Probably the best time travel book I’ve ever read
5 out of 5 stars
Sometimes an intro to the description of a book is so well written that I can’t even try and re-write it in my own words. “You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed…because it wasn’t necessary.”
All Our Wrong Todays follow Tom who is basically just there. He’s not really good at anything and he always seems to fail at any task that he tries. Tom’s father, though, is a genius who is attempting to create a time machine. The rest is history… or the present. Or is it another reality?
This book is so much more than a book about time travel. Sure, the main story is about time travel, but it’s really numerous narratives all rolled up into one. Tom is one of those characters that will stick with me forever. The way that Tom was written (and writes, since he claims this is his memoir).
All Our Wrong Todays might be one of the most quotable books I’ve ever read. Mastai was able to sprinkle so much in about us and the difference that one little invention could make. I will definitely be revisiting this book to pull out quotes for future reference.
Like I said above, this book was a few different stories. The first part was Tom and his life in the reality that he knows. A reality that is owed to an engine that continues to produce nearly unlimited clean energy. The world that we’ve imagined 50 years ago what today would look like is the reality where he is from.
Another part of the story is after an accident (I will try not to ruin it). But it takes place in a different “reality” for Tom. This part of the book was fascinating to me because it had a lot of internal thought mixed in with a lot of psychological confusion.
The final parts of the book were easily some of the most confusing scenes I’ve ever listened to or read. This is due to the numerous timelines and numerous people being involved. Regardless, the ending seemed to end the way that I expected it to. This isn’t a bad thing. The entire second half of the book is Tom trying to figure out what he’s going to do, so I thought a lot about it.
Overall, All Our Wrong Todays will most likely make my best of 2017 list easily. This was a crazy interesting book that I couldn’t put down. Mastai is a master storyteller.
Elan Mastai as a narrator was really awesome. First and foremost, he has an easy to listen to voice. Sometimes when the author narrates their own work I worry. But All Our Wrong Todays has nothing to worry about. Mastai on top of being an excellent storyteller in his writing was also a great storyteller as a narrator. He was able to give life to Tom that I don’t know if another narrator could have done.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Narrator: Elan Mastai
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
Published by Penguin Audio on February 7, 2017
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn’t necessary.
Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.
All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.