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by Duane Swierczynski

Publishers Weekly In this workmanlike time travel thriller from Swierczynski (Severance Package), 37-year-old Mickey Wade, a struggling journalist who's lost his job with an alt-weekly newspaper, the Philadelphia City News, accepts his mother's suggestion to move into his grandfather's apartment in the city's seedy Frankford neighborhood. After popping some long-expired Tylenols for a hangover, Wade is transported back to February 22, 1972, the day he was born. Wade's time-traveling self proves vulnerable to light, as shown by his losing two fingers. On returning to the present, Wade finds those fingers restored but without feeling. Subsequent deliberate trips into the past give Wade some background on the great trauma of his life, the apparently motiveless stabbing murder of his father, a musician known as the Human Jukebox. Predictable complications follow from Wade's efforts to prevent the killing. This one will appeal mainly to Swierczynski fans. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Swierczynski (Severance Package, 2007) originally planned to write this beguiling, pulp-style mix of fantasy and mystery as a magazine serial, but when the New York Times Magazine bowed out of the fiction business, he turned it into a stand-alone novel. Mickey Wade, an unemployed journalist, moves into his grandfather's apartment in the family's old Philadelphia neighborhood and, after gobbling a few aspirin to fight a hangover, finds himself beamed back to the day of his birth in 1972. Turns out those weren't your garden-variety aspirin but, rather, the pills a crackpot scientist had created as part of a government-funded plan to investigate out-of-body travel. Only, in Mickey's case, he can only go back to the early 1970s. But there's plenty to do there: if he can somehow divert the young boy who will eventually murder Mickey's father, he can change his family's history. Swierczynski cleverly melds the thriller and fantasy elements (especially the notion of nonlinear time), producing a thoroughly readable, suspenseful romp that evokes John D. MacDonald's pulp classic The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

 

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