Page 45 Review by Stephen
Okay, well this is going to make you think! Think about your own life now, and your childhood back then. Say you wanted to give up smoking - you really, really did and nothing so far has worked. You're not young, in your forties maybe, and you're married to a wonderful woman whose children you want to see grow up, get married, and are worried that smoking may... eliminate that possibility. Hypnotherapy may seem like the perfect solution. Andy Wicks is certainly willing to give it a go after trying so many other avenues, and tries desperately hard to fight his own cynicism. Seriously: what effect can hypnotherapy possibly have? Boy, is he in for a shock!
Andy Wicks' first cigarette was aged 16 or so. It was at a party. It was at a party he'd been unable to summon the courage to invite a girl he fancied to. Now, through the wonders of hypnotherapy he finds himself at college as his 16-year-old self, days before that party. What does he do? Apart from utterly freak out, I mean. He's in his forties but he looks like he did when he was 16 and he's surrounded by that same circle of casual bullying he encountered way back then. Nightmare! Is this real? Is this an illusion? Is it a dream? Well, he's not waking up except to a new day at college, so his only option is to proceed with life as he knew it.
His initial goal is to resist that first cigarette: maybe if he does, the hypnotherapist's job is done and he'll snap back to the here and now. But he has a lot more self-confidence now, so maybe he could invite that girl to the party - after all, he's sixteen again and uncontrollably a great deal hornier than he was in his forties...
Time travelling has seldom been this interesting. Alex will really make you think - not only about his character's own predicament, but about any "if only"s you hold onto yourself. And here's the thing: "what if"s are amusing but "if only"s can cripple you. And in this instance, please remember one thing: Andy Wicks loves where he is right now aged 40: in love with his woman. So whatever he wants to do to change things back then, he desperately desires that the end result leaves him where he is today. This may mean that he has to live out every second of the next 25 years identically so they end up together. Can you even remember what you did back then?
Also: whatever you may fantasise about going back with your mind right now to a time when you were sixteen, you've prepared for it. Andy Wicks hasn't done that. He's there, right now, without any preparation.
Absolutely brilliant, particularly when it comes to his relationship with his Mom - and his Dad, because his Dad died very soon after the days he's been returned to.