From Publishers Weekly
Although it begins on a normal-seeming college campus, Reed's latest (following Beyond the Veil of Stars) expands to cover a setting and theme as grand as all the permutations of the galaxy. The plot concerns Jesse Aylesworth, the sexually voracious editor of a college newspaper, whose life of seduction and muckraking is interrupted by the appearance of a strange Indian/Turtle who explains that he has come to offer the gift of eternal life to a select group of vertebrates. His group plans to release humanity from the prison of mortality by turning the universe into an infinite loop in which all possible pasts and futures can occur. The only catch is the unidentified traitor at Jesse's college, someone who wants to pervert the immortals' plans for indubitably heinous reasons. Despite the fact that Jesse's shallow attitudes toward sex aren't fully explained until the book's finale, the book rides far on the strength of Reed's virtuosic, amusingly surreal images of his brave, new, infinitely variable world. And, in an appealingly modest manner, it comes back to earth and an acceptance of the reality we know.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Reed's highly praised novels offer powerful visions of vividly rendered everyday circumstances suddenly disrupted by otherworldly forces. The latest focuses on a small college in the late 1970s and a few students whose lives are transformed by visitors from the far future. In the midst of an embezzlement scandal that implicates the school's president and a blizzard that knocks out all phone and TV reception, the college newspaper's news editor, Jesse Aylesworth, gets a surprise visit from a shapeshifting Indian who calls himself Turtle. Turtle says he is a citizen from the end of time who has come on an extraordinary mission. He is to grant Jesse and some of his fellows immortality in the hope that, so doing, universal laws will eventually be rewritten. On his way to developing attendant superhuman powers, Jesse discovers that Turtle has been preceded by another time traveler who is perhaps masquerading as Jesse's latest girlfriend and definitely plotting to undermine Turtle's plans. Deftly drawn characterizations and wry delivery help turn an outlandish story line into a compelling adventure. Carl Hays