Professor Hugh Toffle is an average man, an English professor at Lady Guinevere College in San Antonio. Hugh is dangerously flirting with Yolanda, one of his young students. They stop for drinks at an odd bar where chimps serve drinks and hand out tickets - and Hugh wins a ticket for head-freezing services from Rebody. Later that night, when Yolanda's father comes home and finds them together, the last thing Hugh remembers is blood on an ostrich-skin boot belonging to Yolanda's father. His blood.
When Hugh awakens, his head has been unfrozen, but he needs to earn enough credits to have a body built. Until then, he'll have to work as a DomBot (domestic robot) cleaning houses. When the family is away, his meager stash of credits is stolen by an @home robot, and Hugh chases after him. With the help of a monkey head on a robotic spider body, Hugh not only gets his credits back but gets helped by Simon (the monkey) onto the @home bot's better chassis.
He's taken to Enimal Town, where larger and human-intelligent animals live; oversized rats drive taxis, gorillas police the neighborhood, dogs and cats walk upright and still don't get along, and orangutans are the ruling body. Willette, the orangutan mayor of Enimal Town, takes a shine to Hugh and offers him her help. She explains what she's been told by Xor (the everywhere-mind) that there are no more humans and that war is happening between the bots and the residents of Enimal Town. She has plans for Hugh to help.
While ReBody clearly displays the
author's great imagination, the writing is rather disjointed and non-linear. The story is good but a little too surrealistic and choppy, lacking a certain continuity it needs for a better flow from one stage of Hugh's life to the next, and the next, and so forth. A little too much time and filler-writing is spent on Hugh's "in between" stages.
However, you will find lots of humor in here, and some staggeringly unique characters. Telling the tale in first-person by Hugh is a risk Warner took and manages to pull off stylishly. If you can overlook the faults, ReBody is an individually entertaining read.