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Omari And The People

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award Winner

The ancient city burns and a thief named Omari leads the survivors into uncharted desert to a legendary place he doesn't believe exists.

As the caravan struggles with nature and treachery, Omari must decide between love and the people's survival in this romantic tale of adventure, destiny and desert magic.
Audiobook, 368 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by SHIRLEYCASTLE PRESS (first published August 22nd 2014)
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Stephen Whitfield Good question, Kelley. No, I don't, even though readers are encouraged to judge for themselves. Saba was created first by people I've known, then her …moreGood question, Kelley. No, I don't, even though readers are encouraged to judge for themselves. Saba was created first by people I've known, then her character was guided by the story as it unfolded. Her ambition is not blind but it does compete with her love.
Love and ambition coexist uneasily within the heart, I believe.(less)
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Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(This review is for the audiobook version of Omari and the People.)


Practically all of the folktales that survive today have origins in the oral tradition. They were passed down from generation to generation and from culture to culture by master storytellers. Omari and the People, by Stephan Whitfield, is written in the style of a folktale — one that tells the story of a hero on a journey to save himself and his wandering band of nomads — and as such is a perfect fit for the audiobook form
Jess the Audiobookworm
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sponsored
4.75★ Audiobook⎮ After finishing Omari and the People, I’m left with both a feeling of wonderment and confusion. Sort of like what I experience at magic shows. On the one hand, I’m in awe. On the other, I’m left a little baffled, but not in an unpleasant way. If you understand how the magician performs the trick, it’s not quite as magical.

Every single second of this audiobook captivated me. I was initially a bit intimidated by the 11-hour runtime. Long audiobooks are always a gamble. If you happ
Siobhan (Novelties)
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
You can find this review and others on my blog, Novelties.

"Like wisps of vapour that form a cloud, their shared memories and desires rise up from their souls, merge, and become the story."

Wow. I wasn't sure what to expect with Stephen's book. It definitely intrigues me. And I'm happy to be given the opportunity to review the audiobook. The audiobook adds an extra level of interest. Stephen's writing and Curt's narration produce powerful images in your mind. The author has an intrinsic ability to
Curt Simmons
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure, I am the narrator for the Audible Audio edition of Omari and the People by Stephen Whitfield. I decided to write this review of the novel because of the unique and personal experience I had with Stephen and his work. I'm thinking this should be in the forward to his next novel.

I answered Stephen’s email request for an audition to narrate his book from ICU at Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle where my wife was recovering from emergency surgery after a terrible car accident two
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Omari and the People. It’s a journey-based story, with commentary on human nature- love, friendship, independence, the desire for challenges, the fear of insecurity, and the nature of hope. It’s got magical realism (or perhaps I should say, the world is akin to ours but there’s a character who is magical). It’s got a reluctant hero (Omari). It’s got a stoic best friend that I adored (Umbarek…I may be misspelling that as I listened to it on audiobook). It’s got several fierce female cha ...more
Jennifer Y.
My Rating: 4 ½ stars

*I received a complimentary audio book copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

I have to confess that I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks. In fact, I think the last one I listened to told me to turn the page at the chime and involved my favorite animated characters. So when I agreed to listen to and review Omari and The People, I wasn’t sure what to expect or how I was going to review an audio book…especially one this long… but as I listened to this wonderful bo
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is reminiscent of the classic adventure stories. There is adventure, magic, romance, and intrigue and the story kept me entertained and wanting to know what was going to happen from the beginning. I loved the way the author describes the landscape in which the story unfolds. I felt like I had been transported to a Middle Eastern desert and could picture it so vividly in my mind.

There is magic, but it is subtle. There are sword fights, but they're few and far between. This book is much
Omari is a talented thief, but he’s not so smart when it comes to women. He has riches, a beautiful wife, and a big house. Yet his wife becomes angry with him and heads off to the city guard to tell of his many crimes. In an attempt to erase evidence of his wrongdoings, he sets fire to his house. Unfortunately, the flames don’t stop there and the entire city is lost. Now Omari, feeling quite bad about this, tells the people a lie about a wonderful land beyond the desert sands. There the adventur ...more
My original Omari and the People audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

The thief Omari unwittingly becomes the leader of his people when they must travel on a long journey through the desert to find a new home. During this journey, Omari must make many decisions that he has no experience with. An old beggar woman, who seems to be unlike any like any other woman and is uncannily powerful, guides him with mysterious advice. Through the guidance of this old woman, Omar
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Omari’s skills as a thief have allowed him to live a life of luxury. However, when it looks like his world is about to tumble down, he decides to take matters into his own hands – he sets his house on fire. Unfortunately, the fire spreads and soon the entire town is engulfed in flames. The survivors gather outside of town, wondering what is to become of them. Omari, in an attempt to avoid capture, hints that he knows of a land across the desert where they can make a much better life than the one ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free audio narration of this book from The Audiobookworm in exchange for an honest review. This did not impact my opinion of the story or performance.

Omari and the People was a huge leap outside of my comfort area. This novel did not disappoint though and it was a great introduction to audiobooks and adult fiction in the magical realism /fantasy genre (although it's contemporary too because this is very much a character driven novel).

Omari and the People is a beautifully written adv
Ceillie Simkiss
In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the Empty Quarter in Arabia) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The d ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This a book about Omari and his quest as a leader across the desert to restore the lives of the people who lost their homes. Omari's character is one that has a troubled past (he often stole things to get by), yet of one of a man trying to prove he can do the things that he set out to do. I especially enjoyed the audio parts of the books when it came to expressing his emotions.

Throughout the book we get exposed to a variety of other characters. Influential women, merchants trying to get things t
Lissa Joy
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Note: I received this book from Jess at Audiobook Promotions in exchange for an honest review as a part of this tour. The tour is being sponsored by Stephen Whitfield and Curt Simmons. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Although not a story I would usually reach for, "Omari and the People" was a solid read.

First of all, the narration in this book was fantastic. Curt's slight accent kept me captivated and coming back for more. With a relatively slow plot and o
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, ebooks
I just loved this book! The story of this people was so fascinating I had to drop everything else I was reading and concentrate only on this. For starters, I really liked the characters. Omari felt like a real person, unlike the "normal" storybook hero, who rises up to the challenge and saves the day without presenting a single flaw. On the contrary, he is tormented by his sudden rise to power, as it is so much out of his character: as a thief used to being on his own, he struggles to even just ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It’s rare when reading an epic that you find yourself enthralled with each page. I for one can’t count how many times I’ve rolled my eyes at the minutiae or yawned and skipped pages as the author droned on about the texture of parchment for twelve paragraphs. Fortunately there is nothing of that sort in this book. The writer knows how to not only distill his words down to what’s necessary for the progression of the story, but he also relays it in such an imaginative and poetic way that it’s all ...more
Leslie Fisher
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, adult, fantasy
I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in a mysterious, ancient land and has amazing and mysterious characters. I always found myself wanting to know more and came to care about them. There are lots of strong females, and the hero, Omari, is very realistic. I would probably consider this an adventure novel as it is exciting and we see the characters travelling across the land in search of a better place and fighting bandits, but there are also elements of fantasy and romance. I think this bo ...more
Destiny Brown
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spellbinding Ancient African Adventure

Omari and the People is an extraordinary epic adventure full of friendship, love, loss, betrayals and survival. The touch of magical realism is what brings the story full circle.

Beautifully written, the author, Stephen Whitfield has done an amazing job with his characters and storyline from beginning until the end. He is a gifted storyteller and I can't wait for another book from him.

The main premise of the story revolves around a reluctant leader who find
J. Bebbington
Excellent piece of desert fantasy. Well-written and narrated just as successfully. A very enjoyable read.
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Omari and the People is a story about he journey of a people from a city full of selfish desires to a place where they can find themselves and all they are capable of.

This story really reminds me of the stories that have been passed down through oral traditions, it has a beautiful feel to it that translates perfectly to the audiobook format. Omari is a thief who has built a life for himself among his stolen riches, but finds himself unhappy and restless. In a fit of anger and desperation he seek
Anne Monteith
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-arc-reviews
As a thief Omari lives a life of comfort until believing that he is about to be captures after learning that not only is his wife cheating on him but that she has turned his name into the authorities, he sets his house on fire and the whole town ends up in flames. He hints to the survivors that he knows of a land across the desert where life can be much better than the ones that they lost. Can this former thief lead the people who have put their faith in him across the desert to a land he is uns ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Omari and the People, as presented by Audible, had an 11-hour runtime, which is quite intimidating for any audiobook newcomer. And yet, due to the books slow burn I didn't find myself dreading turning it on.

One reason for my ability to tackle the long runtime was the narrator of this audiobook. Curt Simmons was absolutely captivating, and the accent he chose to put on throughout the entire run fit integrated nicely within the theme of the book.

Due to there not being a specified location for the
Joel Torres
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Spanish translation to follow)

This novel was moving and intriguing. It played upon both my emotional state and my willing suspension of disbelief. There was a wonderful balance between fantasy and real-world themes of community, passion, introspection and fate. I would highly recommend this book and hope to see it as a film.

Esta novela se movía e intrigante. Jugó en tanto mi estado emocional y mi suspensión voluntaria de la incredulidad . Había un maravilloso equilibrio entre la fantasía y el m
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This is a heart-warming tale of a man who gets caught up in events and ends up realizing his full potential as a leader and a courageous man of passion.
This story is full of surprises and was enjoyable, though I struggled at some points as the story was bogged down in politics or the drudgery of walking through a desert.
The narration was excellent and I will definitely pick up anything else narrated by Mr. Curt Simmons.
If you enjoy stories of brave peoples doing the impossible, this is probab
Michael Dallas
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Omari And The People is an unexpected gift.
A most unlikely twist of events pulled me into the lives of some amazing people and kept me turning the page.
This book captures the human experience in so many ways.
It is a tale I won't forget.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, own
I did an audiobook review of this here on my blog:
J. Else
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an advance review copy from publisher via NetGalley. A HUGE thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for this opportunity to read and review.

I'm a huge fan of ancient historical fiction. However, this story did not draw me in like I expected it to. In Steven Saylor's "Roma," the first 1000 years of a group of people are detailed as the people eventually settle and form the Roman Empire remembered today. Throughout Saylor's storyline, there was always a strong cultural element that was r
James Fant
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't quite remember how I came across this novel. Don't remember if I saw it in the Amazon ad emails and the cover struck me. Don't recall if I was searching for something and it came up in the search. Perhaps the reason I can't remember how I found the book is because I didn't find it. I believe it found me. The novel was definitely entertaining. But it was much more. It was edifying. It had loads of lessons about leadership. And that is why I believe I was drawn to it. That's also why I gav ...more
Linn Browning
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: african-american
Based on a promotional eBook received from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Omari and the People
Written by Stephen Whitfield

Overall Rating: 3/5
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Writing: 2

Omari and the People is a sweeping, epic quest story of a thief so successful that he becomes bored with his life. In a whirlwind decision, he burns his city to the ground, stranding thousands of people of varying classes without homes in the desert. With the backing of an elderly drifter who appears to have semi-magical po
Simona Nielsen
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Audiobook review: 3 STARS (narrator 4 STARS)

I wasn't overall impressed and captivated like other reviewers and I can't quite figure out, what I was missing. Omari and the People is on the limit of being 'epic fiction', but I felt it lacked some important elements.

Omari is a thief who build his wealth so successful that he need a new purpose in life. When betrayed by his wife, he burns his house down and accendently burns the entire village. The survivors are now homeless and follows Omari on a j
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Chicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. His various adventures have taken him to such places as London, Paris, Trondheim, Johannesburg, Beirut, most ...more

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