Forever Man

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In George Michael Greider’s first novel, computer specialist Phillip Gardiner takes a job setting up a computer system for a bank and discovers an odd set of accounts in the bank’s trust section. Each account holder is an orphan who had been left a sizable fortune in the will of an uncle or aunt, and names recur among the account holders and their ancestors.

At about the same time, Gardiner meets photographer Clio Murphy. The relationship between Gardiner and Murphy provides some amusing moments and some insights into Gardiner, but Murphy never becomes a primary character. Gardiner leaves Murphy in Boston when he goes to Zurich at the request of Ana Megan Morgan, a partner in the sister bank to the one for which he is consulting.

While he is in Zurich, Morgan comes to his room one night and makes love with him. She later invites him to visit her in Brittany. While there, he wonders about the many old stones there, in configurations that appear to have ritualistic significance. Morgan introduces Gardiner to her Aunt Vera. In a private conversation with Gardiner, Vera claims to be five thousand years old. She knows that he stumbled onto the trust account files at the bank and warns him that continuing his investigation will cost him his life or his soul. She says that Morgan is several thousand years old as well. She is willing to tell him this much because she has decided to let herself age and die; she hints that there is some process that...

(The entire section is 413 words.)