John Rayburn is a stereotypical Ohio farm boy who thinks his dream of leaving the farm for college comes early when his doppelgänger walks out of a farm field one night. His double has a device that lets him move through an infinity of universes. John Two is willing to let John take his device for a spin, if he promises to bring it back. A bit nervous, but still eager John takes the offer because if you can't trust yourself, who can you trust? John finds out in short order that his doppelgänger lied -- the device is a one-way trip. Thus begins the paired story of John trying to find his way home and John Two trying to take up John's tantalizingly familiar life for his own, because he too found out that you shouldn't accept gifts from strangers in a cornfield, even when that stranger is you.
This is a throwback to the golden age of science fiction. One part neat ideas, one part gee whiz excitement and one part naïve young person, shaken up and poured out as gentle-read science fiction fun. It's not facility with a gun or violence that saves the day, it's what you know about how the world works and how you put that together that's the key to the winning the day. This book is definitely recommended for anyone who has enjoyed Heinlein's early adventure books or anything by Asimov.
Reviewed by dd, 04/14. Other reviews by dd.