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)
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.
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.
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