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Posted September 12, 2011
An intriguing time travel read
Time travel has always been an intriguing idea. Many of us have had one pivotal moment that seemed to turn the rest of our lives in one direction or another. If that moment had been a mistake that could have been avoided and you were given the chance to correct the outcome, would you go back in time to change things? To complicate things even more, what if you died or somehow ceased to exist and could never return to the present time? Of course, the answer would probably depend on how satisfied you are with your present life. In Past Twilight, the main character is Jack Turner, a 59-year-old barhopping drunk who is sour on women, sour on life, and has pretty much given up on humanity in general. We get the feeling that he is disgusted with life and doesn't care if he lives or dies. For years he has been obsessed with a beautiful young woman who was brutally murdered. The story takes on a supernatural twist when Jack meets a stranger who seems to know everything about him - his past, present, and his future. This odd stranger seems to know even his most intimate thoughts and feelings, including those about this young barmaid whose murder seemed to turn his life in the wrong direction. Lending a supernatural twist, this stranger admits to being an alien and offers Jack a chance to travel back in time to change what happened during this pivotal period of his life, giving him a chance to save this woman's life and alter the downward spiral of his own life. Unfortunately, this travel to the past will be permanent; he can never return to the present. Jack at first is unbelieving and scoffs at idea. It is only when the alien accurately predicts that Jack will be diagnosed with terminal cancer that he becomes a believer and decides to go back in time to stop this murder. As Jack travels twenty-six years back in time, he retains some, but not all, of his memories of past events and people. The alien has also helped him by giving him clues, "Find the mother and father and you will find your answers," and the monetary resources, through a lottery win, to stop these tragic events from happening. The story is centered primarily around a bar in Jersey Shore. From Hemingway's writing, we can see that he has a great deal of background in law enforcement. There is a mystery to solve, murder, a terrible hurricane, greed, and political corruption. In the beginning of the book, Jack is an unlikely hero. He is a drunk, a racist, a sexist, and has a very negative attitude on life and people. Yet as the story progresses he changes into a very different person whose moral values have changed and is more likeable and optimistic. Past Twilight is much more than a police/detective novel. The author includes many philosophical thoughts on racism, politics, religion, and personality. For example, the alien, in an effort to get Jack to change, instructs him in the four dimensions of personality: the first - how we view ourselves, the second - how other people see us, the third - who were really are, and the fourth - who we can be. Hemingway is a very talented writer. Past Twilight is a fast-paced read that will keep you turning the pages. My only suggestion would be to give the alien a larger role in the book. I recommend it for those who enjoy light fantasy, mysteries, or police/detective novels. And does the guy end up with the girl of his dreams to live happily ever after? You'll have to read the book to find out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 30, 2011
Page turner through the dark side
"Past Twilight will appeal to those who enjoy their mystery and suspense laced with a hint of science fiction, especially if they are not deterred by portrayals of physical and emotional violence and the attitudes and behaviors common to people who spend a good deal of their time in bars. Fortunately, the author balances the all-too-human negative traits of his characters with forays into ethics, honor, and self-respect."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Hemingway is a gifted storyteller. He brings to his work the observational and investigative skills and ability to read subtle body language that he learned during his nearly twenty years of experience as a New York State Peacekeeper. Such skills allow him to convey much with little and move his story forward with a character's gesture or glance."
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