Everything Matters!: A Novel

Everything Matters!: A Novel

3.6 54
by Ron Currie Jr.
     
 

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"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one

Overview

"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones tell an all-American family saga of fathers and sons, blinding romance, lost love, and reconciliation-culminating in one final triumph that reconfigures the universe. A tour de force of storytelling, Everything Matters! is a genre-bending potpourri of alternative history, sci-fi, and the great American tale in the tradition of John Irving and Margaret Atwood.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" Like Kurt Vonnegut, Currie understands that . . . humor is a more powerful salt than screed."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Currie is a startlingly talented writer whose book will pay no heed to ordinary narrative conventions.... He survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice of his own.... Throughout the story there is the sheer delight of Mr. Currie's fresh, joltingly funny imagery.... Above all "Everything Matters!" radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next."
—Janet Maslin, New York Times

Ron Currie, Jr. has published two books of fiction: The first, God Is Dead, began with the premise that God, having visited earth as an African woman, had been eaten by a pack of wild dogs, leaving the rest of humanity to figure out life without a reigning deity. The second, Everything Matters!, presumes that a young man born, like Currie, in the '70s, is the "fourth smartest person in the history of the world" (Jesus, Muhammad, and Buddha may -- or may not -- fit in there somewhere) and the sole human who knows that the earth will be destroyed by a comet on June 15, 2010, thus leaving him with the awesome responsibility of saving -- or not saving -- the inhabitants his home planet by his 36th birthday. Currie has not yet turned 33 (the "Christ year," according to some of those who, like the author, were raised Catholic.) You might call him an ambitious novelist. That might be an understatement.

Fittingly enough for a novel that will attempt to explain human life, we start off the first page in the womb. "Enjoy this time!" exhort the unnamed omniscient narrators who speak to us and our hero in the first person plural (much to the discomfort of his high school girlfriend, who will briefly suspect that her lover is not a messiah but rather a paranoid schizophrenic), and who seem to be in the position to offer a guidance and much later a few, rare bargaining chips to ensure that the world ends in a satisfactory manner. "You will need to flex your arms and legs, loll your head to strengthen the neck, crawl, stagger to your feet, then walk," they tell him. "Soon after, you must learn to run, share, swing a bat and hold a pencil, love, weep, read, tie your shoelaces, bathe and die."

It is, perhaps, ironic that the person entrusted with the fate of the earth, once he emerges from the womb into a working-class household in rural Maine, is known by the patriarchal diminutive, Junior, though this certainly fits nicely with the father-son theme in certain world religions (Currie, it might be pointed out, is also a Junior, a Ron to his character's John; his own father died a year before publication). And what a patriarch! Junior's father embodies an archetypal American masculinity: a man so silent he is "nearly mute" (the voices advise: "Know this and accept it, so that you don't waste energy, in later years, trying in vain to elicit words like 'love' and 'proud' from him") with a ferocious devotion to family and duty that comes out of what he sacrifices (booze, a baseball career thwarted by service in Vietnam) and what he defends (his aforementioned country and his wife and sons). This is the kind of guy who, when forced to borrow five dollars from a bus driver to buy his son a sandwich, actually mails the five dollars back with interest. His drive to be useful is so strong that he even asks for extra shifts at the bakery and warehouse after he wins the lottery (the latter luck attributed to another bizarre wrinkle in his son's story).

Like many gifted children, Junior feels set apart from his peers, though in his case, he knows his "gift," such as it is, makes him literally a spectacularly singular person. At school, "the other kids think he is a Jedi knight or something" while the teachers resent him, rightly recognizing that he is "eight times as smart, exponentially, than the smartest among them." When his moodiness provokes the attention of the administration, he thinks to himself: "You have no idea, sirs. I am not your routinely disturbed adolescent, pissed off about some generic bullying or lack of attention from my daddy. I see visions that make Hiroshima look like a cherry bomb. Visions you would find terrifying, even if you did not know, as I do, that they were true." The one person who does offer a kind of solace is his equally geeky girlfriend, Amy, who, in archetypal fashion, will be the only woman he loves or even considers loving throughout his life, though he often bums her out -- what to do when one's boyfriend is the kind of guy who "sits around brooding about road kill"?

Leaving him is one option, and Amy chooses a normal life at Stanford University while the traumatized Junior decides to drink away his early young adulthood at the local bars in their hometown. But his is no ordinary misery; soon enough, mysterious men show up to remind him of his mission, should he choose to accept it, and he goes underground.

Once we leave Maine, the novel careens into action, with stop-offs at government bunkers, clandestine meetings at the Econo-Lodge, and a university lab where Junior just might find a cure for cancer. Reading some scenes -- including a hilarious mishap involving tampering with an airline smoke detector that accelerates into an encounter with a duplicitous government agent, a grisly torture scene, and a just-in-the-knick of time rescue by our romantic hero -- one feels as if one is reading a treatment for some future summer blockbuster.

This is not a sly way to say that it is a poorly written novel. It is, in fact, a masterfully executed work of fiction, with a kind of thrumming prose that lifts off on every page. But it also has a fast-paced, allusive ease that marks a writer synthesizing elements from every corner -- world religion, pop culture, George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry, '80s big-budget action movies, romantic comedies. One might say it is not merely literature. Call it extra-literary.

When we reach the point that the end of the story seems certain, the narrative folds back on itself and offers us other possible versions (one can't help but wonder if this neat trick found its inspiration in the Choose Your Own Adventure Books familiar to those who were children in the '80s). Unlike, say, those condemned to a hundred years of solitude in the work of Gabriel García Márquez, will Currie's characters have a second opportunity on earth?

I won't spoil it, save to say that the final page has the quality of beautiful inevitability. In telling the story of a boy who tries to save the world, Currie comes back to the primal domestic drama that concerns each one of us: How do we live with the certainty that we will lose, in one way or another, those who matter to us most -- who may as well be the world? --Amy Benfer

Amy Benfer has worked as an editor and staff writer at Salon, Legal Affairs, and Paper magazine. Her reviews and features on books have appeared in Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, The Believer, Kirkus, and The New York Times Book Review.
Janet Maslin
Mr. Currie is a startlingly talented writer…His thoughts on cosmic doom somehow take the form of a joyride. He survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice of his own…Everything Matters! radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In Curie's curious second novel (after NYPL Young Lion Award-winning God Is Dead), a young man nearly succeeds in his attempt to inject meaning into a doomed world. A mysterious voice has accompanied Junior Thibodeax all his life, having chosen the moment after Junior's birth to tell him that a meteor will destroy Earth in 36 years. The voice also tells him secrets about his father, his girlfriend and his brother, as well as providing a cure for cancer and sage advice against bombing a federal building. From modest beginnings, Junior descends into violent insanity before finding himself lifted to a position of supreme importance. But even with his foreknowledge, the prophet cannot win every battle, and the ones he loses are more than sufficient to break his heart. Curie shows an appreciation for whimsical storytelling, leaning on unlikely chains of events and multiple perspectives to tell what could otherwise be a very dark tale, and though the omnisciently narrated portions come off as heavy-handed, the big decision he makes toward the end recasts the story in a strangely hopeful light and lends a pile of emotional currency to the book's title. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Currie's first book, God Is Dead, was a collection of linked short stories in which God returns to Earth as a poor Sudanese woman and is devoured by wild dogs. Everything Matters! is a novel, but thematically and stylistically it is quite similar to the earlier work. Junior Thibodeau of Waterville, ME—the fourth-smartest person in human history—is born with the certain knowledge that an asteroid will destroy Earth in 36 years. In that case, what is the point of living? In this radical reimagining of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Junior tells his own story, while in alternating chapters his wildly dysfunctional family and friends provide commentary. VERDICT The basic premise is preposterous, and the subsequent events are incredible, but it is all presented in a matter-of-fact tone. This book is difficult to categorize. It's a comedy, but it's not particularly funny. It's a novel of ideas, but it mocks intellectualism. It's a fantasy, but it includes a cameo appearance by Sen. Olympia Snowe. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but fans of God Is Dead will love it. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/15/09.]—Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles


—Edward B. St. John
Kirkus Reviews
The apocalypse, provocatively envisioned with wild invention and irreverent wit. The declarative title and confrontational theology link Currie's second novel quite logically with its predecessor (God Is Dead, 2007). John Thibodeau Jr., aka "Junior," grows up oppressed by the message received from a mysterious otherworldly voice during his infancy that in 36 years, on June 15, 2010, a comet will destroy all life on earth. As Junior warily prepares to undertake an undisclosed "task," the story's viewpoint shifts among our protagonist (who addresses himself in a frequently clumsy second-person voice); his stoical, sentient dad; frail alcoholic mother; older brother Rodney, who's both a juvenile delinquent and a baseball phenom; and Junior's schoolmate Amy, who spends years worrying whether he'll ever become the man she can love. The peregrinations and problems of these necessarily connected characters are smartly juxtaposed with evidence in the world around them (e.g., the Challenger explosion) that suggests Junior isn't delusional. In some passages, Currie seems to be straining to fill pages: a terrorist plot against a Miami federal building engineered by a drug-dealing triple amputee; a sequence detailing Amy's foolhardy behavior aboard an airplane and her subsequent victimization by paranoid security personnel. But everything keeps circling back to Junior's unique ordeal and mission, and Currie pulls off a beautiful twist that reconfigures the narrative's momentum (arranged in a precise countdown), presenting an ironic and quite moving alternative version of the looming near future. In this brave old world, Rodney's Chicago Cubs make it to the World Series-and you'll never guess who hasbeen elected president of the United States. This vivid novel races and sputters jerkily, but it's an exhilarating ride nevertheless.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143117513
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/27/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
487,616
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

In Utero; Infancy

97 First, enjoy this time! Never again will you bear so little responsibilityfor your own survival. Soon you will have to take in food and disposeof your own waste, learn the difference between night and day and acquirethe skill of sleeping. You will need to strengthen the muscles necessaryto sustain high–volume keening for long intervals. You will haveto master the involuntary coos and facial twitches which are the foundationof infantile cuteness, to ensure that those charged with caringfor you continue to provide food and clean linen. You will need to flexyour arms and legs, loll your head to strengthen the neck, crawl, staggerto your feet, then walk. Soon after you must learn to run, share,swing a bat and hold a pencil, love, weep, read, tie your shoelaces, bathe,and die. There is much to learn and do, and little time; suffice it to saythat you should be aware of the trials ahead so that you may appreciatethe effortless liquid dream of gestation while it occurs, rather thanonly in hindsight. For now, all you need to do is grow.

There is one significant exception to this. You may have noticed thatyou share the womb with other objects. The most obvious and importantof these is the fleshy tether attached to your abdomen, known asthe umbilical cord. It is, quite literally, your lifeline, providing blood,nutrients, and vital antibodies, among other things. Already it haswrapped twice around your neck, and while this may not seem to you,who does not yet breathe, to be particularly dangerous or untoward, itcan imperil your entry into the world. We will not lie—it could killyou. Now, be calm. You should remain as still as possible throughoutthe rest of your gestation. While this will do nothing about the entanglementsalready constricting your neck, it will go a long way towardpreventing further looping or other complications—vasa previa, knots,cysts, hematoma. Any of these problems, by itself, is not particularlydangerous, but two or more occurring together can be big trouble, soyou should maintain perpetual vigilance against the many temptationsto move. Of course, there are some who would argue that it is unfairto ask a fetus to exercise impulse control. You, however, would do wellto avoid those who complain about life's unfairness, and instead get ahead start on building self–restraint.

Light and noise present the toughest challenge to your resolve toremain still. They come to you through your mother's abdomen, andyou feel an impetus to move toward them, to stir the viscous bath ofamniotic fluid with tiny fingers and toes in an effort to absorb thewarmth of sunlight, or hear Carly Simon trill. The urge to move isnatural and understandable. As will be the case throughout your life,no matter how long or brief, the choice is, in the end, yours. Simplybear in mind that most every choice will have consequences, and in thisinstance those consequences would likely be quite grave.

96 Your mother has one other child, your brother, who was a tornado inutero, so your lack of movement causes her alarm. We should mentionthat she is prone to unreasonable anxiety and nervous tension, minordisorders that have several underlying causes, not the least of which isthe verbal and physical abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of herfather. This is why she pokes at you and spends hours with a transistorradio pressed against her belly, trying to bait you into moving. Despitethe fact that her abdomen continues to grow, she wakes one night convincedyou'll be born an ashen husk, your fingers hooked forever intolifeless little claws. With this image lodged in her mind's eye she weeps,her hands laced together in a protective hugging posture under theswell of her belly. Now, a boy's aversion to upsetting his mother isamong the more primal and tenacious instincts, and so you suffer analmost irresistibly powerful urge to kick and twirl, to give unmistakableevidence of your life, to turn your mother's sobs to relieved andslightly embarrassed little hiccups of laughter. Do not yield to this instinct,or you will put your life at risk. Protecting yourself now meansyou'll have many years ahead with which to repay her grief. Besides,you can rest assured that this is not the last time you will make yourmother cry.

Eventually your father's hands, along with two unscheduled visitsto the obstetrician for ultrasound and fetal monitor, soothe your mother's fears to a level she finds tolerable, and she wraps the transistor inits power cord and returns it to the closet, and stops staring for longsilent hours at the television.

95 Although the biological goal of sex was achieved with conception, yourfather still has a hefty sexual appetite (as does your mother, thoughout of concern for you she will not admit it). To you his advances areterrifying. You hear him seeking entry with his tongue and other partsof his body, and your instinct is to recoil, which is perfectly normal—the perception of one's father as an omnipotent predator of great physicalstrength serves a vital function for most boys, and usually persistswell into adulthood, though paradoxically it does not seem to precludethe desperate striving after his love and approval. You try to hold fast,but a stronger, more immediate impulse toward self–preservation takeshold, and you kick against the uterine wall, pushing away from thesniffing and growling at the entrance to your home, and as you driftslowly up the umbilical cord draws tighter around your throat, and aknot forms. Your mother, feeling you stir for the first time in twomonths, smiles and invites your father in, prodding him with the heelsof her feet. They have sex, a rough pulsing in your warm world likethe addition of a third heartbeat, and in that moment when you hearyour mother moan you gain the knowledge of betrayal, what it meansbut also how it feels, and though it of course does not feel good youshouldn't be discouraged; we can tell you that no matter how long youlive, no matter how mature or philosophical you may grow to be, almostall sudden enlightenment will feel precisely this way, like a bootin the stomach, like acid on your tongue, and the sooner you accept thisthe better off you'll be. In fact, you should be glad—at your age, to haveunderstood and assimilated an abstract yet acutely painful concept suchas betrayal is, in a word, prodigious. It indicates you have a better thanaverage chance to succeed at the task for which you have been chosen.

94 Now the danger to you is quite grave. With the development of a knot,the umbilical cord will not tolerate any more tension. You must stayput. Having felt you move, from here on your mother will find everyexcuse to have sex, and you will have to suffer in absolute stillness.Your life depends on it.

93 Still, when she isn't locked in sexual contortions your mother is thesafest, most comfortable home you can imagine. And since the likelihoodthat she will be the only home you'll ever know has increasedexponentially, you should make an effort, when not cowering fromyour father's incursions, to enjoy every moment here.

92 One small, positive development in all this burgeoning trouble is youare nearing the end of gestation, and due to a precisely timed infusionof hormones you want to move around less as you approach your birth.Slowly you roll one last time, until you are fully inverted and in positionto emerge from the womb. As a bonus, your father begins to findyour mother less and less sexually appealing. It's not your mother'ssize that repulses him, but rather her distended navel, which juts everlonger from her belly like a severed finger regenerating itself. He triesnot to look at it but inevitably can't help himself, and when the waveof disgust comes over him he feels ashamed and emasculated all at once,though of course he would not admit this even if he could. Thusyou are left in peace to gather your strength, every ounce of which youwill need, especially since, as we'd feared, the obstetrician did not detectthe knot in your umbilical cord. Had the knot been noticed, he almostcertainly would have opted for a cesarean delivery, therebyreducing the danger to both you and your mother. As it stands, with avaginal delivery planned, things are likely to be hard, protracted, andquite dangerous.

91 Soon the day comes. Your mother knows in the morning; she has sleptfitfully, and as she rises and waddles to the bathroom she feels themilder contractions begin like seismic tremors in the small of her back.You know, too. You sense the swish and shift and though you can't haveany idea yet what it means, you're still not sure that you like it. Forone thing, your mother begins, by and by, to scream, and you're certainyou don't like that, trapped as you are inside the amphitheater ofher belly. For another, the shift portion of the swish and shift causesyour umbilical cord to draw even tighter, spurring your first experiencewith physical pain. Your mother's screams rise an octave, and the warmfluid in which you have spent your entire life flushes away, replacedby slick undulating walls equal to the fluid in warmth but hard, insistent,pressing from all sides, pushing you down, down, inexorably downand out of your home forever, and now you are certain you don't likethis at all because no one likes change unless it is from something badto something good, and besides the umbilical knot and loops have cutthe flow of blood both from your placenta and to your brain, bad troubleindeed. Your heart slows, and the pinprick of consciousness growshazy, fading from red to pink to gray. Something's wrong, your motherwails to the doctor and nurses. They ignore her; they are the experts,after all, they have done this a thousand times, and your mother is inpain and exhausted and probably not thinking right and should leaveit to them. Your father tries to quiet her with a kiss, his lips and anyreal comfort they might offer trapped behind the minutely porous shellof a surgical mask. The delivery team goes on ignoring your mother'spleas until the image of you, stillborn, stiff and blue and twisted, returnsto her, and she screams at them loud and long enough to be heardtwo floors down, in Oncology. At the same moment the fetal heartmonitor sounds a frantic alarm, and its display of your pulse—dangerouslylow and still dropping—begins to flash. There is a great and suddenhustle. Hypodermic shots are administered; trays of gleaming steelinstruments are deployed. By the time they pull you, purplish and limp,through the new orifice in your mother's abdomen, you are unconscious.

Your expression—eyes closed but not clenched, face perfectlyrelaxed, tiny mouth agape—is one of perfect neutrality. This is the expressionyou should wear for all your life, no matter how long or briefit is, so that no one, not even you, will ever know whether you are inecstasy or anguish.

The doctor and nurses place you on a tiny table nearby and set towork, pressing with fingertips on your chest, suctioning your nose andmouth, and eventually they succeed in reviving you. You're moved toa protective plastic box and tethered to life by tubes, wires, adhesivesboth high– and low–tech, hollow needles the diameter of a strand ofyour father's hair. Despite the harsh lights and the stinging prick of theneedles, this new home is not so unlike the old one. You are swaddledin piles of soft blankets, connected and held fast by the tubes and wires.

For a few days your situation is what's called "touch and go." Your parentsreceive a quick overview, complete with pamphlets and sympatheticembraces, of the myriad developmental problems that may cropup but are by no means, it is repeated time and again, a foregone conclusion.For now, let them worry about these things; they are the adults,your shepherds, and as adults it is their responsibility to suffer theknowledge of threats they neither understand nor can do a thing about.You have but one job, comparatively simple: surviving.

90 And it seems, eventually, that you will do just that. Your body temperatureand blood pressure rise, your heart rate stabilizes, and yourlungs begin to inflate on their own. Soon, to your dismay, the tubesand wires are removed, one by one, and you are taken from the incubator,forced once again to relinquish the safety of your cocoon, thoughyou are allowed, as a small consolation, to keep the blankets. Do not beupset. These are all signs that the danger has passed, that your life hasbegun in earnest—you've become a person, fully formed, autonomousand self–sustaining.

89 And with this happy occasion comes the task we spoke of earlier, a lifelongproposition which is likely to seem a burden to you, but which weencourage you to try to think of as a privilege, a great honor. First,though, you need to understand this truth:

Although to you we may seem quite knowledgeable, even omniscient,we in fact know only one thing for certain, which is this: thirty–six years,one hundred sixty–eight days, fourteen hours, and twenty–three secondsfrom now, on June 15, 2010, at 3:44 p.m. EST, a comet that has brokenaway from the Kuiper Belt near Neptune will impact the Earth with theexplosive energy of 283,824,000 Hiroshima bombs.

That's it. We don't know anything else. For example, we have no ideaif you will live long enough to witness this phenomenon. There arethings we can surmise, though, one being that if you are still alive whenthe comet hits, neither you nor anything else on the planet will be afterward.All of which raises the question—your task, burden, privilege,call it what you like—a question which men and women, great andnot–so, of every color, creed, and sexual persuasion have asked sincethey first had the language to do so, and probably before:

Does Anything I Do Matter?

It is our hope that, with knowledge of the epic disaster to come andthe advantage of our continued assistance, you will have greater successat answering this question than those who have come before you.And we wish you much good luck.

What People are saying about this

Jim Shepard
"Everything Matters! is staggeringly ambitious: it renders with both wit and sorrowful insight just how resourceful and patient disaster can be. It serves up the devastating and redeeming news of our helplessness in the face of love. It's both implacable in its design and generous in its willingness to grant its protagonists the second chances the rest of us are denied in life. And in doing all of that, it reminds us that when it comes to certain categories, nothing is irreparable, and nothing unforgivable."--(Jim Shepard, author of Like You'd Understand, Anyway and Love and Hydrogen)
From the Publisher
" Like Kurt Vonnegut, Currie understands that . . . humor is a more powerful salt than screed."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Currie is a startlingly talented writer whose book will pay no heed to ordinary narrative conventions.... He survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice of his own.... Throughout the story there is the sheer delight of Mr. Currie's fresh, joltingly funny imagery.... Above all "Everything Matters!" radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next."
—Janet Maslin, New York Times

David Benioff
"The Apocalypse is old news, but no one since St. John the Divine has written with such power and verve about the End of the World-- and Currie's book is far more full of love and compassion than John could muster. If you're going to write about Doom you'd better be funny and if you're going to write about Global Doom you'd better be damn funny. Currie accomplishes one of the rarest feats in literature-- he makes you dread turning each page at the same time you can't help turning each page. He leads you toward The End with wisdom and honesty, pointing out the beautiful sights along the way but never shielding your eyes from the fires ahead."--(David Benioff, author of City of Thieves and The 25th Hour)

Meet the Author

Ron Currie Jr. is a native of Waterville, Maine, and whose fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Sun, Other Voices and Night Train. His stories have won prizes in The World’s Best Short Story competition and have been shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story award and Swink magazine’s Emerging Writer Award. God is Dead is his first novel.

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Everything Matters! 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A child is born with the knowledge of the day and time of the end of the world. This is the unique premise at the center of this cleverly plotted novel. I did not know what to expect when I began reading it, and now that I have finished it, I am still intrigued. The setting is rural Maine. The author displays a thorough knowledge of New England, and scenes that take place in several other locales ring true as well. The details of daily life and culture spanning 36 years, ending in the very near future are authentic and realistic. The narrative flow focuses on Junior Thibodeau's relationships with his family and loved ones. Particularly how his foreknowledge effects these relationships and his life choices. There are gaps and variations in tone that would be disruptive in most novels. Somehow, they only seemed to draw me further into the story. If you are looking for a real change of literary pace, give it a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beginning of the book, until Junior is almost a teenager is quite boring. I actually stopped reading the book and didn't pick it up again until two months later and once I started I couldn't stop until I finished at 1am when I had to be up at 6am. It's extreme;y well written and worth the slow start. Please read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I burned through this book, and I bought Everything Matters! for several people on my Christmas list. It was a great read, and I look forward to reading more by this author.
CarterBenz More than 1 year ago
Boring at times but overall very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Its a love story, sci fi,suspense novel all in one. So many overlapping story lines of family, love, and survival. Note that i generally hate sci fi too. This is an amazingly clever literary work of art nd a worthwhile read.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Nuff said
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