This may not have been the best time for me to try to read this book because I just wasn't taken in by the mystery and the banter. It wasn't all that long but it felt like it took forever to read. I kind of liked the Bishop, but we didn't spend all that much time with him and the mystery itself reminded me a bit of bad Agatha Christie. Italicizing the word "rigor" when you keep using it more than five times in a single paragraph also got annoying really fast.
The convenient solution for the culprit to
dropped the book even further in my estimation and the
that came out of the blue was just arsenic icing on the strychnine cake.
I do get to count it for square 10 of 16 Festive Tasks, Pancha Ganapati: read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow (four out of five isn't bad).
I love time-travel stories. There are those that really open up a world of twist and turns or, as they say, 'butterfly effect' where one person make one mistake, could change a whole timeline. There are many time-travel stories abound but how many truly know how to write a good one? Well, All Our Wrong Todays is a book I do not know how to give a rating. There are some good points and some bad points and one, probably very flawed consistency of the writing itself. This is Elan Mastai's first book and even though I understand its purpose, the execution isn't up to that standard.
It opens with a narration. Written in such a way like a memoir where chapters are about 2 to 5 pages long. It opens in the year 2016 where life is good. Yes, the future of 2016 isn't much like ours. Hovering cars, functional robots that is dedicated to you, no printed papers and synthesizer food is unlimited. Tom Barren is a son of a scientist named Victor Barren, brilliant in so many ways but not so as a father figure in the family. Tom's mother died a few years back and on the most important day his father wanted to reveal the world his greatest creation - a time machine based on Lionel Goettreider's creation of the Goettreider Engine in 1965. Tom was not a scientist, he's just someone that fails in his life in what he do and wreck things up. Enter Penelope Weschler, a chrononaut in preparation to be the first woman to enter time travel, Tom soon fall in loves with her. And then... some thing horrible happens. Because of that 'some thing' horrible, Tom uses the machine to go back in time only... to create more problems. Hence, created a different time line... one that is our modern day 2016.
Yup, this is how it started. At the beginning of a read, it was good. The narration was good, the pacing was good but some where on the 2nd act of the book, it felt slightly off course. And as I go further, I realize how bad this turn out to be to a point it makes me wonder whether this is going any where. I realize the writing is sporadic. To some point, that this was not the author's voice. Its like he is writing for the sake of trying different styles. Yes, there are moment that are funny and there are moments I just felt lost. What is he trying to prove and the philosophy of time travel is one to ponder. At the beginning, he did mention a few references of famous time travel stories but soon, he is creating an analogy of uncertainty that really push off the reading. Towards the end, it was a book that I did not felt satisfied at all. The ending was just... too convenient. And of course, there is so much confusion in writing that it does leaves me unhappy of why such paradox in outline of the plot.
All Our Wrong Todays is a difficult book to rate. To me, it was good and bad. It was at its interesting moments and then it was at its worst. Overall, it leaves me confuse because I have no idea what was the author's intention. I can't say its a bad book as it has its good points but this is one science fiction time travel book that is no where up there or below. My main problem is there is too much narratives in the book even though its short. If taken away those narratives this book would have been a better read. I do understand the function of writing history of the main and supporting characters main motivation but it does kill it off, especially the theories and its philosophy of time travel. Overall, I can say I can give a hard 3.5 out of 5 star for this but to recommend this book, I doubt so.
I wonder if a variation on the Unreliable Narrator is permissible here? Jane Austen's Emma, while narrated solely by the author herself, is told exclusively from the title character's point of view (chime in and correct me if there are scenes in which she doesn't take part, however minor) so that Austen becomes Emma's interpreter, and our interlocutor. It's a very deliberate choice, because Austen then goes on deftly but in plain sight to give you every reason to question Emma's headlong conclusions, while knowing full well that you'll simply go right along with Emma anyway. Surprisingly, none of this feels tricksy or opportunistic, though of course it might had Austen not had this particular objective unwaveringly in her sights: The Unreliable Reader. If we look at the story from within Emma's world, she's a classic unreliable narrator, primarily to poor Harriet Smith. Emma's wishful and willful narratives consistently mislead Harriet, who depends entirely on Emma's versions of things. To make matters more complex, Emma really should have known better, as she admits (to her credit) when her eyes are opened. Nor is Emma the only unreliable narrator. She is misled in her turn by Frank Churchill's camouflaging accounts of his relationship to Jane Fairfax. Again, the reliability angle is enriched when Frank thinks at one point that Emma does perceive his attachment to Jane.
If you're into Mundane Fiction, read on.