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The Plagiarist

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,419 Ratings  ·  358 Reviews
Adam Griffey is living two lives. By day, he teaches literature. At night, he steals it. Adam is a plagiarist, an expert reader with an eye for great works. He prowls simulated worlds perusing virtual texts, looking for the next big thing. And when he finds it, he memorizes it page by page, line by line, word for word. And then he brings it back to his world, the real worl ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 24th 2011 by Createspace
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
A very peculiar and yet fascinating short read that will make you question even your own existence. In a world where a person regularly visits different cyber realms or visual worlds for sociological studies and research, identifying what’s real from what’s not becomes the biggest challenge.

"…roughly 30 percent of what we see is hallucination. It’s our brain smoothing things over so the world’s not so pixilated."

Adam calls himself a plagiarist because he writes stories which he memorizes fro
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
"Adam wondered if it counted as a lie if the untruth was as boring as reality."

It's easy to see the appeal of virtual reality. The chance to break from the monotony of real life, to be someone different, someone better, to experience something new and exciting and safe (since you can always log off when things are not to your liking). It can bring excitement and fulfillment, fill in the gaps and the void in your own life. And it can be done easily, without hard work, without sacrifice - new poss
Good story. While it's not projected, I picked up the twist early on. Almost like (view spoiler)
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, dystopian
All his life, Adam had wanted to be a writer. The problem was: he was too good at reading.

2.5 stars. This dystopian novella was a quick piece of escapism, my favorite part being Adam's job. I think I could do that for a living - go to simulated worlds and read the whole day until you find the next big thing, then memorize it and bring it back to our world.
The ending was a bit predictable, and I could not understand why they could not just copy the books?
May 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I started this short because it sounded interesting and the only reason I finished it is because I thought, "this has got to get better". Well it did not. The only reason it got two stars is because the premise was good.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this story because I loved his Wool Omnibus Edition. I can tell you, honestly, that I would have happily read 1000 more pages of this story, but Hugh Howey is one of the new masters of the Short. You can read this during your lunch, or a train commute, or a short layover... and I do mean short. I was captured instantly, the setting is so absolutely feasible that there was no willing suspension of disbelief time needed to settle in... and the ending?? I'll just say: Well played, Mr. Howe ...more
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This is probably the fourth or fifth I've read of Howey and I really enjoyed it. It's a fairly quick read, taking me only about 45 minutes to complete.

What we have here is a tale about virtual reality, a subject that always intrigues me, for one because I see a great appeal in it. Anyway the twist at the end is one I did see coming but I enjoyed it none the less. As always from Howey it was well-written and engaging. And there's something about his writing style that's very descriptive. I was a
Interesting idea of a world which runs simulations of entire planets with alternate parameters. Our hero is in the business of sifting through the simulation looking for the equivalent of Shakespeare or Dickens, memorizing the work of the simulated person, and then bring it back to his real world for publication. He also gets a little too deeply involved with one of the simulated women, much to the detriment of his life in the real world. Unfortunately, the ending (view spoiler) ...more
Daniel J. Weber
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo
I had a hard time deciding whether to peg it at 4 or 5 stars. I usually reserve 5 stars for books that completely blew me away and 4 stars for excellent books that I really enjoyed, but they don't make my top of the list as favourite books of all time. To receive 5 stars from me you have to do something extraordinarily exceptional that I have not seen before / did not expect. With that point aside, let's get to the review!

I enjoyed this novella. Because of the length of the work description of t
Timothy Ward
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really impressed with this story both for its depth of ideas and philosophy, but also because of how much I cared for the main character. The emotional attachment to him finding happiness kept me reading. I love reading stories that give me joy to share in their world, even if it is bleak. This was that kind of story.

******** Spoiler Alert ***********

My only problem with this story was that I guessed the ending too far prior to the end. I thought what if he was also in a simulated world whe
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Makes you think.

As usual High Howey pulls you into his story and makes you think on so many levels. Glad I own this. I'll be reading it again.
Sonja Arlow
This short sci-fi novella reminded me a bit of Ready Player One, but with much more sinister overtones.

The storyline examines a possible future where simulations in cyberspace have run off on their own, turning into almost self-sustaining environments.

Taking advantage, people from the "real world" began to take literary works, art, and scientific advancements back to the real world. It’s not stealing if the people who created it do not really exist right? Right.

As always it amazes me how much
Once you've gotten the full scope of where this story is going, it's pretty predictable. Not a bad story, still filled with that same emotional slant that I've come to expect of his stories. Worth reading, especially since it's a very quick read.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
This was a fun read, despite figuring out the plot twist fairly early on.

(Also: a bonus! Only discovered one typo, which is amazing these days. The poet was Percy Bysshe Shelley, not Shelly.)
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This virtual reality scifi novella is yet another example of Hugh Howey’s mastery of art of the slow reveal. Adam Griffey’s world of the near future contains an almost limitless number of artificial worlds, supported by fields of server farms, in which software citizens are self-aware. Scientists set up teams of software scientists to find cures for cancer, or create new worlds to study planet formation. Entire software civilizations rise and fall, so that Adam’s world reaps the benefits.

Adam is
I am starting this short story out at 3.5 stars, but it will probably be one of those books that plays on my mind enough that it will end up warranting 4 stars.

I am not really sure what I think about Hugh Howey. I loved his WOOL series, but I am confused by the length of his books, they range from a short-story to a novella in length. I am not used to paying money for a single short-story, though I am sure I will eventually. I should applaud him as I also always dislike short-stories. I find the
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-ebooks
This story didn't give me much. The main character seems pale to me and the ending was quite foreseeable.
If you don't know the author and want to read something by him check out the Silo books (WOOL).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Shilpi Goel
I really enjoyed reading The Plagiarist. Hugh Howey has a wonderful way with words (and haiku!). I'm glad I found a modern SF author whose books I really look forward to reading.

The biggest appeal of Hugh Howey's books, for me, is that the story is so plausible. SF is generally incredible (I guess the point is that it is meant to be), but Hugh's way makes it so that one realizes after reading half-way through his books that a feeling of "meh-I-gotta-accept-the-crazy-stuff-'coz-that's-what-I've-c
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this short story five stars for a few reasons. First and most importantly, the concept. The idea here is fantastic and new to me. As a participant in a virtual world, I can love to find books that take on that culture, and Hugh took it to a whole mother level in just 57 pages. The next reason is because by page 35 or so, I started to question why he was being so descriptive, especially toward the end. Then, I realized why and that it was not only necessary, but a masterful storytelling ta ...more
Jesse Kona
That isn't how virtual reality works...

I love a good virtual reality story, and this one isn't bad, but it bugs me when writers give in to the temptation to impose silly, arbitrary limits on the relationships between the virtual and the actual. The most common offender is "if you die in there, you die out here as well" (The Matrix, Inception). This story imposes the restriction that you can not copy data from the VR to reality by any means other than memorization, which just doesn't add up.

This wasn't entirely what I was expecting. I got less of one thing and got a bit more of another. Not that that's a bad thing!! It was quite a mind bender of a story.

What surprised me most is that Adam is not entirely a likeable character, when you get down to it, but I found myself strongly empathizing with him. I felt really badly for him.

The ending was quite twisted. Nice!! Mr. Howey has done it again! The final image was... perfectly tragic.
Niels Pedersen
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm seriously considering stalking Hugh Howey. When I find him it will be old school judo chop time.
Last night I read "The Plagiarist", by Hugh Howey, free on Kindle.
In my opinion this is at the very least as good as, if not more compelling, than Wool.
I thought I was a woolite, now I'm not wondering if I shouldn't be a server farm surfer.
Seriously Hugh, your killing me man.
Niels Pedersen
That guy outside your window
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Though I'm often drawn to books of 700 or 800 pages, I read this one, a mere 57 pages, because Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors and I just can't resist. I was not disappointed! Not only does the Plagiarist address the nature of existence and reality, but it hits another note that I didn't even realize I was hearing. In this age of information overload, in reams of data and 700 page novels, is more better?

Like haiku, there is beauty in brevity. I loved it.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
My main problem is that it's too short! This premise holds so much potential, so many possibilities. It is great for what it is though - a philosophical exercise in a sci-fi setting. At first I was upset that the main character couldn't see what was coming as well as I could, but then I realized that it only added another layer to the exercise. I found this novella much more thought provoking than other noted philosophical works. Well done!
Ok, so this novella is one of those stories where you don't realize how good it is until near the end. There was a twist in this one that blew me away and totally surprised and shocked me. I'm not even going to hint at it, as I don't want to ruin it accidentally for anyone. What an interesting and though provoking concept! This was also a good choice for audio, as I felt immersed in the different worlds.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: e-readers looking for a short, satisfying read (maybe on a short plane ride like me)
Recommended to Ainsley by: Eric Wallace
Shelves: read-in-2013
"Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy?"

Last December I learned I love Hugh Howey. I loved his Wool series. I love good, fun, provocative writing. So, no surprise: I really liked The Plagiarist.

It is the slimmest of reads--less than 100 pages. And yet it's rich in character development and deep thoughts and has plenty of payoffs and "wait, WHAT?!?" moments.

Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. Every single word of it. It felt like such a huge layered subject and it made my brain sweat just a little with the ramifications of it all but I would have gladly read a 1000 page novel of this story.
A little gem of a story, layers upon layers, words as silence.
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Well written, but sadly predictable.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short novella that packs a great punch. The premise was very interesting and the writing, quite powerful.
4.5 stars
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I'm the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway.

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“....faking his real life so he can live his fake one.” 3 likes
“Moments spill through hands idling away at nothing To puddle in years” 2 likes
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