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Extended Audio Sample The Futurist Audiobook, by James P. Othmer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (305 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James P. Othmer Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2006 ISBN: 9781400172481
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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 has 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “This spirited dissection of the contemporary cultural and political zeitgeist is a stylish winner in its own intelligently weird right.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 2/16/2014

    " Wow. I really liked it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom | 1/20/2014

    " Read on a plane, nothing great but it kept me entertained. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 1/18/2014

    " Can't recall who recommended this one, but thank you!! Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, just the right mix of cynicism and honesty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 dragynlady | 1/1/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great characters and a story telling style that reminded me of a mixture of Vonnegut and Robbins. Funny and fast paced. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joel | 12/7/2013

    " Turned out to be a big whatever... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeff Raymond | 11/25/2013

    " The main character is a "futurist," who speaks to various leaders and organizations and essentially tells them what they want to hear, until he cracks. Great setup, but I don't feel like it went anywhere and I have no clue what the purpose of the book was to begin with. Kind of a shame. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy | 11/21/2013

    " Amusing at times, but a little too self-aware and sarcastically hip to be a truly satisfying read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 11/17/2013

    " I liked the idea of this book (a cynical futurist) better than the implementation... I would have preferred him stay cynical and funny rather than getting to the learning-a-lesson part. This book started out fairly interesting and amusing, but then kind of petered out for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Connery | 11/15/2013

    " Interesting. Ending was a failure, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 10/26/2013

    " The Futurist isn't about the future, it's a witty and sometimes biting satire on some of the absurdities of our culture today. Othmer is a talented first time writer, and this is a book that manages to pepper it's cynicism with hilarity. It's a fresh, in-your-face, creative novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Philip | 8/29/2013

    " Almost excellent, I enjoyed the plot and the concept but something got lost on the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 7/30/2013

    " made me want to go to Greenland "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elliot | 1/26/2013

    " I laughed a couple times when reading this and that makes it better than "Then We Came To the End". Three stars feels like 1/2 star too many but I'm doing it anyways, just so it gets more than the aforementioned. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Vivi King | 12/17/2012

    " "I read it in Swedish. I wasn't particularly enthralled, I didn't sympathize with any of the characters, and nothing really surprised me." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 goodevil | 10/30/2012

    " I'm giving it three stars for the book, and one extra star because I'm very proud of Jim! Haven't seen him in years, but no doubt he's still the same great person I knew back when. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 7/6/2012

    " It was nothing like what I expected. Not that that is a bad thing. I gave it a worth try, but decided to give up on it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirk | 7/4/2012

    " Excellent, short, well written, a fast read that does a great job of filling out the modern day American man and delving into his struggles. He never loses his idealistic slant, even when things get tough. I enjoyed it a lot and highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 5/12/2012

    " This book was OK. Honestly, it didn't do anything for me. I didn't care about the characters or anything else. I kept waiting for some big mystery to unfold, and nothing ever did. I did like reading about the various places the characters traveled. It made me want to get out see more of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Rodeback | 5/1/2012

    " Smart, funny, fast-paced and oddly poignant, this novel is well worth the read. Of Othmer, I am officially a fan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Manaudou | 3/10/2012

    " This book is lame. The title sounds interesting but the main character is unlikeable and uninteresting and the pointless story is one nobody needs to hear. Thanks to this author, I will never again read something written by anybody in the advertising industry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/23/2011

    " Thanks Dan for the recommedation. Interesting read. I especially love the opening paragraphs to every chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 6/22/2011

    " Dystopian novel of the present, about the future and the "coiner of the phrase," which we never learn. Pretty engaging but not great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared | 6/7/2011

    " i really dug this book. i was consciously trying to figure out why as i was reading it, and i think it simply comes down to the main character, yates. i loved his character. following him, his thought process, his travels, his decision making, that's what did if for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 William | 5/31/2011

    " Ultimately a dissapointment. The premise had great potential. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 5/6/2011

    " The futurist gives us a cynical protagonist finding redemption - while our formerly amoral protagonist has some wit and charm, the whole leaves something to be desired. Reminds me of bad coupland. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 1/14/2011

    " It was nothing like what I expected. Not that that is a bad thing. I gave it a worth try, but decided to give up on it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 11/15/2010

    " A somewhat strange book that gives and interesting insight into how our world works.
    It make you think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 10/28/2010

    " Thanks Dan for the recommedation. Interesting read. I especially love the opening paragraphs to every chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 10/20/2010

    " The Futurist isn't aout the future, it's a witty and sometimes biting satire on some of the absurdities of our culture today. Othmer is a talented first time writer, and this is a book that manages to pepper it's cynicism with hilarity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 7/12/2010

    " Smart, funny, fast-paced and oddly poignant, this novel is well worth the read. Of Othmer, I am officially a fan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeff | 7/9/2010

    " The main character is a "futurist," who speaks to various leaders and organizations and essentially tells them what they want to hear, until he cracks. Great setup, but I don't feel like it went anywhere and I have no clue what the purpose of the book was to begin with. Kind of a shame. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 2/6/2010

    " Can't recall who recommended this one, but thank you!! Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, just the right mix of cynicism and honesty. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kather21 | 12/14/2009

    " Motivational speaker takes on mysterious client and confusion reigns. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kip | 11/20/2009

    " A self-aware, self-parody of trendy thinkers and insight people by a creative director in ad agency. It's every bit as maddening and ironically self-important as I expected, but it's pretty damn funny and the guy can build up a good head of steam. If you're in the biz, definitely read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 8/24/2009

    " Interesting. Ending was a failure, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 6/15/2009

    " I liked the idea of this book (a cynical futurist) better than the implementation... I would have preferred him stay cynical and funny rather than getting to the learning-a-lesson part. This book started out fairly interesting and amusing, but then kind of petered out for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared | 3/21/2009

    " i really dug this book. i was consciously trying to figure out why as i was reading it, and i think it simply comes down to the main character, yates. i loved his character. following him, his thought process, his travels, his decision making, that's what did if for me. "

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About the Author
Author James P. Othmer

James P. Othmer is the author of Adland: Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet and the novel The Futurist, which was expanded from a short story published in the Virginia Quarterly that was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.