The Futurist

  • by James P. Othmer
  • Narrated by William Dufris
  • 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Yates is a Futurist. Which is to say he makes a very good living flying around the world dispensing premonitory wisdom, a.k.a. prepackaged bull, to world governments, corporations, and global leadership conferences. He is an optimist by trade and a cynic by choice. He's the kind of man who can give a lecture on successive days to a leading pesticide manufacturer and the Organic Farmers of America, and receive standing ovations at both. But just as the American Empire is beginning to fray around the edges, so too is Yates' carefully scripted existence. On the way to the Futureworld Conference in Johannesburg, he opens a handwritten note from his girlfriend, saying she's left him for a sixth-grade history teacher. Then he witnesses a soccer riot in which a number of South Africans are killed, to the chagrin of the South African PR people at Futureworld. Sparked by a heroic devastation of his minibar and inspired by the rookie hooker sent to his hotel room courtesy of his hosts, Yates delivers a spectacularly career-ending speech at Futureworld, which leads to a sound beating, a meeting with some quasi-governmental creeps, and a hazy mission to go around the world answering the question: Why does everyone hate us? Thus begins an absolutely original novel that is fueled by equal parts subversive satire, genuine physical fear, and heartfelt moral anguish. From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, The Futurist manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.

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What the Critics Say

"An impressive foray into satirical ficton." (The New York Times)
"A stylish winner in its own intelligently weird right." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

missed the mark

Some clever wordplay and a few bits of interesting (if not novel) commentary. But the story wasn't funny enough to be a comedy, harrowing enough to be a thriller or interesting enough to be thought-provoking.
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- Alan

Only if the future is flip

With this book, you take the good with the annoying. What is good? The general plot, which whirls you across the globe while making you think about how this world really operates. It keep you engaged with is exotic places and fast pace.

What is annoying? The narrator, who often uses voices that are more fit for a muppet. Anything else? Yes. There is good flippancy, like Jon Stewart, and there is bad, like that kid in school that mocks everything you do, even if you are just standing still and breathing. The author is closer to being like that kid.

And one more bit of annoyance that is out fo the author's hands: the fact that people are calling this satire. Sparing you the lecture, it is not. Not everything that is humorous and political is satire.
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- Christopher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2006
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio