Title:  Man in the Empty Suit

Author:  Sean Ferrell
Publisher:  Soho Press

Pub Date: Feb 5 2013

ISBN:  9781616951252

Marketing Copy:

Say you’re a time traveler and you’ve already toured the entirety of human  history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its  luster. That’s why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying  with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York  City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks  twelve-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who  he has been and who he will be. Sure, the party is the same year after  year, but at least it’s one party where he can really, well, be himself.

The year he turns 39, though, the party takes a stressful turn for the  worse. Before he even makes it into the grand ballroom for a drink he  encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead of a gunshot wound  to the head. As the older versions of himself at the party point out,  the onus is on him to figure out what went wrong–he has one year to  stop himself from being murdered, or they’re all goners. As he follows  clues that he may or may not have willingly left for himself, he  discovers rampant paranoia and suspicion among his younger selves, and a frightening conspiracy among the Elders. Most complicated of all is a  haunting woman possibly named Lily who turns up at the party this year,  the first person besides himself he’s ever seen at the party. For the  first time, he has something to lose. Here’s hoping he can save some  version of his own life.

My Review:

This is one mind-bending, mind-blowing experience.  I absolutely loved it.  Being lost in a sea of me’s was fascinating, confusing, complex and funny.  Every character is a older or younger version of the narrator as they attend a birthday party – for himself.

This is like trying to read Philip K Dick, where every turn of the page reveals another complexity in the miasma of I’s.  this id the kind of book that I would love to read.

If you like your time travel paradoxes, multiple versions of the same character and a lovely leggy lady all mixed together in a big, rambling hotel, then is it definitely your book.  I wished I could have had this thought first.  The time travel and never really explained well and I seem to think it’s on purpose as it suits the style of the book.  The paradoxes run rampant, but adds to the inexplicable nature of the novel.

When the story moves on to the leggy lady, I felt the story lost a little pace.  But it is integral to the rest of the advanture as she is not what she seems.

But neither is this book really.  It comes through as an in-depth study of a life and how to could change by the merest detail being different.  LOVED it.

My Rating:

5 Me’s out of 5