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Parallelities Paperback – March 1, 1995

3.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"It seems you have acquired about you a field that affects the links between multiple parallel worlds, causing objects and individuals from these worlds to slip into yours . . . or you to slip into theirs . . ."

It was just an average day for tabloid reporter Max Parker when he arrived in Malibu for a demonstration of a brand new parallel-universe machine. But everything changed in an instant when inventor Barrington Boles succeeded in making Max the human gate to numerous parallelities.

Now Max was lost in a virtual sea of collateral worlds, confronting man-eating aliens, dinosaurs, talking frogs, dead Maxes, girl Maxes, old Maxes, even ghost Maxes. His only chance to escape the space-time continuum was to find Boles and hope the loony genius could rescue him. But how could he be sure which world was real, which Max was Max, and which Boles was the Boles who could stop the madness--or trap Max in the wrong world forever. . . ? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946 and raised in Los Angeles, California. After receiving a bachelor's degree in political science and a master of fine arts degree in motion pictures from UCLA in 1968-69, he worked for two years as a public relations copywriter in Studio City, California.

He sold his first short story to August Derleth at Arkham Collector magazine in 1968, and additional sales of short fiction to other magazines followed. His first try at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972.  Since then, Foster has published many short stories, novels, and film novelizations, including the New York Times bestselling Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Flinx in Flux.

Foster has toured extensively around the world. Besides traveling, he enjoys classical and rock music, old films, basketball, bodysurfing, and weightlifting. He has taught screenwriting, literature, and film history at UCLA and Los Angeles City College.  He and his wife live in Arizona.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345483588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345483584
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,559,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I see this book has received a mixed response from fans, and this surprises me. I found this to be one of the most entertaining reads in a long while. I keep reading it over and over, sometimes skipping to my favorite parts and analyzing the details for further insight.
Following a rather slow beginning (I'd almost suggest skipping the first chapter), we encounter a slimy tabloid reporter who, due to an experiment run amok by an amateur scientist he's sent to interview, becomes doomed to sail randomly through parallel universes, many of which are at least as weird as the kinds of stories he writes for the tabloid paper. Each of these universes contains another version of himself, living life without any awareness of anything strange going on around him. (That is not the only one of the reporter's new "powers," but I don't want to give away the most original aspect of this novel.)
What I love about all of Foster's books is that his descriptions are so vivid, he makes the comically absurd seem almost plausible. You feel like you've lived in one of his books after reading it. Not only does he revel in verbose descriptions, he always seems to be pushing the limits of what's possible to put into words. His stories are often filled with "shocker lines," not all of which work, but are nonetheless very enjoyable.
In "Parallelities," each universe the reporter protagonist visits seems to encompass a story in itself, and in the process the book manages to cross several genres, leaving open more questions than it answers. The book is hilarious, because the reporter keeps convincing himself he's finally back in his own world, but we know he's only fooling himself.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really wanted to like this book - I've always been a fan of Alan Dean Foster (Yeah, Flinx!) - but by the end of it all I could say was shrug and say "eh."
The central idea is interesting, if a bit over done. We've seen the "man torn from his own world, just trying to survive and get home" plotline thousands of times - dozens, even if we just count the AH versions. But there are few new plotlines, what counts is what you do with it.
And in my opinion, Foster doesn't do very much at all with this one.
To begin with, Maxwell Parker is not what you'd call a sympathetic character. Being a tabloid reporter, he's more than a little bit of a sleaze. Self-centered, egotistical, in love with himself, he's not someone you hang around with if you have a choice. And while this changes a little during the course of the book (nothing like meeting dozens of copies of yourself to give you a good feel for your weak points) , in the end, all Max really wants to do is go right back to the life he had before this all started, and in the meantime, all he's really doing is moping a lot. Self-centered depression is not what I call an ideal character development.
In fact, if I had to sum up what Max learns through all this it's "There's no place like home," a lesson The Wizard of Oz taught with much nicer characters - and which I have reservations about even there.
Foster introduces entirely too many characters that do a brief walk-on, set up themselves somewhat, and then are never seen again. I understand that most of these characters are "paras" that will vanish before the end of the chapter (by the very nature of the story), but it still feels like Foster is setting up someone to use and then just discarding them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An author should not have to stamp "satire" on the cover of a book to have readers look at it in the proper light. Parallelities is a light satire which has many clever twists. I found this book much more enjoyable than the lionized "Hitchhiker's Guide".
Foster begins with an aura that suggests the standard serious SF genre. However, the book quickly becomes a light-hearted ride thorough a series of unreal universes. The writing is crisp, with many "tongue-in-cheek" situations. I agree that Mr.Foster began to fade a bit toward the end. However, the book overall provided a pleasant afternoon's reading. This is not "Dune" or even "Hyperion", but is not meant to be.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first book by Alan Dean Foster that I have ever read, and I must say I am impressed. I usually read books of Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler variety, but I was bored and it was there. As I started to read I was immediatly brought into a world where, at least for one man, the whole world changes in a second. So it's a desperate struggle for him to try and discover who he really is, and where he is really from. Along the way he encounters aliens, ghosts, other versions of himself (including a female one), and even a world occupied entirely by versions of himself!!! I enjoyed the small bits of humour thrown in and the actual science was kept to minimum. I highly suggest this book, no matter what you usually read, you will enjoy it!!!!!
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By A Customer on October 15, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I saw this book and was ecstatic! Parallel universes _and_ Alan Dean Foster, what a promising combination. There's one problem. It's pure fluff, completely disconnected. You're better off watching some old Sliders episodes. My big conclusion after reading this book is that I can't trust name recognition anymore.
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