Cover image for The man who turned into himself
The man who turned into himself
Ambrose, David.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1994.

Physical Description:
196 pages ; 19 cm
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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ambrose, a successful screenwriter, has applied his facility for rapid pacing and suspense to his first novel, which is both entertaining and, frankly, quite silly. The plot involves an intriguing "many worlds" theory that suggests that a nearly infinite number of parallel universes exist, separated only by the most fragile of divides. These simultaneous worlds mirror each other, but with eerie little variations. In one universe, Rick Hamilton, an enterprising magazine publisher with an amateur's interest in quantum physics, begins his day by falling off the roof while trying to rescue his cat. Not an hour later, he bolts from an important meeting, full of terror and prescience about his wife's impending death in a horrific car accident. Meanwhile, in another world, a real estate investor named Richard Hamilton has just been in a minor car crash and is suffering from a peculiar form of shock: he seems to be possessed by a feisty alter ego named Rick. Richard/Rick end up in the care of a blind therapist. Eventually, the two establish an odd sort of rapport, but no brain can comfortably accommodate two personalities for long, and things quickly get out of hand. Initially, Ambrose's clever improvisation upon the ever-alluring doppelganger theme is exhilarating, but things soon decline into a mass-market conventionality, that, while not all bad, is, finally, disappointing. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This unimpressive fiction debut uses theoretical physics to explain the fantastical events it describes. Rick Hamilton, publisher of a small journal based in Connecticut, has a premonition of his wife's death in a car crash. He rushes out of an important business meeting and speeds to the scene of the accident without questioning how he knows where to go. But he is too late; seeing his wife die, he blacks out and awakens to an altered reality-- he is being pulled from the wreckage of the car as his wife looks on. Rick, as it turns out, is trapped inside the body of Richard A. Hamilton, his counterpart in our universe. (Among other differences in Rick's parallel universe, John F. Kennedy, Bobby and Marilyn Monroe are all alive). Soon, with the help of a blind psychiatrist, Rick formulates a plan to use hypnosis to send him ``home.'' Though the writing is glossy and efficient, Hollywood screenwriter Ambrose seems uncomfortable working in narrative prose. Seeking to move the action along, he often succumbs to awkward techniques--letters, tape transcripts and monologues--that could come straight out of a theater's one-man show. And for all its fancy quantum mechanical explanations, the plot is unconvincing and predictable. Movie rights to HBO. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Based on the "many worlds" theory of quantum physics, Ambrose's 1993 novel follows Rick Hamilton, who rushes to his wife after a horrible premonition only to find her dead on the road. Suddenly, she's alive again, and he's someone else. Kinda weird, but LJ's reviewer found it "a fascinating tale." (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.