The hoax proposed to John Baird by a two-bit con man in a seedy Key West bar was shady but potentially profitable. With little left to lose, the struggling, middle-aged Hemingway scholar agreed to forge a manuscript and pass it off as Papa's lost masterpiece. But Baird never realized his actions would shatter the history of his own Earth . . . and others.
Now the unsuspecting academic is trapped out of time - propelled through a series of grim parallel worlds - and pursued by an interdimensional hitman with a literary license to kill.
Devotees of SF and literary mystery will enjoy this fast-paced, well-thought-out adventure that takes a college professor and Hemingway scholar on an eerie journey to coexisting universes. Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Haldeman ( The Forever War ) has written a tale that twists upon itself like a Moebius strip, with characters reenacting their lives in each slightly different, slightly worse universe. In a Key West bar, Baird is conned into writing a story in Hemingway's 1920s style, which could be passed off as one of the contents of the famous valise left on a train by Hemingway's then-wife Hadley. Returning to Key West from the Hemingway collection at the Kennedy Library, Baird suddenly finds Ernest Hemingway sitting opposite him in the train compartment. This is, however, a nonhuman who can take on any form, and who has come to warn Baird not to finish the Hemingway pastiche. In a lively, philosophical conversation, the temporal policeman explains that if Baird continues in his plan he will be killed. As each attempt to murder him fails, Baird finds himself in a slightly altered universe--and in one of these supernatural worlds, Baird evolves into Hemingway himself. Haldeman has injected humor and philosophy into what turns out to be an intriguingly existential drama.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Interesting for Hem fans but..
The book would be of interest for Hemingway fans but note that it is a science fiction. I didn't mind nice science fiction bit but the end of the book is too complex, written in a different style and lacks any Hemingway atmosphere so nicely created at the beginning. So disappointed with the end but enjoyed most of the book.