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From what I'd read, I thought this book would be about an autistic kid trapping a man in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that gets darker and more horrifying with each iteration. But the time travel stuff doesn't start until the last thirty pages and ends almost as soon as it begins. Most of the book is a Slice of Life story set on Mars. Some of it is interesting, like the robotic teachers and the oppressed native Martians, but an awful lot of it is about affairs. Some of the affairs are more relevant than others - at least Jack Bohlen is a main character, but does anyone give a shit about Otto Zitte's sex life? By the end, I felt like I'd waited hours for my meal, only to have it taken away after two bites.
Manfred was easily my favorite character. The scenes from his perspective feature the dark visions of the future I was reading for, and the resolution of his subplot was the only aspect of the ending that felt satisfying. He's also a fascinating example of how autism and schizophrenia were seen in 1964. But he doesn't receive nearly enough focus.
I don't understand who this book is for. Science fiction fans will probably get impatient, while people who like reading about affairs won't pick up a book with "Martian" in the title in the first place.
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