I remember this book from 15+ years ago about a normal boy who was working on his computer (replacing the motherboard maybe?) and he touched something and got zapped. When he came to he came to realize that the computer shocked itself into his head.

Cut to being the hero sometime down the line and maybe saving someone who was kidnapped? Or was kidnapped himself and had to get out of it using the computer?

I don't know why it's in my head all of the sudden but Google isn't helping me at all!


It is called Cybershock: Totally Wired

"Okay, you're not gonna believe this, but there's a computer in my head . . ." When Jed tries to pop a couple of memory chips into his motherboard, something goes way wrong. There's a bright flash and a strange sound, like . . . bzzzzzzap! Suddenly, his mind's online! No keyboards, no CRTs, and best of all, no studying! But when a crazed gunman kidnaps Jed, will his megabyte-mind save him? Or is being WIRED a power to die for?

  • Can you explain why you think this is the book in question? – Wad Cheber Aug 11 '15 at 0:19
  • Oh my goodness, yes that's the one! I knew the book Sean mentioned seemed so very close but the details about the game show didn't stand out to me. How on earth did you find that based off of what I told you? I searched all over the place for it! – Derelict Aug 11 '15 at 10:54
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    I just happened to remember the book as I read it a lot in middle school. I bought it at a book fair. Yesterday, I mentioned the plot to a coworker and tried to pull it up on Amazon to no avail. I remembered the title as "Cybershocked," but wasn't finding it. So I searched for the synopsis and found your post. Then my coworker helped me find the correct listing on Amazon. The subtitle was the key. – Frank Aug 11 '15 at 14:28
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    That is amazing! Only the internet where someone is thinking of the same random book I am (and at the same time!!) I also bought mine at a book fair probably when I was about 10-11 years old! :) Thanks so much for your help, that is so cool! – Derelict Aug 11 '15 at 15:53

My first impulse was Disney's The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, but that was a movie, of course (which was later remade). Somewhat unsurprisingly, I've found reference to a novelization. Could that be what you're looking for?

Here's a plot description from Wikipedia:

Dexter Reilly (Kurt Russell) and his friends attend small, private Medfield College, which cannot afford to buy a computer. The students persuade wealthy businessman A.J. Arno (Cesar Romero) to donate an old computer to the college. Arno is the secret head of a large illegal gambling ring, which used the computer for its operations.

While installing a replacement part during a thunderstorm, Reilly receives an electric shock and becomes a human computer. He now has superhuman mathematical talent, can read and remember the contents of an encyclopedia volume in a few minutes, and can speak a language fluently after reading one textbook. His new abilities make Reilly a worldwide celebrity, and Medfield's best chance to win a televised quiz tournament with a $100,000 prize.

And, for the ending:

Reilly single-handedly leads Medfield's team in victories against other colleges. During the tournament, a trigger word causes Reilly to unknowingly recite on television details of Arno's gambling ring. Arno's henchmen kidnap Reilly and plan to kill him, but his friends help him escape. During the escape Dexter suffers a concussion which, during the tournament final against rival Springfield State, gradually returns his mental abilities to normal; one of Reilly's friends, however, is able to answer the final question ("What is the geographic center of the contiguous United States?"). Medfield wins the $100,000 prize, and Arno is arrested.

  • Ditto on my first thought. – beichst Aug 9 '15 at 14:38
  • That seems SO close, but I don't think there was anything about a quiz tourney or prize. I remember something about being able to dial into the police department through the computer modem (in his head) while being kidnapped (or rescuing someone). It's more of a "normal" boy with normal life type story but I think younger than college age. – Derelict Aug 10 '15 at 2:53
  • I added the one remaining plot paragraph from Wikipedia, which describes his being kidnapped. I remember that the remake has him explicitly access police systems because he makes some initial money by identifying a criminal on the Most Wanted list shortly after getting zapped, but I think the novelization was probably for the original. – FuzzyBoots Aug 10 '15 at 10:31
  • Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to me. I might have to find that novelization to read and see how many more similarities there are! – Derelict Aug 11 '15 at 11:09
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    No worries. I never actually read the novelization. Watched both of the movies, but that's because I grew up in a particular era. :-D – FuzzyBoots Aug 11 '15 at 11:12

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