. The whole Cause-and-Effect thingie is a sham and in fact there is a whole world behind ours where people live and work to make sure that we get the right amount of rain and sleep, the right sunsets and colds.

Run by "The Powers That Be", the operations is called The Seems, and it is into this world that Middle Schooler Becker Drane is recruited.

The Good: this book has some wonderful ideas and lots of cute humor. The characters are also interesting t
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