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World Leader Pretend

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Xeres Meticula is a failure. A casualty of the dot-com bust, he now lives in his parents basement and spends all day on one pursuit, winning The Realm. Fortunately hes not alone. Joining him in his world are Gek-Lin, an orphan in Thailand who spends her nights in an internet cafe; Dietrich Bjornson, a welder working in Antarctica; and Tres Rawling, a former Olympic skier for England whose career was cut short when an accident left him a quadriplegic; and many more. Together they communicate and connect, working to achieve virtual world dominance, but when tragedy on- and off-line occurs, can these real people trust each other enough to find the help they need?

Review:

"Debut novelist Frost captures the messy, human interaction of the Internet with the equally messy story of 32-year-old failed dot-commer Xerxes Meticula, who plays an online multiplayer strategy game called the Realm with allies as diverse as a technician in Antarctica and an exploited teen girl in Bangkok. Xerxes organizes his life online in ways that he cannot match in real life, where his twin sister, Gabriella, is struggling with schizophrenia and his business partner, Zahn Mendoza, is marrying Xerxes's ex-girlfriend. In the Realm, though, he is in control, until he runs into the Two-Headed Boy, a four-time game winner who's a quadriplegic former world-class skier. They set their rivalry aside after one of its online victims becomes a real-life suicide. Though Frost's year 2000 setting can feel dated and his character development occasionally schematic, he crafts an uncommon literary illustration of the split-identity common to gamers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Debut novelist Frost captures the messy, human interaction of the Internet with the equally messy story of 32-year-old failed dot-commer Xerxes Meticula, who plays an online multiplayer strategy game called the Realm with allies as diverse as a technician in Antarctica and an exploited teen girl in Bangkok. Xerxes organizes his life online in ways that he cannot match in real life, where his twin sister, Gabriella, is struggling with schizophrenia and his business partner, Zahn Mendoza, is marrying Xerxes's ex-girlfriend. In the Realm, though, he is in control, until he runs into the Two-Headed Boy, a four-time game winner who's a quadriplegic former world-class skier. They set their rivalry aside after one of its online victims becomes a real-life suicide. Though Frost's year 2000 setting can feel dated and his character development occasionally schematic, he crafts an uncommon literary illustration of the split-identity common to gamers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Store your copies of Infinite Jest in the basement. World Leader Pretend is this generation's Bible-slash-novel." David Bowman, author of Bunny Modern

Review:

"A powerfully moving story of what it means to be human." Mark Dunn, bestselling author of Ella Minnow Pea

Review:

"The prose style is vivid, with an edgy contemporary rhythm; the characters are deftly-drawn, and the book full of heart." David Rochester, author of Quotidian Vicissitudes

Synopsis:

With over 100 million players world wide, virtual games are more than just a niche community, it's phenomenon. Now comes the first novel set in the world of virtual gaming World Leader Pretend.
Xeres Meticula is a failure.  A casualty of the dot.com bust, he now lives in his parents' basement and spends all day on one pursuit, winning The Realm.  Fortunately he's not alone. Joining him in his world is; Gek-Lin, an orphan in Thailand who spends her nights in an internet cafe; Dietrich Bjornson, a welder working in Antarctica; and Tres Rawling, a former Olympic skier for England whose career was cut short when an accident left him a quadriplegic; and many more. Together they communicate and connect, working to achieve virtual world dominance, but when tragedy on and off line occurs, can these real people trust each other enough to find the help they need in one another?    
World Leader Pretend is a provocative novel about virtual connection in the modern age that reads like Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night meets Indecision.

About the Author

James Bernard Frost received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco and has worked as a journalist for Wired. His first book, The Artichoke Trail, won a Lowell Thomas award for travel journalism. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter. World Leader Pretend is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

untimelydeviation, February 8, 2007 (view all comments by untimelydeviation)
I am always delighted to discover a premiere novelist who on his or her first attempt has the ability to impress literary masses. This book was recommended by a friend of a friend and I consider it a pleasure to be able to recommend it forward. The author creates a structured chaos markedly paralleled in realism and succeeds at drawing the reader into the lives and tragedy of each character involved. This is absolutely a must-read for anyone who derives pleasure from getting lost in a good book--and, indeed, getting lost inside the mind of an outstanding storyteller.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
momsmooth, December 6, 2006 (view all comments by momsmooth)
Picked it up and honestly could not put it down for a moment. Read it while waiting for the bus, riding BART, eating dinner, eating lunch, before bed....
I fell in love with all the characters from Dietrich in Antarctica to Xerxes crazy twin Gabriella to King Bonz a Thai orphan to The Serpant to Tres the Olympic skier virgin quadraplegic. I am not a gamer, have never even played an online game but could begin to understand the draw of playing. But, beyond the gaming, the stories of the lives of each of the players was what drew me in. INTENSE READ!!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
sectorsrandn, December 5, 2006 (view all comments by sectorsrandn)
This thoughtful, engaging novel is about much more than virtual gaming -- it's about the marginalization of creativity in society, and it's about the ways in which people desperately seek to connect in an increasingly fragmented world. Anyone who has ever been excited to see a comment on their blog or website will immediately relate to the themes of connection, disconnect, and definitions of reality. The prose style is vivid, with an edgy contemporary rhythm; the characters are deftly-drawn, and the book is full of heart and thought. Although it's entertaining, there is also much here for the reader to ponder long after the final page has been turned.
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(6 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312352233
Author:
Frost, James Bernard
Publisher:
Griffin
Author:
Frosh, James Bernard
Subject:
Video games
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
Virtual Reality
Subject:
Experimental fiction
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.75 in 0.82 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary

World Leader Pretend New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.99 In Stock
Product details 336 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9780312352233 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Debut novelist Frost captures the messy, human interaction of the Internet with the equally messy story of 32-year-old failed dot-commer Xerxes Meticula, who plays an online multiplayer strategy game called the Realm with allies as diverse as a technician in Antarctica and an exploited teen girl in Bangkok. Xerxes organizes his life online in ways that he cannot match in real life, where his twin sister, Gabriella, is struggling with schizophrenia and his business partner, Zahn Mendoza, is marrying Xerxes's ex-girlfriend. In the Realm, though, he is in control, until he runs into the Two-Headed Boy, a four-time game winner who's a quadriplegic former world-class skier. They set their rivalry aside after one of its online victims becomes a real-life suicide. Though Frost's year 2000 setting can feel dated and his character development occasionally schematic, he crafts an uncommon literary illustration of the split-identity common to gamers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Debut novelist Frost captures the messy, human interaction of the Internet with the equally messy story of 32-year-old failed dot-commer Xerxes Meticula, who plays an online multiplayer strategy game called the Realm with allies as diverse as a technician in Antarctica and an exploited teen girl in Bangkok. Xerxes organizes his life online in ways that he cannot match in real life, where his twin sister, Gabriella, is struggling with schizophrenia and his business partner, Zahn Mendoza, is marrying Xerxes's ex-girlfriend. In the Realm, though, he is in control, until he runs into the Two-Headed Boy, a four-time game winner who's a quadriplegic former world-class skier. They set their rivalry aside after one of its online victims becomes a real-life suicide. Though Frost's year 2000 setting can feel dated and his character development occasionally schematic, he crafts an uncommon literary illustration of the split-identity common to gamers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Store your copies of Infinite Jest in the basement. World Leader Pretend is this generation's Bible-slash-novel."
"Review" by , "A powerfully moving story of what it means to be human."
"Review" by , "The prose style is vivid, with an edgy contemporary rhythm; the characters are deftly-drawn, and the book full of heart."
"Synopsis" by ,
With over 100 million players world wide, virtual games are more than just a niche community, it's phenomenon. Now comes the first novel set in the world of virtual gaming World Leader Pretend.
Xeres Meticula is a failure.  A casualty of the dot.com bust, he now lives in his parents' basement and spends all day on one pursuit, winning The Realm.  Fortunately he's not alone. Joining him in his world is; Gek-Lin, an orphan in Thailand who spends her nights in an internet cafe; Dietrich Bjornson, a welder working in Antarctica; and Tres Rawling, a former Olympic skier for England whose career was cut short when an accident left him a quadriplegic; and many more. Together they communicate and connect, working to achieve virtual world dominance, but when tragedy on and off line occurs, can these real people trust each other enough to find the help they need in one another?    
World Leader Pretend is a provocative novel about virtual connection in the modern age that reads like Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night meets Indecision.
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