THE HEMINGWAY HOAX: A Short Comic Novel of Existential Terror by Joe Haldeman

THE HEMINGWAY HOAX: A Short Comic Novel of Existential Terror

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Literary games and multidimensional meddling from the author of Buying Time, Tool of the Trade, etc. English professor and Hemingway buff John Baird is vacationing in Key West when he's approached by con man Sylvester Castlemaine. After chatting with John, Castle abandons the con (John has little money and is already suspicious), but instead tries to persuade John to fake a ""missing"" Hemingway typescript (in reality, a bag containing a number of scripts was lost in Paris in 1921--see MacDonald Harris' Hemingway's Suitcase, p. 363). John, who has an eidetic memory, is intrigued and, with reservations, agrees to try it. Castle, meanwhile, starts an affair with John's wife and makes plans to double-cross John. But then a mysterious, ghostlike entity that resembles Hemingway appears before John and attempts to talk him out of the forgery. John, totally disbelieving, refuses, and the entity kills him--but John rewakens in a slightly different body, in a slightly different universe! What's going on? Well, the Hemingway entity is part of an even more mysterious, multidimensional, omni-temporal organization to ensure that the world--all of them, that is--destroys itself on schedule in 2006; seems that John's Hemingway activities will somehow (don't ask) prevent this. The new John, like the old, resists the Hemingway's further importunities, gets killed again, and ends up in yet another body and universe. . .you get the idea. In the end, John actually becomes Hemingway--or something. . .and we learn the tree fate of the missing manuscripts--maybe. Outrageously improbable, not even vaguely logical--in fact, much of it barely makes sense. Yet so strong are Haldeman's warmth and charm, so deep his knowledge and love of Hemingway, that all this hanky-panky remains enjoyable even at its most implausible.

Pub Date: June 21st, 1990
Publisher: Morrow