THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE by Thomas Page

THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the darkly witty author of Recall: an unusual, sly ghost story with a medical-technology premise. The Stendhal Holmes Life Support module is the newest thing in computerized hospital treatment--and a Colorado medical center gets one of the first three test modules. The first patient on the LS module? Module-salesman Daniel Forrester himself--who's rushed into the module when his small aircraft crashes (sabotaged by a Forrester enemy on the hospital staff). But though Forrester does in fact die, there's a flaw in the module: because of a mispositioned silicon chip, it never declares Forrester dead--so the machine keeps on working, reviving Forrester's heart, bringing him back to life again and again (sometimes after two hours of death). . . while Forrester's poor ghost has to go back and forth, from Forrester's body to the astral plain and then back again to the newly revived body! Furthermore, Forrester's dumb ghost, instead of taking off to heavenly ""Summerland,"" is obsessed with Forrester's old earthly problems: the psychically powerful ghost tries to rekindle a budding romance with journalist Kate Burnham; he pursues his murderer; he rages with vengeful fury at the doctors running the module. And Kate, protected by doctor-lover Lawrence Dutton, flees the goofy, love-smitten ghost until the plug is finally pulled. (The ghost enters Kate's just-conceived fetus and heads toward reincarnation, still with Kate in a rather weird menage a trois.) Authentic tech-medical jargon, zippy dialogue, and an endearingly bizarre sense of ghost/human identity crises--it all adds up to a somewhat hokey, mostly entertaining frolic with more than a few grimly satiric undercurrents: less for occult-fiction regulars than sophisticated fanciers of fanciful black comedy.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1981
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Harper & Row