I read this story on a magazine in late 1990s. It was about a boy who was recruited by a special school because of his extraordinary potential to solve problems. After years of education, the boy was then put into different bodies to identify and solve problems with the new identities. First he found himself a prisoner in a youth detention center, then he became a worker for a mining company, and after countless experiences as different persons, he woke up and realized that he was sitting in the oval office. And the story stopped there.

I cannot recall the name of the story/protagonist. Could anyone help me? Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1


While it's a tv show and not a magazine(but maybe there was some novelization, or maybe you stumble upon an early script), this story looks a lot like 'the pretender'.

Jarod (no last name) was kidnapped as a very young kind an held captive in a secret organization to help them solve hypothetical problems (spoiler, the problem were not so hypothetical). After a while he escaped, and take a different identity (and skill set) every week to help people.

While the story revolves around him as a youg man, there is a lot of flashback of him as a boy. Besides, being kept out of the real world during his boyhood, he can be very childish at some point.

Pro :

  • boy/young adult with extraordinary potential
  • Youth detention center (while not exactly in the same context).
  • Countless experiences as different persons.

Against :

  • TV show.
  • Not literally body snatching.
  • The end does not match.

Another case of being put into body (more literally this time)in order to identify and solve problems is another TV show quantum leap.

Sam Becket is a very intelligent scientist (i don't remember the show worrying about his youth) who, due to an accident working on time travel jump from people to people in time.

Each episode end with the protagonist waking up in the body of the next one, generally in a cliffhanger. So this can match the end you remember.

Another very long shot, I admit.

  • Probably none of the above. Both were TV shows and the question mentions a magazine.
    – Machavity
    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:09
  • @dna Thanks for your answers. Since I was deeply impressed by the ending of the story, I'm pretty sure about that part. So "the pretender" is unlikely the right one.
    – kkaatii
    Sep 27, 2017 at 2:46

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