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book cover of Changing the Past

Changing the Past

(1989)
A novel by

 
Publisher's Weekly
In his 16th novel Berger 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

    


Hardback Editions

January 1992 : USA Hardback

Title: Changing the Past
Author(s): Thomas Berger
ISBN: 0-517-07965-8 / 978-0-517-07965-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


March 1990 : UK Hardback
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Title: Changing the Past
Author(s): Todd R Berger
ISBN: 0-297-84013-4 / 978-0-297-84013-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1989 : USA Hardback
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Title: Changing the Past
Author(s): Thomas Berger
ISBN: 0-316-09156-1 / 978-0-316-09156-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Availability: Amazon   


January 1989 : USA Hardback

Title: Changing the Past: A Novel
Author(s): Thomas Berger
ISBN: 0-316-09149-9 / 978-0-316-09149-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 1991 : UK Paperback

Title: Changing the Past
Author(s): Thomas Berger
ISBN: 0-14-013323-2 / 978-0-14-013323-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2016 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Changing the Past
Author(s): Thomas Berger
Publisher: Diversion Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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