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Mindswap

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,086 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
In the future, interstellar travel to alien worlds will be too expensive for most ordinary people. It certainly is for Marvin, a college student who wants to take a really good vacation. And so he signs up for what he can afford, a mindswap, in which your consciousness is swapped into the body of an alien lifeform. But Marvin is unlucky, and finds himself in the body of an ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Orb Books (first published 1966)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Manny
A wonderfully zany SF romp, which you'd be tempted to dismiss as a rip-off of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy if it hadn't been written 15 years earlier. I see that some reviewers here object to Sheckley's style and dialogue, but to me it seemed clear that he was mostly parodying SF and other genre fiction - I found it very amusing.

In this book, you travel the Galaxy by swapping minds with alien beings on other planets. There are many brilliant throwaway ideas, but the clear standout is "panzai
...more
Maureen
Jun 03, 2012 Maureen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
an interesting, and outrageously imaginative book, that i must admit i didn't find funny. i know that i'm supposed to find it funny, and a great many other people will no doubt double over with laughter, but i just don't laugh at this kind of book. as others have noted, it is in the same vein hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, and sort of reminded me of the one terry pratchett book i read. if you are mad for these authors, mindswap would more than suit your tastes, and should definitely be sought ...more
Manu
Jun 21, 2013 Manu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Empezar un libro de Robert Sheckley es como entrar en un bar y descubrir que, aunque tus amigos aún no han llegado, el tipo que está dándote conversación en la barra es de esos con los que te quedarías charlando entre cervezas. Desde el anuncio clasificado que abre la novela, en el que un marciano «tranquilo, estudioso y culto desea intercambiar su cuerpo con un respetable habitante de la tierra», entran ganas de quedarse sentado en el taburete y pedir otra ronda.

La premisa la novela es sencilla
...more
Marva
Feb 15, 2009 Marva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book three or four times. It still holds up as funny and acerbic. I keep seeing phrases and sections that'd I'd plagiarize if I thought I could get away with it.
M.D. Backes
Nov 10, 2008 M.D. Backes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Adams once told me that Sheckley was his favorite science fiction humorist. Mine, too. Hilarious tale of interstellar comedic mishaps.
Vit Babenco
May 09, 2013 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems that Robert Sheckley singlehandedly managed to invent a new literary genre – the absurdist science fiction. And in his brilliant books he mocks everything starting with space travel and ending with philosophy:
“Bridges are receptacles of opposed ideas. Their horizontal distance speaks to us of our transcendence; their vertical declivity reminds us unalterably of the imminence of failure, the sureness of death. We push outwards across obstacles, but the primordial fall is forever beneath
...more
Corinne
Feb 21, 2013 Corinne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's a quote from Douglas Adams on the front that reads, "Robert Sheckley is one of the great funny writers". I've read all of Douglas Adams' books, and this is like a teenage fan-fic of Hitchhiker's. The first few chapters were great, but from chapter 16 onwards - about halfway through the book - it was like being stuck in the Improbability Drive; before the last chapter, the Drive turned up to Infinity, and the book lost any claims it had to making sense. My favourite sci-fi satirises moder ...more
Tom
Mar 01, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before Arthur Dent had to worry about the destruction of the Earth, Marvin Flynn found himself missing his body.

Marvin, bored with his life on Earth, decides to travel and see the Universe through mind transfer. Things don't go well. But they go strange.

Including a very fun Dumas parody. I expected Daffy Duck to arrive as the Scarlet Pumpernickel.

(Listening to Audible.com version, and the narrator is very good as well. He has many accents to keep up with.)
Andrew S  Taylor
Nov 06, 2009 Andrew S Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really hope Sheckley stays in print for decades to come. Douglas Adams gets all the credit for sci-fi satire, but Sheckley did it before and did it better.

This book might be very loosely compared to a grail-quest - or maybe Kerouac's On The Road - but with brain transplants. Hilarious and wonderful.
Stephen Goldin
One of the funniest books I've ever read.
Jerry Jose
Dec 09, 2016 Jerry Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Books like these are the reason I read.
Mindswap evoked a familiar, Lem or Douglas Adams feel, but this is one rare weird sci fi gem with a combination of meta realism and humour so unique of its own.

Marvin Flynn, a casual vacationer from hinterlands of Earth with innate small-town conservatism goes all wanderlust and decides to see the vastness of cosmos at minimal disposal of funds. He then Mindswaps with one Martian, a logically unsettling, but cheap process that allows individuals to swap min
...more
Jay Daze
Dec 01, 2010 Jay Daze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comic tale of a bored earth man, a thirty-one year old adolescent, swapping bodies with a Martian to go on vacation. Things go wrong almost immediately.

Put me on the side of people who really enjoyed the humour in this book. Sheckley jumps from parody to parody, most pulled off with great verve and skill. It benefits from being written before 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and I would argue it is probably a more timeless book than Adams' work - which seems much more locked in the 80s than
...more
Olethros
-Humor surrealista de ritmo endiablado.-

Género. Ciencia ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Marvin Flinn desea viajar fuera de la Tierra pero sus ingresos no lo permiten, por lo que decide aceptar una oferta de trueque mental con un marciano que desea hacer turismo en nuestro planeta. Tras firmar los correspondientes documentos, la transferencia se lleva a cabo y Marvin se encuentra en Marte con un nuevo cuerpo alienígena, pero las cosas no saldrán como estaban previstas.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro,
...more
Christa L
Feb 08, 2011 Christa L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was unlike anything I've ever read. There is no genre or cliché that is safe from being stretched beyond anything it ever should have become. You should be able to look up "absurdism" and see "Read Mindswap by Robert Sheckley." The only way this could be a film is if you brought Gene Wilder, Mark Strong, Humphrey Bogart, and Mel Brooks to the 1970's and have Paul Bartel direct. Spider Robinson said that Mindswap would turn your mind into chunky peanut butter.

"Hi, my name is Peter Pan.
...more
Alexander Páez
Apr 27, 2013 Alexander Páez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, science-fiction
Le doy un 3,5/5. Tengo que reconocer que la deformación metafórica ha estado a punto de poder conmigo. Hay un momento que te quedas con cara de tonto y cuando terminas el libro te das cuenta de como el autor ha jugado contigo. Pronto reseña en el blog con sus pros y sus contras.
Alan
Very bizarre book. Sheckley is hilarious. Rent your body out while your mind is on vacation. Great stuff.
Simon
Oct 26, 2007 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, cleaning out a top-shelf in a closet, there it was. A 1969 reprint of the UK Mayflower paperback edition of 1968. Inside the front-cover were written: Anne G... a street address, Rheindahlen, (in what was, then, West Germany).

Anne G was likely my age, or perhaps a pal of my older brother. My Dad suggested I might have bought the book in a church bazaar. Who knows. Anne had added the same details on the upper left of the first loose-leaf. The penmanship and pen changes between the two and I
...more
La Espada en la Tinta
Pillad una toalla y vuestra guía de autoestopista galáctico, que nos vamos por esos universos de Dios a liarla parda! Uys, no. Espera. ¿Eso no es con otra novela? No importa, para el caso, es lo mismo. De la mano, o la mente, de Marvin Flynn, un anodino habitante de la Tierra, nos vamos a meter de cabeza en una disparatada historia sobre intercambio de cuerpos y la levedad del ser, que tiene miga el asunto. Esta es una de esas novelas que te gustan o no, sin término medio. Yo aún no sé en qué ba ...more
Jay
Aug 13, 2015 Jay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Need your intelligence insulted, again? Here comes Sheckley! A great example of how Sci-Fi ages like goat cheese. It stinks and deforms until it's unrecognizable. Could this possibly be worse than "Status Civilization?" No, it's a hair better because it has more aliens and something that smells vaguely of plot. Reads like Young Adult, and I mean that in a condescending and smarmy way, but it was never intended to be such. Pulpiest dreck ever inspired by a want ad. (view spoiler) ...more
Natalia
My dad bought me this for Christmas, as he used to quote things (inexactly, but with this book it doesn't matter) from it a lot and he wanted me to understand what he was talking about. It's quite bizarre and a really fun read. If you do read it you have to make sure sometimes not to try too hard to figure out what is going on or you might end up more confused.
Larry
May 05, 2011 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite scifi author. Often copied and stolen from (Hitchhiker's Guide is a good example of denied theft. Don't believe it? Read "Dimensions of Miracles"). Huge concepts taken care of in a paragraph at most. Very readable writer.
Angela Randall
We own this as an omnibus with people trap: People Trap and Mindswap.
Piotr Stasiewicz
A hysterically funny novel.
Todd
Mar 30, 2012 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was a teenager and loved it. Thought-provoking.
Luca
Feb 08, 2017 Luca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
Sheckley è uno degli autori di fantascienza più apprezzati e, nel sottogenere umoristico, probabilmente anche tra i migliori, eppure io non ho provato particolare piacere nel leggere questo romanzo e, anzi, nel finale ho pure arrancato.
Scelta voluta o no, la lettura si fa capitolo dopo capitolo sempre più paradossale e se all'inizio le disavventure del protagonista hanno un retrogusto comico che rimanda al Candido di Voltaire, superata la metà ogni passaggio è talmente parossistico da perdere an
...more
Theresa
Jan 22, 2017 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing read. I've been recommending it to fellow SF writers as a "spiritual predecessor" to Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Sheckley's narrative is absurdist, and highly enjoyable - up until about the last 1/4 of the book - with such great twists and turns. For me, the ending of the book was over-complicated and failed to fulfill the promise of the first 3/4 of the book, but for the time in which it was written, it is excellent. Read for yourself to see if ...more
Michinio Camorelli
If The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy have been wrtitten by William S. Burroughs and he have been using only psychedelics without opiates, this is what we would have got Mindswap. This is amazing book, one of my favorite ones!
Santiago de la Iglesia
Muy de la onda de hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, por momentos se desvía tanto tanto de la historia central que uno piensa que confundió de libro, un delirio muy entretenido.
Mark Frost
Oct 18, 2016 Mark Frost rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book the year it was published and fell in love with it immediately. I still quote passages and insane ideas from MS today, 50 years later!
Rumena
Jan 13, 2017 Rumena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the premise and the start....but somewhere along the lines it became haphazard, ridiculous and overly abstract for my taste. It was a cacophony of ideas and I didn't find it funny, just hard to follow. There was a few gem phrases I did enjoy, including in the finale, so I am definitely not saying it's a bad book, simply didn't sit well with me.
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One of science fiction's great humorists, Sheckley was a prolific short story writer beginning in 1952 with titles including "Specialist", "Pilgrimage to Earth", "Warm", "The Prize of Peril", and "Seventh Victim", collected in volumes from Untouched by Human Hands (1954) to Is That What People Do? (1984) and a five-volume set of Collected Stories (1991). His first novel, Immortality, Inc. (1958), ...more
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“He created waterfalls for her out of the morning dew, and from the colored pebbles of a meadow stream he made a necklace more beautiful than emeralds, sadder than pearls. She caught him in her net of silken hair, she carried him down, down, into deep and silent waters, past obliteration. He showed her frozen stars and molten sun; she gave him long, entwined shadows and the sound of black velvet. He reached out to her and touched moss, grass, ancient trees, iridescent rocks; her fingertips, striving upwards, brushed old planets and silver moonlight, the flash of comets and the cry of dissolving suns.” 1 likes
“Is there anything you can do?'
'Well, in college I was studying-'
'Don't give me your goddamned life story! I'm interested in your trade, skill, talent, profession, ability, whatever you want to call it. What, specifically, can you do?'
'Well,'Marvin said, 'I guess, when you put it that way, I can't do anything much.”
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