Changing the Past

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1989 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Remander mark, not price clipped. Some minor shelf wear 285 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Changing the Past: A Novel

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his 16th novel Berger Little Big Man ; Neighbors writes as urbanely as befits his main character, Walter Hunsicker, chief copy editor for a Manhattan publisher, who is too sophisticated to be susceptible when a mysterious stranger researching human volition accosts him during his lunch hour. After first rejecting the stranger, in order to spare his wife and brilliant son ill with AIDS grief and suffering, Hunsicker agrees to choose a new past and experiment with adopting a range of personas playboy, stand-up comic, writer, radio psychologist. In the end he returns safely to his suburban life, having, of course, found all of his experiments somehow wanting. Berger writes so amusingly, particularly in the sequence about the comedian, that for quite a while he convinces the reader to overlook the implausibility of his thesis--surprising to find in so jaundiced a story--that it's best to take your lumps, eschew the glamorous, and be just folks. Sept.
Library Journal
Berger begins his latest novel by stating ``Not even God can change the past.'' But Berger the novelist can and does as he takes Walter Hunsicker, a mild-mannered copy editor, through several possible pasts for the newly invented Jack Kellog. Hunsicker/Kellog explores life as a real estate tycoon, a stand-up comedian, a popular author, and even a radio psychologist whose wife is elected president of the United States. These alternative lives, however, prove unsatisfactory. After desperately seeking to escape life, Hunsicker finally decides that it is best to accept his lot, even though it means watching his son die of AIDS. Berger has a real gift for using absurdity to reveal the core of our humanity. Those willing to spend a few hours in his Twilight Zone will come away the richer. Highly recommended.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
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