I have a rather unusual book to share with you called Anselm, A Metamorphosis written by Florence Byham Weinberg.
Christians believe the spirit survives the body. The philosopher René Descartes equated mind and spirit and tried to prove them totally separable from the body. Are they? Cocky young Professor Eric Behrens curses the world and wishes he were someone, anyone, else. He trips, is knocked out, and wakes in the body of a middle-aged, overweight Benedictine monk with a severe heart defect.
He must survive in an alien environment and in a defective body, while trying to "go home again." "Anselm: a Metamorphosis by Florence Byham Weinberg plays upon an ancient longing as well as ancient fears. What is it like, it asks, to wake up as another person, unrecognizable even to those closest to one, being in all but one way wholly new to oneself? That one way is an abiding sense of self-identity. In a fascinating tour de force, this novel follows the sudden change in the identity of a carefree young English professor into a middle-aged priest by exploring many layers of his consciousness...
A fantasy? Of course. Unreality? No. Instead of removing himself and becoming another, the searching protagonist of Anselm achieves a sense of his true identity that had been closed to him before."Like I said, it's a little unusual and don't get caught up in the religion aspect because it's not really about that as much as you think it is.
It's really about an evil monk who has found a way to trade bodies with a younger professor at a nearby university. He does so and wow, he was really evil and calculating about the whole thing. He is around 50 and a overweight with a bad heart so to make sure that the guy he steals the body from doesn't come after him to get it back, he eats more and more to make himself even fatter so his heart will be in even worse shape.
He thinks if the body is so bad that the guy can't move, he won't be able to come after him. The other thing he did was make all the monks mad at him so no one would talk to the guy who had been forced into his old body. He wanted to make sure no one would listen to his story. He also did some other things to sabotage the poor professor so he was basically locked in his cell at the monastery so he couldn't leave.
He also starts rumors about the monk once he is in the professor's body making him sound like a sex craved gay man who practically attacked him. This evil monk really made sure that this poor man would die in his old body but with his mind intact while he fled to Switzerland with the professor's body.
But, things don't go according to plan and the professor/monk finds a way to start to get people to talk to him and help him. This book will be spellbinding because it's such a weird subject, someone being able to switch into your body and forcing you into theirs, especially if you are in your 20's and are forced into someone's who is 50 and in very bad health.
Give it a shot because it really kept me up reading until the end. And you won't believe the ending!