Advance Galley Reviews
Creative and unpredictable. A wonderful read!
4.5 / 5 stars. Tom lives a aimless, drifting life in 2016. Except it's not our 2016, it's the 2016 that would exist if humans had discovered unlimited clean energy decades ago. In other words: the sci-fi future we've dreamed of since the 1950's, complete with flying cars and moon bases. This power source has even led to a breakthrough in a new field: time travel. Tom's father heads up that project, and got Tom a nominal job on the team in an attempt to give his life some structure. When a seemingly minor event dominoes into a major catastrophe for the timeline, Tom finds himself in a different 2016: ours. To him, it's a dystopian wasteland. But certain parts of his life in this new reality are actually... better. He finds himself facing a choice between fixing the timeline and restoring the techno-utopia he came from (if he can), or forging a new life in this new reality. I really enjoyed this book. It's hard to discuss stories about time travel without giving things away, so forgive the semi-vagueness of this review. Tom as a narrator is funny and engaging. You sympathize with him, while also going 'oh my god, you idiot!' occasionally. There's a good play of interpersonal dynamics and slight cause-and-effect plot twists. Events unfold (mostly) as realistically as they can, given the premise, but the author still manages to throw a few surprises in. It's an entertaining and well-written story. One of my favorite parts of this book is how the author deals with the classic time travel paradox: if you go back in time and change things, then return to your original time, wouldn't things (namely: you) be completely different? I'm not going to give it away here. I'll just say that it was a new way I've seen of handling that issue, and it was done well. If you like time travel adventures with relatable narrators, give this a go. It just came out this week!
Tom lives in an alternate reality much more advanced than ours. People live in architectural wonders with myriad technologies that make life much easier and suffering basically nonexistent. Tom's genius father has created a time machine and in order to prove to himself that he is not the wastrel son and to take revenge on his father, Tom decides to illicitly travel back in time. He somehow messes this all up and ends up in today's current world, which he considers dystopian compared to his own. The plot behind this novel is inventive and I really thought the idea of the two alternate realities interesting, however, I found myself not really connecting to the characters and at times it proved a slog as I stopped really caring which reality Tom ended up in. I can see why people really loved this book for its exciting premise and overall I mostly liked it. I received this book from Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.
All Our Wrong Todays was a fantastic read! I really enjoyed Elan Mastai's take on the limitations of time travel. I had never considered the movement through space angle before, but it made so much sense after reading it. For me, the story was one of those where I wasn't sure which way I wanted the character to go with his decision, which I like because it makes you really think. I also enjoyed the conversational narration. Felt like Tom was talking to me, telling me his story. Highly recommended!
It's hard to put into words how I felt about this book. There are so many things and so many feelings that I'm not sure exactly where to start. Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was convoluted, but in the best way possible. I was constantly wanting to know what happened next and simultaneously rooting for and hating the main characters.
All Our Wrong Todays is a bit longwinded in some areas, a bit compressed in others, a bit too "literary" for my tastes and a bit too sad. Writing all that stuff down, even I wonder if I really enjoyed this book but the truth is I did. Usually after reading a book I can tell if it will appeal to the people I usually share books with. I can't on this one. Part of me thinks that everyone will love the fantastical time traveling elements but the emotions of this book might turn those same people off. The main character's life is sad for pretty much the first 40% of the book. Then, his sadness turns to guilt for another large portion. The author/narrator/whatever goes on various lofty tangents about various things using big smart people words, that I honestly had to skim over because if I had read the whole thing then my eyes would have fallen out of my head and rolled across the floor and its hard to find eyeballs in dark. But I still liked it.
For me, this felt like a blend between science and literary fiction. It had enough science-y, mind bending adventure elements that I enjoyed the story but not enough that it felt like true science fiction. This would probably appeal more to readers that enjoy literary fiction but can also suspend their sense of reality for a bit while they read a story. Not my normal cuppa tea but enjoyable all the same.
Amazing time travel book. I have not found a book that caught my attention like this since 11/22/63! Wonderful read! Thanks!
This time travel/alternate timelines science fiction novel was almost impossible to put down once I got into it. It pays a lot more attention to the paradoxes and theoretical difficulties with time travel than most SF novels, which was a nice change of pace. At different times it reminded me strongly of both Stephen King's 11/22/63 and Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. I thought there were a few missteps in it, but overall it's a solid SF novel and a fun read.
Caveat: I love time-travel stories, so read my review with that in mind.
That being said, I loved how twisty this story was. Yes, this was a book about time-travel, but it really revolved around the frailties of life. How people self-sabotage, how arrogance causes lack of focus, how lack of focus causes accidents that can spiral into... well, BIG accidents.
The "hero" of our book, Tom, is both affable and churlish, while his alter-egos are just plain jerks. Acutally, jerks is putting it mildly. While there are parts of Tom you probably won't like, you'll root for him anyway. There were many times during my journey through these pages where I didn't really know which outcome to hope for, and that was cool with me - because it meant I was waiting for the author to guide me there.
We meet several incarnations of a few of the characters, and that's always interesting in an alternate-reality/time-travel story. We always hope that the "good guys" make it out alive - right? Well, it's all resting on the shoulders of Tom. This under-achieving miscreant who had a bit of a tantrum and took off in a time machine without permission.
Okay, I'm underselling that point - there are mitigating circumstances. A girl is involved, and you gotta absolve a dude when there's a girl involved. Then there's the whole father thing, and well... I don't want to give the story away. Lemme just say this, you'll totally underestimate Tom, because he needs some time, some perspective, and a little help from a hero with clay feet to make him into a pretty brilliant guy in the end.
I have to say, even when Tom laid everything out for me, I still didn't put all the pieces together - and then when it all fell into place - it was like - how did I miss that? A few carefully chosen words and nothing is perfect again, but it's the best outcome for everyone.
I really enjoyed this book, and I hope there's more to come from Elan Mastai.
This absolutely blew me away! Amazing story!
I really enjoyed this book. It is about Tom who comes from a utopian society with flying cars food pills. He is an underachiever, who's father has invented time travel. He ends up going back in time and screwing up which lands him in this reality. He has to try to figure out how to fix his mistake to get him back home. I liked the humor, it had a hitchhiker's huge to the galaxy feel. It was a bit slow in sections and seemed less humorous toward the end of the book. I really enjoyed it and wanted to finish to to find out what the out come was. I gave i four stars on goodreads.
So far this is my favorite book of 2017. It took me a bit to get used to the first person, conversational tone, but once I got used to it I was hooked. It was like having a close friend tell you a story. Sure, he's flawed and might not be the greatest guy, but he's lovable and you hope it all works out for him. It was unique and some of the science went over my head, but that was ok. I got the big picture and I understood the relationships which was the real importance anyway. I had fun reading this.
This book was a good read but took me awhile to get into it. But once I got into it, I was lost in it. It had a great then and now timeline. It's refreshing to have a non dystopian science fiction novel.
Tom's father is a genius type science guy who writes a book on time travel and builds a time machine. Tom thinks he can never measure up in his father's eyes. So, to change that scenario, Tom jumps in the machine and goes back in history to correct a wrong. He finds in that era that he has an alternate life where everything and everyone is turned around. This quick read is about finding love, evil scientists, and getting to know yourself. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy.
I love this cool, exciting, and smart fiction that is like no other novel I've read. Highly recommended!
Full of laughs, adventure, and heart. A story of time travel and alternate timelines. Great read, would recommend. Thanks First to read.
I can see that this book has a potential audience out there, but I am not part of it. The book is written in a very stream of consciousness/conversational tone that made it very hard for me to read. Then there is TONS of science key to the plot, and I'm not talking about light science fiction, this is cold, hard graduate level science. If you can't get past that part and enjoy it, you will really struggle with this book. I could not finish it. I had read 15 chapters without the true purpose being yet revealed behind the plot. No love interest or anything. I just couldn't get invested in the main character or anyone else by that point and didn't care to continue.
"All Our Wrong Todays" is a unique and creative novel of time-travel and alternate realities.
The main character, Tom Barren, lives in a futuristic, techno-Utopian world. The year is 2016. His world is like the future that was imagined in the comic books and science fiction anthologies of the 1950s and 1960s. Tom’s father has invented a time machine. A series of events cause Tom to use the time machine to travel back in time to 1965 and then back to a parallel 2016 in our world. I won’t reveal more details, but ultimately he has to decide whether to return to his original, Utopian world in the alternate timeline or remain in our world. Along with the sci-fi theme, this is a story of life, love, and family. My favorite quote was near the end the novel, where Tom points out that “…there’s no such thing as the life you’re supposed to have.”
This book was quick to read and a lot of fun. I can see this book being easily adapted into a movie. I highly recommend it.
Sadly, this wasn't a hit for me. I feel confidant, however, that it wasn't due to the skill of the writer. I'm not overly fond of science fiction in general. However, I was hoping that this would be one of the books that could change my mind and the synopsis made me think that it would! It didn't do that for me, however - I just couldn't care at all about any of the characters or the situations.
I don't have the sci-fi expertise to comment on whether the time travel aspects are plausible (or as plausible as time travel aspects CAN be). I can say, however, that I thought the premise was interesting and well worked out, and the story was exciting and thought-provoking, with powerful descriptions. There is a lot of vivid and memorable imagery in there -- I understand this book is going to be a movie, and given the story's complexity, I can't imagine how it will all work, but I can easily believe that it'll be a visual treat!
The narrator's self-loathing and father-hatred got to be a bit much -- sometimes I felt like I was reading Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground," with its famously misanthropic protagonist -- but fortunately that got toned down eventually, and for believable reasons. And the voice did feel real and, in some ways, appealing, especially as the book progressed. The character development was well done throughout -- it felt like there was real growth there.
I'm still pondering how I feel about the climax -- it felt a bit cluttered to me, though it could just be that I don't have the brainpower to process it properly! But on the whole, I enjoyed the book and I feel like it will stick with me.
I've been critical of time travel books since Bradbury's "The Sound of Thunder," which I read when I was 14. They never seem to get time travel right, according to my theory of how fourth-dimensional travel ought to work. This book may not conform to my opinion, but it doesn't ignore it. All Our Wrong Todays addresses the myriad theories, just as it addresses several problems and "accidents" of time travel.
The sole drawback for me was that the author uses short chapters, which served, in my case, mostly as a distraction. I felt that I wasn't able to immerse myself in the story, since I was regularly reminded that I was reading a book.
All Our Wrong Today's was a very interesting book with a very unique plot line. I absolutely enjoyed reading it. 4.5 Stars and recommended to all...
This book is a masterpiece. It was so well written and had me from the very beginning. Everyone has always wanted to know what it is that happens when someone interferes with time and space in a time machine and this book tells that story. There are plot twists after plot twists all woven into a one story of hope, love, and even deceit, all at one time.
We've all wished at one moment in our lives or another that we had the ability to go back in time and change something we regretted or something that went completely wrong; Tom Barren is that person. Tom impulsively hitchhikes a ride into the past in a time machine, built by his father, to save the woman he loves only to find that his ride into the past causes so many other things to go wrong for him and the people in his life. The quest to fix all his wrongs continues and ends with him having to make so many important decisions and save many from further hurt and disasters of the heart.
Its an amazing story that needs to be told and needs to be turned into a movie for sure. I cannot wait.
Elan Mastai, I am a huge fan! I found myself laughing, crying, and just wanting to read more. Time Travel is my favorite subject. Thank you!
On the surface, All Our Wrong Todays, the debut novel by Elan Mastal is a roller coaster ride of science fantasy with travel through time and place. Below the surface is an inward journey for the main character Tom Barren with philosophical statements on self-discovery, relationships, and life. Either way, the book is an entertaining page-turner that leaves me with a lot to think about.
Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/01/all-our-wrong-todays.html.
Reviewed for NetGalley and the Penguin First to Read program.
[...]“I would’ve been the millionth astronaut but I get to be the first chrononaut. So why do I wish I was out there instead?”
“Maybe because we already know everything about where you’re going,” I said. “There’s no mystery to the past. It’s all about how you get there. You didn’t want to go to space to test a rocket ship. You wanted to see things no one’s ever seen before.”
Tom Barren couldn't imagine finally coming to terms with his imperfect life in the perfect world until he did. Too bad it didn't last long. When the only thing — or rather a person — in Tom's life that made sense is gone, the only thing he comes up with is to go back in time and... change it? No, Tom decides to be the first one to witness the experiment that turned the whole world upside down. But this time it's Tom who turns the world upside down and makes it just the way we know it in 2016. For Tom who's used to all the innovations of his world this one is a total disaster. His family isn't his family (and who's this girl pretending to be his sister?), the buildings are nothing like he's ever seen (weren't those destroyed and replaced with shine cool ones back in 70s?) and all of a sudden everyone calls him John and thinks of him as of some kind of an architect. But Penny — his Penelope — still lives here. So maybe, just maybe, this world is worth living in? Making a series of very difficult decisions, trying to fix everything that's already done and is yet to be done, Tom tells his honest and sometimes mind-blowing story in his memoire, leading us through time and worlds that now are his realities.
All Our Wrong Todays reminds me of the other side of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. Tom "steals" life of his other version and doesn't really think about it for a second. It's nothing like his real, initial life, but it's better — a loving family, a girl he likes... so why not to stay? Tom — or rather John now — are basically one person, but while Dark Matter questioned the ethical side of the story, no one really cares about it in Elan Mastai's book. Everyone is so calm about him being not John they knew, but some weird guy with his mind-blowing stories even after they believe him. And it's supposed to be our 2016. Plausible? Uh-huh.
We see everything through Tom's eyes, or rather his entries in the diary, but Tom broke the fourth wall way too often, so at one point it really started to annoy me. Maybe it add a new dimension to the story and makes the reader fully involved into it, but all those "you, yeah, you! You might be wondering..." were a real turn-off for me. The "diary" thing also caused 137 chapters in 369 pages, and while it was a satisfying book to read on the subway, almost 2,5 pages per chapter is still ridiculous.
Tom's character never spoke to me and neither did Penny's. They stayed flat throughout the story and, alas, the whole romance thing made the book even worse. I can't stop asking the very same question in almost every review of sci-fi books: why is almost every sci-fi book revolved around love? Instead of trying to learn more about this new mad world, the only thing Tom really cares about is Penny. But of course, who cares about all the interesting concepts of science Elan Mastai tried to show in the very beginning, when "Love is the one thing that we're capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space" bullshit appears every now and then.
"As I’ve mentioned many times, I come from the world we were supposed to have. But lately I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Whether or not it’s true."
Mastai did a very good job with scientific reseach, I give him that. The way he approached the good old time-travel topic seems fresh to me — temporal drag even made sense, even though it seemed a little bit way too convenient — and the story even acquired a creepy vibe that all of a sudden made me intrigued again. Unfortunately, it was still completely lost behind "Penny this and Penny that" in the end, and the attempts to add more and more scientific theories failed.
All Our Wrong Todays was a pretty fast read, but while some parts of it made me turn page after page, it just didn't feel like an organic whole and ended up being cluttered. But even though it was pretty disappointing, part of me still believes it's all about the journey. I wanted to read about things I've never read about before, and Mastai gave me this opportunity with his fresh approach to the topic, so maybe, just maybe, it was worth it.
This is a book about the futures and how we got there (and get there). The structure of this book is playful, and sometimes a little choppy (maybe that's what happens when you play with time and memory), but the ideas are interesting (perhaps it helps that the main character is as displaced as readers are), and fully part of the story. Unfortunately, I didn't connect to the characters thoroughly, especially the main character, and I found the middle of the book a trudge. (The ending is worth going on for, though.)
If the old movies and TV shows were to be believed the year 2000 would have us living in a veritable technological utopia. There would have been flying cars, tech made for everything from making breakfast to getting dressed, and the world would look more or less like that of the Jetsons.
Only, what if they were right? What if we were supposed to have that future? Only Tom Barren, the not-quite-so-genius son of the definitely-genius Victor Barren, leading expert on time travel, made one rash decision (well, one really important rash decision along with all the other, smaller ones) and doomed that world to forever grace the pages of science fiction, never to be born.
All Our Wrong Todays is the debut novel of Canadian screenwriter Elan Mastai. This un-put-down-able science fiction novel is a time travel story at its core, while tackling the harder, more philosophical quandaries which inevitably occur when you’re accidentally creating alternate timelines.
The book is written from the point of view of Tom Barren. Told in the first person, this is Tom’s memoir, the story of his father’s Chrono-Spatial Transport Apparatus, Tom’s role in the world’s first time travel machine, and his decisions, rash or otherwise. The story is told in a very conversational tone, making it a bit easier to understand the more difficult concepts of time travel, human consciousness, and tempo-spatial reality the book gets into, especially in later chapters.
It is very easy to like Tom Barren. He’s a disappointment to his father, not necessary a bad person or completely untalented, but with none of his father’s brilliance and unwavering drive, either. Tom speaks to the reader like an old friend, and I quickly found myself very attached to the character. He has an intelligence other characters don’t always see, an easy wit, and can be rather self-deprecating. Tom goes through some very real character development as well, and grows by leaps and bounds throughout the course of the novel.
This can be said for many of the other characters as well. They are complex people, with real hopes and dreams that sometimes come to fruition and sometimes do not. As Tom matures and is able to see the different facets and understand the motivations and desires of those around him, we too are able see them in new light both. Sometimes this is redeeming, sometimes not.
Now, if you don’t like books that get overly technical with their science, don’t worry. The main character isn’t a scientist, he’s a chrononaut, and only because of his father’s pity at that. The science behind time travel isn’t that overly technical or overly complicated. If you read books within this genre often you probably won't have much trouble keeping up. Along with time travel, alternate timelines are also very much in play here. Again, these timelines are treated in a pretty straightforward manner and isn’t quite as confusing as some other novels can be. The differences between Tom’s world and others are stark. There is no confusion as to where we are within the multiverse, or how this world is different from the one our main character started in. We only get a glimpse at two of these other worlds, not the wide smattering of possibilities seen in novels such as, for example, Dark Matter.
While time travel and alternate realities are hardly a new concept in science fiction, All Our Wrong Todays goes a step further. Topics are further broached such as, the state of consciousness in relation to alternate times/dimensions, and the capabilities of the human mind as memories are overwritten and changed via time travel. We also are able to see different versions of time machines - devices that both allow the user to travel through time, but by completely different means and with different worries and complications of its own.
Admittedly, some of the answers to these questions and can get sticky in terms of philosophical debate and scientific theory. Some sections of the book might be more difficult to get through for some readers, particularly places towards the end. However, if you enjoyed books such at Dark Matter or shows such as Doctor Who, you will most likely be able to keep up just fine. Again, the book has a very conversational tone, which does make all any talk of hard science, scientific theories, or philosophical points much easier to digest than many other novels.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is a wonderful novel with equal parts science, philosophy, and heart. I’ve read a lot of science fiction, an alarmingly large proportion of which involve time travel and alternate timelines. Out of all of them, All Our Wrong Todays is, by far, my favorite. I highly recommend this book. If you're looking for a little time traveling or good a good science fiction novel, pick this book up. It will not disappoint.
I'm not even sure what to say about this book. I loved it from the beginning- Tom, the protagonist was hilariously realistic and relatable, all of the other characters were also amazingly well written, and the plot was gloriously intriguing. I loved the casual science thrown throughout the whole book and the differences between our 2016 and the alternate 2016. The ending was even more fantastic- it's made me really wish for a sequel just so I could see the rest of Tom and Penny's lives.
Favorite quote: "It won't be fast, changing the world. But we have time."
Having just finished the recent popular time-travel thriller Dark Matter, I found the comparisons between that book and Elan Mastai's debut novel justified. But while Dark Matter is a thriller, All Our Wrong Todays offers more food for thought. The protagonist is more appealing, as is the love interest. That's because first-time novelist Mastai more fully develops his themes, rounds his characters, polishes his language, and sharpens his wit. Our narrator insists that this here book he's writing and we're reading is "not a novel. It's a memoir." Of course it's a novel, but in framing it as a memoir -- as a reflection of someone's real life as opposed to the sometimes tidy lives depicted in fiction -- it emphasizes one of the novel's most salient themes: "There's no such thing as the life you're supposed to have."
Other themes I particularly enjoyed:
~ "the grammar of the situation is complicated," as time travel tales should be.
~ "when you invent a technology, you also invent the accident of that technology."
~ "When you jump off a cliff, it can look a whole lot like flying, for a while anyway."
~ "the visceral wrongness of inert flesh wrapped around an inanimate object that wears your mother's face," which I find to be an effing brilliant description of the shock of death.
~ half a tree is underground, same with people.
~ "You Believe What You Do ... Make a list of what you believe in. The top ten most important things to you. Like justice, equality, diversity, sustainability, whatever your politics or religion or morality. Bullet point it out.
Make another list -- all the things that occupied your time on a given day. "*That's* what you believe in."
I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy time travel. This is one of my favorites in that genre.
After a great start, the novel slowed down for me a bit, and I began to question whether I would be able to finish the book. Given the narrative style of the novel, the reader spends a lot of time in Tom's head. His internal dialogue and thought processes seemed to go in circles at times. I am glad I stuck with it though because the novel does pick up again, and from then on I was hooked right until the very end.
I admit I wasn't completely sold on Tom at first, but the more I got to know him, the more I came to like him. Seeing him grow and develop as a character over the course of the novel helped with that. His experiences helped shape him as did the people in his life. His distant father of his version of 2016 left a lot to be desired, but like Tom, I was smitten with his family in our version of 2016. Both his mother and girlfriend are quite bookish--and that may have had something to do with it. His family proves to be very supportive of him, even as they question his sanity. Heck, even I found myself questioning his sanity a time or two.
At times I found the technical aspects a bit confusing, but, in many ways, this only added to the credibility of the narrator, who for all intents and purposes is writing a memoir of the events he experienced throughout his life, particularly his time traveling exploits. I am not sure I ever fully understood the intricacies of how Tom was able to keep his own consciousness and memories throughout the process, although he did attempt to explain it.
All Our Wrong Todays is a fascinating literary novel, weaving science, science fiction, romance, family drama, and a little bit of action in. Mind-bending is an apt description too. Overall, I enjoyed All Our Wrong Todays and will be curious to see what Elan Mastai writes next.
It was a creative and an intelligent read. The technologies and world-building were intriguing and made me eager to read more. However, there were some sections that I don't think were necessary to the storyline and took me out of the story a bit. For instance, debating the POV or the summary chapters-which I understand later on, but initially seem like an insult to the reader. Overall, I enjoyed the story. It wasn't as well done as The Martian by Andy Weir for a sci-fi with a witty narrator, but I would likely pick up this author's next book as he grows in his writing.
This book was certainly unique, and I think rather apropos to our current situation.
I did very much enjoy the book-- I found the premise refreshing, the protagonists flawed but lovable, and the plot for the most part surprising-- particularly the ending. Without giving anything away, the book's denouement was hardly what I had expected, and I read. A lot.
However, there were a few small things that I personally found obnoxious. The small chapters led to a fair amount of repetition, which was a wee bit tiresome-- especially in those places where the narrator paused to recap the story so far-- and although I loved the attention to scientific detail, at times it was just too much. It made paragraphs longer than necessary, and often did nothing to drive the plot forward. It was descriptive on a level that was probably not required.
Otherwise, I do recommend this book to those readers who are fans of dystopian lit, science fiction, and unique reads!
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is a gripping novel about what can happen if you mess with the space-time continuum. The 2016 where Tom Barren is from is a techno-utopia that everyone dreams of. Flying cars, avocados that never go bad and the machine that started it all, the Goettreider Engine that makes clean energy based on the rotation of Earth. Tom is forced to join his father's life work of time travel as an alternate. He wasn't even supposed to go back in time. Then some bad things happen, he goes back in time, more bad things happen and he ends up in the 2016 we are used to. Can he fix what he did or does he like the new 2016 more? I really enjoyed this story even if I did get a little lost with sometimes. The humor in the novel helps keep you entertained and helps the reader become involved in this long, engaging "memoir."
I approached this book fearing that I would not enjoy it, because it would be one of those overly technical and confusing books about time travel. For the most part, I was wrong. The book is very interesting, mostly because the narrator is just an average guy. He is very likable, because he's presented as a human who has flaws and makes mistakes. Unfortunately, towards the end of the novel the technical aspects of time travel become very confusing and make the ending of the novel somewhat hard to read. I think the ending may have been written this way with the expectation that no one would actually understand it, but either way it somewhat ruins the whole experience of the book. Despite this, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it for anyone who wants a somewhat humorous time travel read.
Part time travel, part dystopian, finding out who you are. This book has alot of elements about alot of different topics. It was an interesting read that gave light to the complexity it is life.
A different take on the traditional time travel novel. I enjoyed the different bent All Our Wrong Todays took from the traditional time travel goes wrong story that I've read and enjoyed many times. Without giving it away I was surprised by a few of the plot directions but most by the depth of cahracters that were developed. I actually felt these people change and grow beyond their one-dimensional stereotypes. It's an easy read but not fluffy by any means. I know this isn't even out yet but I'm very curious to see what Mr. Mastai does next.
Time travel novels have a lot of traps to avoid, and this one does the job nicely. It takes on a well-worn concept (using a time machine to go into the past and affect the timeline) with a sense of humor, while not being afraid to take on some of the Big Ideas that come with the territory. Elan Mastai carefully tries to forestall any objections to the paradoxes inherent in this genre, while keeping the tone light enough, and the characters likeable enough, that you forgive him any of the doubts that might nag you if you stop and think about them for too long. The short chapters fly by, and the cliffhangers are plentiful, making for an enjoyable and rather breezy read. Reading into the night, I kept telling myself, "I'll put it down after one more chapter," chapter after chapter. Don't be surprised if you find the book provoking some deep thoughts about time and fate, and family and love and science and what's important in life, as well.
I loved the overall premise of the book, however did not much care for the writing style. It seemed very cluttered and schizophrenic to me. I love the idea that the decisions in our lives can so drastically change the fabric of the world.
What can I say without saying too much? On the surface, this is a book about time travel, but this book is really so much more than that. This is a book about people, about getting down to the core of someone. You don't have to be a fan of Sci-fi to enjoy this story. This story is about the basic things that we can all relate to, family, love and it has time travel. This story really digs down into the main character, who is all of us, and really makes you think. This is a very deep and complex story. It has everything. I really enjoyed it, and I found myself really hoping that everything would turn out well. It is actually very well written. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first started reading it, but once I got farther into it I understood what was happening. I would recommend this book.
I think my favorite part of this book was how carefully crafted it was to make it seem like it wasn't carefully crafted by the memoir/novel hybrid written by a, well, if I say what, I will spoil something. Voice and tone aside, there are plenty of other things to love about this book. the protagonist is flawed and experiences tremendous growth. The language was simulteanously beautiful and easy to read. This could be read, analyzed and argued about as a brilliant work of literary fiction but easily accessed by most readers. It had the kind of ending I liked - one that was imperfect, happy and thought provoking all at the same time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This book is hard to review, because it just has so much going on and I don't want to give anything away or spoil the outcome. In the simplest of terms, it was fantastic. I just finished reading it in one sitting, because once you start it, it's pretty much impossible to put down. It's quite unlike anything I've ever read. I'm not a big sci-fi reader, but this book was so much more than I expected. It's weird, funny, romantic, thought-provoking, and everything in between. Even if you think the premise may not be for you, I'd suggest giving this one a shot. I highly recommend this book.