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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've never heard it called "folded" before!
This is a very interesting book. They say don't judge a book by it's cover - if you were you might expect to read of adventures in ancient Egypt and the far future. There is none of that. Dan, our hero, seems to have had some interesting trips through time but none of that is related in any detail, the book is concerned with the introspective musings on the nature of...
Published 7 months ago by Mr. K. R. Sadler

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, not great execution
This short novel (almost a novella really) explores the paradoxes which would be caused by an individual being able to travel through time. Daniel is a young man who receives an inheritance from his uncle Jim which is a timebelt which enables him to travel forward or backward any span of time, or to skim backwards or forwards observing developments as an outsider. He...
Published 11 days ago by John Hopper


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, not great execution, 20 July 2014
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John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This short novel (almost a novella really) explores the paradoxes which would be caused by an individual being able to travel through time. Daniel is a young man who receives an inheritance from his uncle Jim which is a timebelt which enables him to travel forward or backward any span of time, or to skim backwards or forwards observing developments as an outsider. He begins with the bog standard wheeze of going forward to find out the results of future horse races and then placing bets on the winners in the present, and this part of the novel is amusing. But then he goes on to more expansive and dramatic changes, interacting with multiple versions of himself, and the novel ceases to have much of a plot, and becomes a concept novel about the paradoxes he faces and the alternate timelines he invariably creates every time he jumps anywhere. While I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel, the presentation here didn't work for me and became rather repetitive, and I wasn't satisfied with some of the reasoning, e.g. that the first action of the owner of the timebelt should to erase the timeline in which it was created so no one else could have one - but wouldn't that mean the owner didn't either? So ultimately I don't think was as effective as it could be.

This novel was originally published in 1973 and Daniel came originally from 1975. The edition I read was updated by the author in 2003 and set in 2005, but the only differences to the text that I noticed were references to 9/11 and compact disks, which initially baffled me given the novel's age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've never heard it called "folded" before!, 9 Dec 2013
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Mr. K. R. Sadler (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a very interesting book. They say don't judge a book by it's cover - if you were you might expect to read of adventures in ancient Egypt and the far future. There is none of that. Dan, our hero, seems to have had some interesting trips through time but none of that is related in any detail, the book is concerned with the introspective musings on the nature of time, alternate times streams and being rather obsessed with himself. As such it is quite thought provoking and I often felt myself drifting off in philosophical thought, and had to pull myself back to the story.

I found the first quarter of the book to be very interesting and a real page turner. The second quarter I found to be rather dull, but it picked up for the second half. I had a vague idea where it was going but it was interesting to see how it all turned out. I would have liked to see a bit more adventure.

I can't help thinking that Dan rather wasted the potential of the time belt. Rather like a teenager who wins the lottery and spends the lot on "adult magazines".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel as Self-Indulgence, 2 Jun 2011
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Folded Himself (Paperback)
Dan inherits a time machine, stylishly fashioned into a belt, from his uncle. He figures out how to use it by actually reading the manual. (This alone challenges our suspension of disbelief!) Then his adventures begin. As the book unfolds, Dan does all of the usual time traveling things. He uses knowledge of the future to place winning bets at the track. He expands this strategy into buying stock in companies that will hit it big, freeing him from financial worries. Dan also visits significant events in history, but says little about them. We are teased with snippets like his passing observation that Cleopatra wasn't very pretty.

And Dan runs into himself. He establishes a working partnership between Dan--his younger self--and Don--his older self--that each falls into whenever two versions of him meet. They begin by passing information to "edit out" actions with negative consequences, such as winning too much money and attracting attention. Dan trusts Don and his information from the future. Their relationship grows into a close friendship as they spend time together. Eventually it becomes a physical relationship. The implications of this step for Dan and his various versions of himself play out. This is very well thought out and skillfully presented. There is a moral message here about self-indulgence that does not descend into gender or sexual politics. It is a line nicely walked for such a nonlinear story.

My favorite parts of the book take place during a party that has many Dans and Dons in attendance, all with different levels of knowledge from their own and alternative timelines. The author keeps all of this straight through skillful writing and timely references to the journal that the protagonist(s) keep and quote from. Dan and the reader are both able, with not too much difficulty, to figure out Dan's life and his roles in it.

This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys time travel. It's one of the very best. It deals with the paradoxes of time travel believably and entertainingly. Buy this one and keep it around to read again. You may well discover something different the next time through it. And each time after.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch time-travel tale, 9 Aug 2013
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R. A. Harris (england) - See all my reviews
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This is the greatest time-travel story ever written. It starts strong, gets better, gets even better (sexier), then even better again.

The only time travel book to come close to it is Caris O'Malley's wonderful The Egg Said Nothing. If you like this one, be sure to check that one out too.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Predictable..., 2 Jun 2014
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It was too easy to guess what was going to happen from the very early tone of the book. Eventually skip read through it and dumped it, even though it was the only book I had on holiday.

Dwells too much on certain aspects and didn't really seem to cut it as Science Fiction for me. I don't wish to say more that might give away the plot.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very difficult read, 4 Sep 2013
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I'm afraid I found this boring, repetitive and not at all interesting. I skim-read the later parts just to get some idea of what happens in the end, but actually couldn't be bothered to finish. Very disappointing
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Derivative, self-indulgent, deeply flawed, 30 Sep 2010
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Nigel Seel (Wells, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man Who Folded Himself (Paperback)
David Gerrold is a cult science-fiction author. For people who care about Star Trek he has written episodes and is the author of the book "The Trouble with Tribbles". For fans of military SF he wrote the four books in "The War Against the Chtorr" series - we have been waiting twenty years for the final volume(s).

And then there is his time-travel novel "The Man Who Folded Himself". Gerrold is a career-acolyte of Robert Heinlein: "The War Against the Chtorr" series is explicit homage to "Starship Troopers" while "The Man Who Folded Himself" parallels exactly Heinlein's classic "All You Zombies".

So what to make of it?

Gerrold starts promisingly in the style of "The Catcher in the Rye". Danny is the truculent, bored adolescent orphan being paid $1,000 a month by his 'Uncle Jim' to attend University. As he observes: "An apartment, a car and a thousand a week for keeping my nose clean."

Soon however Uncle Jim dies and Danny is left with a timebelt, a personal time machine. Now Gerrold leaves his promising story development to spend 7 technophilic pages describing this device to no advantage to the underlying narrative whatsoever. What did his editor think he was doing?

We soon revert to old-fashioned story-telling as Danny and his one-day-advanced doppelgänger go to the races and clean-up. Cue another techno-excursion into multiverse-ontology as Gerrold presents his solution to the obvious paradoxes: plot development stalls and dies at this new irruption of fan-boy geekdom. Eventually the story resumes although with less élan as Danny meets a female version of himself (Diana) from a remote alternate timeline and they produce a male boy. Well, you can see where it's all going to end up.

Somewhere between here and there Danny ends up fancying himself rotten and Gerrold devotes some pages to explore homosexual relationships. In his afterword Gerrold makes a big issue about his dilemma as to whether to include this topic and his difficulties in writing it. However this all seems to me ridiculously self-indulgent. The question is whether the gay sex episode is consistent with and necessary to character and plot development. In fact it's gratuitous and contrived.

Gerrold is basically a good writer and an intelligent man: I am still waiting impatiently for his final book in the "Chtorr" series. But he takes his own opinions and his own sexuality far too seriously and this self-centredness detracts from his literary accomplishments. So if you want to see the difference between 'mere science-fiction' and literature then here it is in the nutshell. There was a good novel trying to get out here but Gerrold strangled it by gratuitous techno-info-dumping and gay-rights-prosletysing. He may believe this is a strength of genre-writing but it isn't.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timetravel with a slant, 25 Jun 2002
I am not very fond of time travel stories, but this one does not go into the usual "what if we changed this" genre and explored something totally different.
The book follows a young man through his life as he discovers the magic about the time travel. Even though there are many advantages to time travel there is several disadvantages too. Like our main character that looses track of his history and do not know which time he is from.
I can't reveal too much of the content of the book or else I will give away the surprise ending of the book.
The book is well written in known Gerrold style and is a must for the collector.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi with a twist, 22 Mar 2009
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K. Jamison (Co. Down, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I was attracted to this book because someone wrote that it was a different type of time travel book.

And they were right.

This is not about the science behind time travel or the science-fiction that we love to devour.

This is about the human side of time travel and what it means to be a person who can travel in time.

It's an emotional journey that tugs you every which way from the first page to the last.

Not the sort of book I would have chosen to read by chance, but I'm glad that I did!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind Bending, 8 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Man Who Folded Himself (Paperback)
This book is one of the most personal science fiction books I have ever read. Definitely read this if you're into time travel books. Such a simple but unique take on the genre.
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The Man Who Folded Himself
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold (Paperback - 1 July 2003)
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