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Idlewild (Idlewild #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,265 Ratings  ·  225 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 of 3,000)
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Oct 05, 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
Apr 02, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it
Hated everything about this book and it took everything I had to finish it.
Mar 01, 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
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
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
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
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
Jul 31, 2016 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
Apr 11, 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
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 05, 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.
Jan 29, 2012 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
Prince of Cats
Jul 18, 2015 Prince of Cats rated it it was amazing
How many times have I read this book now? I remember the first time I read it; I was an impressionable young teenager - and what an impression it made on me! Prior to Idlewild, I had mostly been obsessed with fantasy novels on a pretty exclusive basis. It was this book that taught me that science fiction could be just as enjoyable - that a book didn't have to have magic and mystical creatures to be spellbinding in its own way.

The second time I read it, I discovered that there was a second book i
Benjamin Atkinson
Mar 19, 2015 Benjamin Atkinson rated it it was amazing
Carl Sagan is a legend. Having said that, my favorite SF novel written by a Sagan is Idlewild, by his son, Nick Sagan. This book has received so little attention and I count it as one of my favorite sf novels. The level of paranoia and real fear, Sagan develops is impressive. Charles Stross would be lucky to have written a novel this good. In fact, it kind of reminded me of Glasshouse, with a few less bells and whistles. A bunch of adolescents are living in a VR experimental community. Our prota ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Eskana rated it it was ok
A twisting, turning take on both a post-apocalyptic future (man's disaster this week? It's a disease known as the Black Ep) and a virtual reality world, similar in some ways to the one pictured in "The Matrix" and "Inception."

Our protagonist awakes at the beginning of the book, aware of very little except that someone has just tried to kill him. He doesn't even remember his name, although snatches of memory come back as the book wears on. He's in a bizarre world, that he slowly remembers as a vi
Jan 15, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok
This wasn't a good book, but the storyline is so fascinating that it can't be called a totally bad book either. Like so many others, I came close to putting it down in the beginning. Disjointed nonsense is not an auspicious way to begin a book. Nonetheless, it was intriguing nonsense and I'm glad I pushed on. Reading this was like peeling an onion....satisfying in a way but not a particularly pleasant experience. The good parts were the VR tech and the premise of a VR education and all the parti ...more
Sep 04, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
The much (much) better written, but notably less exciting version of Ready Player One. Futuristic, "immersive virtual reality", bleak reality, smart young know-it-all male protagonist, save the world, etc. But if Ready Player One is the book your friend writes in their freshman Writing course, then Idlewild is the book they write during Grad school.

Really great story, but it's a quick read that takes a long time to finish.
And DANG was this book a downer the further along you got. By the last p
Dec 19, 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?
Jul 26, 2015 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.
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 . . .
May 18, 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.
Tricia Mchugh
Apr 06, 2014 Tricia Mchugh rated it it was amazing
Nick Sagan is the son of Carl Sagan. I met him and his wonderful wife when I worked at Barnes & Noble in Ithaca, NY.
He did a book signing there and it was at that time I learned of this trilogy.
My fiancé and I read all three of the books out loud to each other, taking turns throughout and putting our own personality into the characters
I loved all three of the books. Neither of us could put them down.
The characters were well-written. We identified with them on a personal level. The storylin
Jan 07, 2008 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.
Dec 16, 2014 Petya rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
What? That was my reaction throughout the book. It took me a good one hundred pages to get into the book and start enjoying it. It was so confusing in the begining and the moment I started to understand what I was reading , ten pages later I would wonder what was happening.

I found the plot really interesting and intriguing. The way the whole thing turned out, that it wasnt real... damn. Did not expect it to be Merc. It is so cool to think that you can imagine and build worlds and people and stuf
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.
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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
“We fear the monster's capacity for evil because we recognize it in human hearts.” 3 likes
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