Synopses & Reviews
After an accident, forty-year-old Ben Arnold regains consciousness in the kitchen of the house he grew up in. Only he feels different, lighter somehow. Something is horribly wrong. Ben is swept into the arms of his mother, who he hasn't seen in twenty years. She calls him by his childhood nickname, Binky. He sees a younger, unbroken version of his father. His estranged brother is there, reverted back to his awkward teenage self. Finally, adding horror to his confusion, he glimpses his older sister Sara as she runs out the door to meet her boyfriend. Sara, whose absence he has felt every day since her death. Ben is a mere hitchhiker, a parasite in the brain of seven-year-old Binky, and his younger self is not happy to have him there. It is three days before his sister will be attacked. Ben knows he has to save Sara but first he must gain Binky's trust. Even if he can get Binky to say the right words, to do the right thing, who will believe that a young boy can foretell the future?
"Landweber apparently approached this project with a go-big-or-go-home attitude. He aimed high and hit the mark, pulling off a fusion of literary novel and psychological drama."
--Tom Young, The Washington Independent Review of Books
5 Stars: Scary as well as enlightening, this unique and mesmerizing novel is a page-turner.
A forty-year-old man transcends space and time after an accident propels him into the body of his younger self. On a mission to save his sister from a brutal attack, Ben enters his own seven-year-old mind to take charge of events that will lead to a cataclysmic outcome for his family if he does not intervene. Binky, as his mother affectionately called him during childhood, does not understand Ben's presence, causing confusion.
And Ben does not comprehend the full extent of their bond. "I knew next to nothing about this arrangement, this fusing of our selves, but I had assumed that my thoughts, my memories, remained only mine."
This extraordinary situation reveals the inner psyche struggling against the past, desperately seeking a favorable outcome long after traumatic actions have inflicted paralyzing damage. Scary and enlightening, Landweber's story illuminates the darkest human motivations along with the noblest effort to combat evil desires in unstable individuals. Reflective and introspective, yet highly charged with dramatic scenes in a race against time, this mesmerizing novel is a page-turner that will captivate even a jaded critic.
Reviewers cite Jungian psychology and The Twilight Zone television series as creative influences, but behind this supernatural plot is outstanding empathy backed by moral common sense. As Ben interacts with Binky in this touching and often humorous tale, the far-fetched aspect of this unusual occurrence is accepted. Drawn into the warring conversation between adult and child--parts of the same personality--one will learn what constitutes real maturity opposed to merely grown-up behavior when a sibling's life is threatened. Striking is the dual perspective within the same protagonist, an unusual angle that can be difficult to implement.
The hidden goal within this surreal scenario may be an attempt to resolve coming-of-age problems that remained sequestered in the deepest recesses of a tormented man's mind. "This situation was all too familiar. It explained why they kept me in therapy and gave me all the drugs that didn't work. To prevent me from doing what I knew was not in my best interests. To quell the urge to complete the task that could be my last. All that time and money, all those chemicals, were aimed at the sole purpose of helping me control that which I could not control."
Landweber is a prolific short story writer, with credits in numerous literary journals, and is an associate editor at the Potomac Review. We, his first novel, will make not only an impressive debut, but has already succeeded at an experimental undertaking few could achieve.
Julia Ann Charpentier
November 14, 2013
ForeWord Clarion Reviews
"We is a family story at its heart, wrapped in a suspenseful, gripping, and totally original sci fi narrative. The unforgettable double consciousness will keep you up reading until the emotionally gratifying end."
--Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Wonder Bread Summer
"What if we could change the past? What if the past didn't necessarily want to change? Michael Landweber's We is part sci-fi concept novel, part psychological thriller with literary edges: Landweber deftly weaves time travel, Jungian psychology, and the butterfly effect into a suspenseful but also emotionally engaging novel."
--Jen Michalski, author of The Tide King
"We is a captivating, genre-bending psychological mystery that's equal parts It's a Wonderful Life and The Twilight Zone."
--Dave Housley, author of Ryan Seacrest is Famous
After an accident, 40-year-old Ben regains consciousness in the house he grew up in. Ben has become a psychic hitchhiker in the brain of his younger self, 7-year-old Binky, who is not happy to have him there. It is 3 days before a vicious attack on his sister that will scar Ben's family forever. Even if Ben can get Binky to say the right words, who will believe a boy can foretell the future?
About the Author
Michael Landweber grew up in Madison, WI, went to school in Princeton, NJ and Ann Arbor, MI, met his wife in Tokyo and currently lives with her and their two children in Washington, DC. He has worked at The Japan Times, the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of State, Partnership for a Secure America and the Small Business Administration. Mike is an Associate Editor at Potomac Review and a contributor on film and TV for Pop Matters. His short stories have appeared in places such as Gargoyle, Barrelhouse, American Literary Review, Fugue, Fourteen Hills, and The MacGuffin. For We, Mike won ForeWord Magazine's quarterly Debut Novelist Award. We is also a 2014 Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose and Independent Books as well as a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the General Fiction category. More on Mike can be found at mikelandweber.com.