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The World Shuffler Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1981


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; 1st edition (1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441916996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441916993
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,802,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By silica2 on August 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like the style of Laumer or of Roger Zelazny, this is a good book that you will enjoy. This book features the character Lafayette O'Leary, who is the aforementioned World Shuffler. The plot, tone, etc, is often reminiscent of Zelazny's "Nine Princes in Amber". I like this book, more than the sequels (the last book in the series was difficult for me to finish and it took me several tries). Personally, I enjoyed this first book (World Shuffler) so much that I've read it three times in the past ten years. I just revisit it. And various images, events, and phrases stick in my mind to never be removed. Must be good, eh?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on September 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The World Shuffler (1970) is the second humor SF novel in the Lafayette O'Leary series, following The Time Bender. In the previous volume, Lafayette O'Leary rationalized his way through his problems and finally reached a happy ending with a little help from Yokabump.

In this novel, Lafayette has his psychic energies suppressed by the Interdimensional Monitor Service, so he can't slip in a good bottle of wine from elsewhere. Walking in the Royal gardens, he loses his way to his favorite bench and ends up on the alternate world of Melange at the top of a windmill sail. He tries calling Central, but they are too busy to help him.

Climbing down, he wanders off and finds a tavern owned by Swinehild, an alternate persona of Princess Adoranne. Her cook Hulk is an alternate persona of Count Alain, who is just as jealous as the Count and who takes a strong disliking of Lafayette. Then Hulk finds him in bed with Swinehild -- she is very affectionate -- and attacks Lafayette.

After Hulk is knocked out, Swinehild decides to leave the tavern. She travels with Lafayette to Port Miasma, where he intends to elicit the assistance of Duke Ruldopho, an alternate personal of Nicodaeus. Despite good advice from Swinehild, Lafayette wakes Crunch -- a ten foot tall giant -- to take them across the bay to the city and finds himself being pursued by the owners of the rowboat.

In this story, Lafayette finds himself thrown in a dungeon, escaping only to be sent back. Then he escapes again and is recaptured again. This goes on several times and he discovers other alternate persona during the process, including that of his wife Daphane and his own alternate.
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By L. King on September 13, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Frothy sequel to Laumer's The Time Bender. Protagonist Lafayette O'Leary is accidentally shifted from his position of leisure and nobility in Artesia to the parallel and somewhat dreary world of Melange. Here most of the characters look the same as in the first book but have different names and roles in society. Laumer's sardonic humour is in full swing but O'Leary himself is not as quick witted as in the previous novel and the joke of him not realizing that these are actually different individuals quickly wears out. The rest of the characters, except for Swineheld/Princess Adoranne are slow witted too, but this is better handled. As such the series does not compare well to his Retief collection or Dinosaur Beach. The technology is somewhat akin to magic but reasonably logical and it is fun to watch O'Leary figure it out, but the author loses the thread at the end.

Laumer in general was a terrific writer, though this is not one of his best in terms of characterization it does have a number of good scenes. About a week or so ago Frederick Pohl passed away and I discovered by reading his blog that Laumer had had a severe stroke in 1971 which changed his personality for the worse and pretty much killed his ability to write even though he lived another 2 decades. A terrible shame and a reminder of the need to be grateful for the gifts that surround us for they do not last forever.
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