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Time and Chance Hardcover – January, 1990

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On closing night of a Broadway revival of Brigadoon , actor Richard Cochrane blows his lines when a voice no one else hears disrupts the performance. Shortly thereafter, he is told that his mother has died. Returning to his home in New Hampshire, the lonely actor is forced to reevaluate his life. Then a strange thing happens: he finds he has changed bodies with the man he might have been. No longer a lonely actor, Cochrane is employed in a life insurance firm, unhappily married and a failure as a father. Meanwhile, Rick, the "other man," occupies Richard's body in Manhattan and conducts a nasty, cocaine-tooting affair with Richard's hard-as-nails ex-wife. Brennert ( Kindred Spirits ) spins a playful, affecting and well-written tale in the best tradition of The Twilight Zone.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Most people wonder how their lives would have turned out if they had made different choices at crucial points. The protagonist of this unusual fantasy gets the chance to find out. A young man from a small town is planning to take the New York theater by storm when he learns that his girlfriend is pregnant. "Rick" gives up his dream, marries her, and gets a job in insurance, while, in a sort of parallel universe, "Richard" abandons her and goes on to become a star. Thirteen years later, the universes converge, and the two men meet and decide to trade places. In the process, each discovers that his life has been shaped far more by what's inside than by superficial choices. This imaginative story will appeal to the general reader as well as the science fiction fan.
- Marcia R. Hoffman, M.L.S., Hoechst Celanese Corp., Somerville, N.J.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (January 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312931921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312931926
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,174,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Brennert is the author of the best-selling historical novels MOLOKA'I and HONOLULU, both favorites of reading groups across the country. MOLOKA'I was a 2012 "One Book, One San Diego" selection and HONOLULU was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. He has also written contemporary novels (TIME AND CHANCE), short stories, teleplays, screenplays, and the libretto of a stage musical, WEIRD ROMANCE, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Spencer. His work on the television series L.A. LAW earned him an Emmy Award in 1991, and his short story "Ma Qui" was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992.
PEOPLE Magazine says of his latest novel, PALISADES PARK: "Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey plaground of his youth in RAGTIME style, mixing fact and fiction. It's a memorable trip." Alan grew up in the towns of Cliffside Park, Palisades Park, and Edgewater, always living within a mile of the legendary Palisades Amusement Park, the setting for his novel. He calls it "a love letter to a cherished part of my childhood." A graduate of California State University at Long Beach and an alumnus of UCLA Film School, he currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ramona Lombard on October 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Moloka'i and Honolulu by Alan Brennert, I wanted to see if he had any other books available. Imagine my pleasure at finding two of his earlier works, Kindred Spirits and Time and Chance. Both Kindred Spirits and Time and Chance are very different from his latest books Moloka'i and Honolulu. While Moloka'i and Honolulu each give us pieces of history of real locations in an entertaining (and educational) read, Kindred Spirits and Time and Chance take us out of the 'real' world and transport us into places not yet proven by science.

Time and Chance is a fun read while provoking thoughts of wonder. Alan Brennert pulls you into the plot with glimpses of what's to come. Then, when we are aware of what's happening, Time and Chance is a page turner to see what's coming next. I could hardly wait to see how it would end, while at the same time not wanting the enjoyment of reading it to be over.
Time and Chance spoke to me, causing me to examine my life and wanting to live it more fully and happily. We are the choices that we make and we can always choose something new and different. This book gave me insight into the endless possibilities that are always available. I laughed and I cried while enjoying this read into contemplation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Sterling on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I always loved the Twilight Zone because of the impossible places it could take my imagination. Turns out Alan Brennert, who wrote for the new TZ, has that gift of taking us beyond our expectations and spinning a mind-bending, entertaining and thought-provoking yarn.

I was fascinated by the premise of Time and Chance, where the main character, Richard, is given the chance to switch lives with himself in a reality he has already created by having taken a different turn in time, which happens to be equally miserable to the life he's already living.

Brennert stirringly and skillfully tells the stories of parallel universes; I couldn't imagine how Richard and Rick could pull off the switch believably, much less how they would resolve the disasters/transformations they were creating in each other's lives. I found myself compellingly engaged and unexpectedly moved by the masterful unfolding of this tale of redemption and hard-earned wisdom; the destructive power of guilt vs the healing power of true love, courage and self-forgiveness. There is humor and truth in his telling.

I highly recommend this brilliant and original page-turner which I, too, think would make a great film. I also highly recommend Alan Brennert's most recent and beautifully written historical novels, Moloka'i and Honolulu. I look forward to reading more of his works!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Time and Chance. The title alone fills the mind with excitement and wonder. Brennert's idea is captivating, unusual, and makes you think. It makes you wonder What if I did one thing, and not the other? What if I chose one but later in life I can go back and change my decision? You go through life and you wonder what would happen if you left a minute earlier- Would you have been involved in that accident? This novel gives you that sense of uneasiness that is so great. The character "Richard" is the perfect person to work this rounabout with...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy on April 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Moloka'i, I was left with such warmth and feeling inside me-one I haven't experienced from a book I some time, that I actively searched for another great-read by the same author.

I read through other reviewers' opinions and chose Time and Chance. From the beginning I was riveted. Moloka'i and Time and Chance could not be more different from each other in story lines but the beauty of the author's writing ran true. His depths of emotions, visualizations, and dialog the author strives for leaves you emotionally tied to the characters. Each life is torn and tangled. Both selves (Rick and Richard) who are "one" in other universes are growing with self-experiences.

Eventually showing the road not taken doesn't mean bad things don't happen or that they can't be changes made. It just means you appreciate life more.

I rated this book the highest possible. I must say it is not something I take lightly either. It is now one of my favorite books. Some of my other favorites- Samurai's Garden, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Moloka'i.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Buddy's mom on March 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a bit far afield of the genre I usually read but I was captivated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Benone on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable exploration of a alternate universe, where one man can change bodies/lives with another and ultimately discover the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. No matter how easily successful another may seem to an outsider, it requires hard work and self-discipline to be survive in all worlds. Reality is overwhelming when the threads of the "old life" intersect with the "new life". Ultimately, home is best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott R Cohen on August 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book, i cant really say any more than that. It was a good read and i enjoyed it very much
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Snapper Carr on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I became familiar with Alan Brennert's work through his comic book and TV writing work. He always put a new spin on characters and situations. TIME AND CHANCE is a marvelous road not taken story but with the added twist that we still get to go down both roads. We all have turning points in our life where we think, maybe if we made a different choice life would have been better or different. Here, that moment of choice creates two parallel worlds, two parallel versions of the same character who get to meet each other and swap lives. Brennert makes this impossible situation come to life in moving and entertaining ways. The novel is also funny in many spots as the two Richards become fish out of water in their new lives. Highly recommended.
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