If you are looking for the book to bring with you on the beach or the plane this summer, David Ambrose's The Man Who Turned Into Himself could well be it. Indeed, the novel is the first selection of Picador's "The Best Book You've Never Read" list. The imprint hopes to introduce new readers to some of the best titles in their extensive backlist.
Weighing in at only 197 pages, the book is a relatively quick read. A blend of mystery, psycho-thriller, and a bit of science fiction, The Man Who Turned Into Himself is perfect as a summer read. Engrossing without going too deep, the novel is based on the many worlds theory of quantum physics, the one that posits the existence of parallel universes.
Right in the middle of an important business meeting, Rick Hamilton is assailed by the horrible premonition that his wife is about to die. Running away, his car is later blocked by heavy traffic. Fearing the worse, he discovers that the gridlock is caused by an accident. He finds his wife drawing her last breath, her car crushed by a truck. As she dies before his eyes, despair overwhelms him. In the blink of an eye, Rick suddenly finds his wife alive, begging for his help. Soon, Rick discovers that he's no longer himself. He inhabits the mind of Richard Hamilton, another man with another story and another life. Rick must now find a way to return to his own reality without driving the man whose mind he shares completely insane.
I liked the way Ambrose depicted the relationship between Rick and Richard. It was a bit tricky, but I feel the author played the "identity" card rather well.
All in all, The Man Who Turned Into Himself is a light but intelligent read. It won't blow your mind, but if you're looking for an entertaining book to keep you occupied on the beach, the train, or the plane, then you might want to give this one a shot!
The final verdict: 7.5/10