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What is time?

  • Feb 10, 2009
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Originally written in 1972, 'The Man Who Folded Himself' was revised by the author David Gerrold in 2003, to include current events such as the 9/11 disaster. So even if you read this book in the 70's, it's worth picking up to read again.

Daniel Jamieson Eakins is a twenty-one year old college student when his Uncle Jim arrives for a visit. Uncle Jim offers to increase Danny's monthly allowance from $1,000 to $2,000 if Danny begins to keep a diary ... only for himself. Of course, Danny does. When Uncle Jim dies, instead of the one-hundred-forty-three-million dollars he said there was, there's only six thousand dollars and a box for Danny to open. Inside the box is an odd looking belt, with a strange, complicated looking electronic buckle. The belt says, "Timebelt" on it.

Danny decides the first thing to do is jump a day ahead in time and pick up the winners at the horsetrack, then go back and make a bundle of money betting on the horses. But when he jumps forward, he finds himself. "Hi! I've been waiting for you," himself says. Himself says to consider themselves "twins", and calls himself Don to distinguish them apart. The two go to the track, and surprisingly find they like each other's company. Don shows Dan the ropes, then Dan is Don and goes back to show Dan the ropes. Confused yet?

With the timebelt, there much confusion at first, but what Dan ultimately discovers, after meeting many versions of himself, that he's creating new timelines rather than staying linear in time. He feels he'll never be lonely again, not with himself for company as companion ... and more.

'The Man Who Folded Himself' was cutting edge in 1972, but with the revisions it still hasn't lost its sharp wit nor mind-boggling concept. You'll almost drive yourself crazy until it all starts to make sense. There's lots of surprises in store for you, even though the book is a short 120 pages it's packed with twists and turns. There's a forward called "The Author Who Folded Me" written by Robert J. Sawyer, Author's Notes by David Gerrold, and an Afterward written by Geoffrey Klempner. Other good time-travel books are 'Replay' by Ken Grimwood, 'Cretaceous Dawn' by Lisa M. Graziano, and 'The Best Time-Travel Stories Of The 20th Century' edited by Harry Turtledove. Enjoy!
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

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February 10, 2009
I'm one of those who read it when it first came out. But you know, I hate it when film makers go back and up-date their films. I have never thought about authors going back and rewriting their books!
More The Man Who Folded Himself reviews
review by . July 04, 2010
My first exposure to David Gerrold was on the original Star Trek series; he's the guy who wrote "The Trouble With Tribbles." The first of his novels that I read was When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One, which is itself a delightful read. This one, however, was an absolute kick in the rubber parts. Gerrold wrote what I call "the last time travel novel." After this one, I didn't think the genre could ever be broached again.      With the aid of a belt inherited …
review by . May 03, 2009
This is an interesting time travel book but it is difficult to say anything about the plot without creating spoilers. I really enjoyed it though it was riddled with paradoxes that seemed to make it difficult at times to understand the timeline of Daniel Eakin, the main character.     Daniel inherits a time travel belt from his Uncle Jim. He uses it to travel through time constantly and through paradoxes, create thousands of versions of himself. Daniel ends up living his life …
review by . April 10, 2009
Book Cover
Brief Synopsis:  The main character (and one of the only characters), Daniel Eakins is presented with a unique belt that was entrusted to him after his Uncle Jim passed away. Daniel discovers the belt has the ability to transport the wearer throughout time, which Daniel quickly learns how to use. After using his time machine for the first significant time, he is greeted by himself, one day later. During his first temporal jump, Daniel goes with himself (referred to as Don) to the racetrack …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Product Description
This classic work of science fiction is widely considered to be the ultimate time-travel novel. When Daniel Eakins inherits a time machine, he soon realizes that he has enormous power to shape the course of history. He can foil terrorists, prevent assassinations, or just make some fast money at the racetrack. And if he doesn't like the results of the change, he can simply go back in time and talk himself out of making it! But Dan soon finds that there are limits to his powers and forces beyond his control.

About the Author
David Gerrold is the author of Jumping Off the Planet and When HARLIE Was One, which was nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards. He lives in Northridge, California. Geoffrey Klempner is the director of studies for the International Society of Philosophers.
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ISBN-10: 1932100067
ISBN-13: 978-1932100068
Author: David Gerrold
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Benbella Books; Limited edition (July 2003)
Date Published: 1972
Format: Hardcover: 160 pages, Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.8 inches
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