Interstellar travel to alien worlds is too expensive for Marvin, a college student in need of a good vacation. And so he signs up for what he can afford: a mind swap, in which his consciousness is swapped into the body of an alien life-form.
Unfortunately, Marvin finds himself in the body of an interstellar criminal—a body that he has to vacate, fast. But that criminal consciousness has stolen Marvin’s earthly body. Now Marvin has to find a body on the black market just to stay alive!
Travel with Marvin from world to world, each one crazier than the last, as he keeps finding far-from-ideal bodies in awful situations.
©1966 Robert Sheckley (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Sheckley has long been considered one of the genre's leading humorists.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Always he crackles with ideas.” (Kingsley Amis)
“Witty and ingenious…A draught of pure Voltaire and tonic.” (J. G. Ballard)
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
This is NOT a book in which you can explain "how it ends" to another person.
Sheckley is an amazing science-fiction author.
The book itself is amazingly put together....up until about the 29th chapter.
After that, it gets BEYOND insane.
I wish I could explain to you what exactly takes place, or maybe where the "problem" in the book begins, but it is SO far beyond my vocabulary that I think it would be futile.
All I will say is that, if you are a fan of Robert Sheckley's other works, then be sure to check this one out. But if this might be your introduction to Sheckley, maybe check out "Dimension of Miracles" or "Immortality Inc." instead.
9.0 / 10.0
There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin
R. Sheckley masterly ridicules psychology, history, cosmology and philosophy. Mindswap is a witty lampoon, a pastiche not meant to be taken seriously. In a Sheckleyan world anything can happen, verging on the absurd. Well, but doesn't our life seem absurd at times?
Perhaps, the idea behind Mindswap is that you can't take life (and reality) too seriously with its twists and turns. If you plunge into the unknown, don't try to explain things, take advantage of an alternative reality and have fun. I did!
But if it's your first encounter with Sheckley's waggish humour, I'd suggest Immortality Inc. and The Status Civilization for a start.
I loved this book. The narrator was top-notch, all the voices added to the humour of the story. Towards the end, I sort of lost the hang of the story, did not know just what the hell was going on. But that doesn't take anything away from the book. I had no idea Sheckley was this good.
I recently discovered Sheckley and instantly fell in love with his writing style. I finished Mindswap in less than a day. I couldn't stop listening to it.
The characters are well developed, original, funny, and weird (in the best sense of the word). The story is wildly unique and switches genres like nothing I've read before. It is a fast paced. humorous, and strange story that will keep you listening.
After a good start the story becomes a vehicle for the author's self-indulgence at the expense of a story you want to follow. The idea was good, but the word play at the end was heavy handed.
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