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Idlewild (Idlewild #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,356 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
It is a not-too-distant future in our all-too-recognizable world. It is the late twenty-first century and a deadly virus has seeped into human kind's genetic make-up. In only a few generations this plague will have wiped us off the face of the planet, but we're not going down without a fight. Teams of scientists, geneticists and programmers race to find a cure, but time is ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published August 2nd 2004 by Bantam (first published August 8th 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P}
Idlewild is very Matrix-esque. It starts when we meet a confused young man, who appears to be in a dark sinister place, and who seems to know as little about his world as we do. It's all very confusing (for him, and for us) but also intriguing. It seems to be a chilling place on the one hand, but as things develop we see that it's actually a place of friendship and fun......until things start to go Pete Tong.

The confused young man we meet on the first page is Halloween (how cool is THAT for a na
Oct 04, 2011 Z rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Idlewild starts out part Orson Scott Card, part Neil Gaiman, and part Chuck Palahniuk - so much so that you start to wonder when the author will find his own voice. Gratifyingly, about halfway through, the themes cohere to hit a note that is uniquely Nick Sagan. I finished this book in two days flat and found myself thinking about it and admiring various aspects of it during the time (read: working hours) that I couldn't read it.

Halloween is a special, genetically gifted student at the Idlewild
Mar 06, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it
Hated everything about this book and it took everything I had to finish it.
Feb 18, 2011 Jessi rated it it was ok
Ok this is very Sci-Fi, so if thats not your thing then this , this is not your book. A lot of people seemed to have given this a good rating on Goodreads, me not so much.

I hate when a book makes me feel dumb, like I don't get the joke that they are still laughing about 2 pages later.The characters make reference to things that have not been covered in the book,I am sure that this is a tool the author used to show the comradery between the teens it sort of annoyed me.

It was like "Inception" if
Apr 06, 2017 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I'm unsure how I feel about this book. The concept was great along with most of the execution, but after all that intelligently-crafted build up, the ending fell disappointingly flat. It felt lazy and forced.

Maybe I'm missing something - maybe it was meant to be an arty comment on readers' expectations of plot resolution. If so, someone please enlighten me, because I don't get it. You can't spend the majority of your book focussing on a plotline that will never have any kind of resolution witho
Rich Stoehr
May 10, 2010 Rich Stoehr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 20 or 30 pages of "Idlewild" frankly had me wondering if I should bother reading the rest of the book. The characters and situations seemed just a bit fake, and the early premise seemed trite. Now, having stuck it out and read the whole book, I think that was intentional. The odd beginning sets up expectations for the reader early on, and then the story carries on to improve upon itself almost constantly. By the end, I was left fairly impressed and pleased with a book I hadn't been sur ...more
Logan K
Nov 16, 2010 Logan K rated it it was amazing
Idlewild by Nick Sagan is a science fiction and mystery book. I think it is a great page-turner full of suspense and action, and the characters, setting, and story pull you in so you just can not stop reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery, suspense, and action in books. Idlewild is one of the best books I have ever read.
Idlewild is about a teenage boy named Halloween who wakes up with no memory of who he is. He soon learns that he is in a school that is in virtual re
Juan Valera
Aug 31, 2010 Juan Valera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sarcasm. Plain, unadulterated self-loathing, nicotine addiction. None of these are good in the grand scheme of things, nor are they good for you. I love them now. Why, I hear you ask? Simple. Halloween likes them. And Halloween is the single most fascinating character I have ever read. I've never smoked in my life, but just reading Sagan's "Idlewild" makes me crave the cloves Hal is constantly lighting up. Hal is the protagonist, but he's one of the best examples of an anti-hero ever: he's sulle ...more
Beem Weeks
Sep 04, 2013 Beem Weeks rated it really liked it
This novel surprised me. I am not much of a fan of science fiction, but not knowing this book belonged in that genre, I picked up a copy and settled in for a read. Immediately I felt myself being drawn inside the story. It became one of those stories I couldn't put down, needing to see where the next chapter would lead. The characters are fleshed out and well-written, the plot is solid, and the story remains interesting from start to finish.

In the late twenty-first century a virus has decimated
Sep 14, 2013 Josh rated it did not like it
I only read the first three chapters but that was enough for me. The writing is fine but the problem is this is a first person story told by an amnesiac. I like some surprises in a book but literally having no idea what is going on is not terribly engaging. If the plot moved more quickly into the main character rememering things it might have grabbed me a little better but in the first three chapters there was a lot of confusion, several deaths, and some patently absurd warring between smiley fa ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Chad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had a lot of potential, but I often found myself confused at the author's choices, many of which made it harder for me to become immersed in the story and what could have been its amazing world, if only the author hadn't squandered so many opportunities.

The book has the feel of being a young adult novel. Its protagonist is a teenager, and much of his focus is on the relationships between him and his friends. However, the author really likes the word "fuck," and I'm not sure how well th
4.0/5.0 stars


"I look back upon my ignorance with the knowledge that I was much happier then than now. Consider this: children know precious little, but the profound ignorance comes from profound innocence. People really mean to say that innocence is bliss. And bliss is short-lived.”

I chanced upon this book in an aimless bookstore trip at a time when Neil Gaiman was recommended to me by a friend. I saw Gaiman's endorsement and decided to buy this. That and the awesome blurb..

He calls himself Ha
Jan 02, 2010 Deozaan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Allen, Chad, Kenya,
Recommended to Deozaan by: Challis
I am still reeling from the ending of this book.

In the first chapter or two, I wasn't sure I would like the book. The writing style is different from what I'm used to. It's more a stream-of-consciousness written from the first person. And it starts out extremely vague and confusing. Lots of questions but very few answers, or answers that just bring more questions.

But it's definitely gripping. I read it in one sitting, taking perhaps 5 or 6 hours.

The story unfolds slowly, methodically, and layer
Jun 16, 2010 Keri rated it really liked it
When I started reading this, I had a distinct mental image of the exact setting described in the first few pages. And that mental image kept going through the whole novel.

The story, a mix of sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, and loss of innocence is good for YA and adult readers alike. As I was reading, I couldn't decide which it section it fit best in...before I gave up. A good book is a good book so who really cares?

Halloween is our main character and immediately, he's not exactly the best narrator, c
Nov 06, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: fic-speculative
This book follows the life of a teenage boy -- the archetypal bright, world-weary loner with authority issues -- who is being educated at a special virtual reality-based boarding school along with several other teenagers, while the world outside progresses towards apocalypse. Of course, nothing is exactly what it seems, and a conspiracy reminiscent of The Matrix and other cyberpunk-ish works begins to come to light.

The story has some flaws besides its familiarity: a few of the characters feel in
Oct 03, 2011 Cassi rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Amazing! I knew nothing about this going into it, so it was a great surprise. It was by far the best audiobook I have heard, despite the really poor start. If you are listening to it, know that the author "acts" out the book, so it seems incredibly over-dramatic at the beginning. Keep going!

The story goes from convoluted to intriguing. The characters are young, high school kids, and may feel flat in some places as a result. It takes a few turns that may or may not be expected, but overall, Nick
Greg Z
Jul 10, 2016 Greg Z rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I should change my name so that I, too, can get a book published. I'm down to three finalist for my new name: Camus Capote, Shakespeare Swift, or (something simple) Hemming Way. Any thoughts about which I should chose? (Oh, about the book: the world in which it resides apparently has no rules. Anything can happen, anyone can do anything, say anything, go anywhere. And if you're going to write a book in which anyone can say or think absolutely anything that pops into their brain, you'd better be ...more
Dec 12, 2009 Challis rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Never considered myself a sci-fi gal. This one is fantasy/reality enough to not be sci-fi, even though it is... Really reminded me of the matrix.
What a fun place to get lost for awhile. Unfortunately it was too quick of a read. Liked the tangle that slowly unravels in different layers. Wanted to stay in this IVR world a lot longer.
One big question unanswered: How does Mercutio find his way to 0?
May 02, 2008 Ysabel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of matrix-style simulation-worlds
This is my most favourite book to date. It is so well written and set in a world I think I secretly crave to be a part of. I loved the twist at the end and definitely did not see it coming. I've read it at least five times since I bought it last year and will continue to do so for years to come.
Apr 02, 2009 Diana rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was really original. And I was totally surprised by the ending--totally didn't see it coming. And the author is very cool. I ended up communicating with him after I read the book and it turns out that he went to the same high school as I did and based the book partly on our school. Maybe that's why I liked it so much . . .
Aug 29, 2009 Oscar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans de Matrix
¿Es real el mundo en el que vivimos o es un mundo creado virtualmente? Este es parte del planteamiento de esta novela, la primera de Nick Sagan (sí, es el hijo del archiconocido Carl Sagan). Sin aportar nada nuevo al género, Nick sí es capaz de entretenernos con algunas de sus ideas.

Un libro entretenido sin más, cuyo autor habrá que tener en cuenta en sucesivos proyectos.
Dec 30, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sagan creates a very interesting scenario that doesn't seem to flesh out until towards the end. I loved the characterization of Hal. This was a very quick read, but kept me reeling on its ideas after I had finished.
Aaron Schulhoff
Oct 27, 2015 Aaron Schulhoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't open up or really add up until chapter 7 so stick with it. From chapter 7 on the writing style is fast and loose with very little detail. Because of this the story unfolds quickly. It felt like the pages were turning themselves. I'm looking forward to book 2.
Katie Whalen
Mar 04, 2016 Katie Whalen rated it liked it
Bought it for the Neil Gaiman quote, found out written by son of Carl Sagan at the end, emo things happened in between.
Valorie Engholm
Jun 09, 2013 Valorie Engholm rated it it was amazing
Excellent story! Constantly surprising, and hard to put down.
Mar 22, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing
for any lover of scifi/fantasy, this is a must read. intelligent, wildly imaginative, totally engrossing. then go on and read edenborn and everfree. fantastic trilogy!
Mar 02, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
Loved the twist and turns in the story. The story was slow to hook me, but I'm glad I read on. Very interested in reading the next book in the series.
May 05, 2009 Magda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, ya
Although this seems somewhat similar to The Matrix, at heart it's more of a futuristic whodunnit.
Mar 25, 2008 Calisrue rated it really liked it
this book has cyberpunk feel at the beginning but also reminiscent of Roger Zelazney's Chronicles of Amber... and some MAJOR twists in the story line that will make you go WOW.
Nov 08, 2016 Sabrina rated it it was ok
Shelves: november-s-books
From a stylistic point of view, this was very well written and I enjoyed following along to that aspect. As far as storyline however, it wasn't my favorite.
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Goodreads Librari...: fixes for Idlewild 9780553815979 1 12 Jul 14, 2013 10:30PM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED- Idlewild by Nick Sagan [s] 8 70 Jan 12, 2009 03:30PM  
stolen ideas? 1 48 Dec 15, 2008 11:51PM  
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“When I think of Simone now, I think of butterfly wings. Beautiful and excruciatingly delicate. Touch them once and they might disintegrate.” 15 likes
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