OK, full disclosure. I love Ann Patchett, and I say this with the authority of someone who has read a decent number of her books and has even visited her bookstore, where the people who ring up your purchase compliment you on your choices and tell you interesting facts about them that you won't find in the normal book blurb. So yes, I'm a super fan—skeptics take this with a grain of salt, but really, you should read it anyway. This is not a perfect book, but honestly, it is about as close as I've come in a while. The characters are all flawed, and ugly and remarkable, just the way I like them. I've seen reviews that cast the narrator in a bad light, but he bared his soul in the telling, and was willing to admit he did not always do the right thing. Also, the narrator of the audio book is Tom Hanks, so you literally forgive him everything. Definitely recommend the audio-book on this one, especially if you are quarantined and eager to hear a new voice in your house.
I ended up quite liking this but it could have gone either way right up until the last few chapters. This isn't so much a review as a random collection of my thoughts about the book. All over the place, but then so was the book...
It's a time travel book written in 1957 about a man living in 1975 and he travels forward in time to 2001 via cryogenics then back again to 1975 via a time machine...basically he jumps about more than once (and takes his cat Pete with him) and my mind gave up wondering about paradoxes after a while. It's not without it's issues and is dated in many ways and at times the author sounds a bit sexist and racist. It was written in the 50's, I get it, times were different but reading it in 2020 makes the differences stand out a bit. All the way through there's a running dialogue between the main character and his business partner's 11 year old daughter which was weird and I'm still giving him the side-eye about that, now that I know how it ends.
Technological and scientific advancements would probably been a bit of a stab in the dark to try and predict between 1957 1975 and even harder to envisage for 2001 but he had a stab at it.
The newspapers were still made of paper but they were sort of laminated and looked like one big shiny sheet, but he got the 'page curl' thing right where a tap on the sheet corner made the old page just curl away to nothing and revealed the page underneath. No computers though.
Clothes were not much different to what he knew in his own time, just a bit more colourful and mis-matched with the addition of 'stiktite' instead of zips. I still have no idea what stiktite is but some ladies wore nothing but stitktite on the beach and were quite 'inventive' with it, or so I'm told. My mind boggles. Nurses wore all white and still wore those little stiff cap things.
New words made up to sound like gibberish, ie - Going to the movies = going to the grabbies to see the grabbie stars. Taking the 'Lays' to get around town. 'Kink' was a word that almost got him his lights punched out when he said it to a woman.
He made a show of having wired telephones in homes if you could afford them which was probably far fetched in the 50's and when outside of the home people still had to use payphones on street corners. He had to send a postal order to the patents office in 2001 as they didn't accept cheques. He wanted to get a message to an acquaintence while in 2001 and had to send him a card in the post as the quickest way.
The common cold was eliminated and cigarettes had been made harmless and you just waved it about in the air a bit to get them lit and Dr's were smoking them in the hospital...in 2001.
Money was a hard one for him to predict I think. He thought that a handyman would be charging an extortionate $5 an hour to repair his robot and that a hospital room would cost him about $100 a night. Going out to dinner would cost $10
All things considered though he did okay and in the end I got an almost 5 star read to kick off my month and I managed to finish one of my very overdue library books.
Hopefully my Mojo is properly back and I can work through my stack of library books that are still here. Seven books with the first to be started today. I can't find or seem to add the 7th book which is Shelter by Dave Hutchinson but I'm ot sure it matters as I am the worlds slowest reader and even on a good month I'd struggle with more than 4 or 5 books anyway. Looking forward to these!
* Edit, thank you BrokenTune for adding Shelter by Dave Hutchinson!*
In this sharp-witted romantic comedy about the clash of the classes (of all kinds), a poor girl at a rich kids' school ends up working at the school's toniest club-and gets mistaken for a boy!
In this high anticipated title, a kind of cross between HANA-KIMI and BOYS OVER FLOWERS, Haruhi is a scholarship student at an exclusive private school: Ouran High School, where it turns out the bespectacled, short-haired Haruhi is the only student from a lower-middle class family in attendance!
Then, to make matters worse, one day she breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to one of the campus clubs-a mysterious outfit called the "Host Club," consisting of six superrich (and gorgeous) guys. Haruhi can't afford to pay back the cost of the vase, of course, so she's forced to work for the Host Club! And it's there that she discovers just how rich all the boys are and how different the rich are from you and me...And meanwhile, the eccentric but good-hearted rich boys are shocked to find out how life is on the other side...
This volume was cute the school festival is going on and the host club has received some threatening notes and its club against club football club against host club the main guy has has a childhood rivalry with kyoya since they were six . The host club ends up winning and Haruhi finds out the notes were from two people the fiancee of the rival guy and tamaki father who likes playing tricks on him and this guy is definitely tamaki father hes very like him we meet the grandmother who is very unkind to tamaki and we learn some backstory so tamaki happened cause of an affair and his mom is french and sick and the grandmother made a deal with money she is to never speak to tamaki again and tamaki is to go to Japan its very sad . In the part of this volume we meet the vice principal who talks to the host club about not wasting food and they all end up making soup it was cute .