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Everything Matters! (2009)

by Ron Currie, Jr.

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5863628,496 (3.89)20
You alone know that the world will end thirty-six years after your birth. Do you succumb to nihilistic apathy? Use your singular knowledge to save mankind? To what end do you live your life?
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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
77 points/100 (4 stars/5).

Do you know what you would do if you were born with the knowledge the Earth was going to end at a specific time? Are you certain it would be right? Those questions are exactly what our protagonist, Junior Thibodeaux, has to figure out.

This was an interesting book for me. Completely unlike what I typically read. I was very, very confused at the start of the book because of the way this book reads. That feeling never really left once I figured out what was going on. Instead it turned into a "why is it being written this way?" sort of confusion. The plot itself was almost what I have been looking for. This was not a bad book whatsoever, just odd.

I should say, I read this book simply because I was told it had some of the elements I have been chasing since I read Theirs Not To Reason Why by Jean Johnson. I am happy to say that yes, it did hit certain elements (but not all) that I have been chasing ever since I read that series for the first time. If you have read this book and liked it, you should check out Theirs Not to Reason Why. If you have read the series and liked it, check out this book.

The way this is written is bizarre. It combines a unholy combination of second person, first person, and third person perspectives. The second person combines talking at you, to you, and about you depending on the paragraph. The first person isn't limited to Junior from what I remember. The third person is the only normal thing about this entire aspect.

I've been oscillating about the plot since I started reading it. On the one hand, I enjoyed it. On the other, I wanted more from it. Something I did not get. That might be because I expected more Theirs Not, but I felt I abandoned that need by the beginning of the book. It might be the sense of utter helplessness you have the entire book that I wasn't too keen on.

This was a really helpless feeling sort of book. Most books I read are pretty optimistic. This pessimism spoke to my soul because I am not an optimistic sort of person. It is really, really weird to read that in a book. I really don't think I like it, because who needs more pessimism in their life than what they already get in their own head? There are bursts of optimism in this book, but it is constantly overshadowed by the feeling of hopelessness.

The characters are all interesting, but heavily flawed. They all have their own special little problems. However, they are all connected together in a weave of family and love. Even if that love, itself, is kind of flawed. I love reading about flawed characters though, so that meant Junior was alright with me. Which is why I felt a bit put off by the end of this book. Everything changes in the last chapter of this book. I'm still not certain I care for it. No, I'm sure. I didn't care for the end of this book. I wanted more from this whole book than I got, but the ending especially was weak, in my opinion.

This is a book I would give someone looking to find meaning in what they read, not just use reading as an entertainment. I read for entertainment. Not my cup of tea, but it was an interesting read nonetheless. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
Clever idea, clever structure, witty. I think this book has a 'good but needs more work' middle sandwiched between a brilliant beginning and ending. It was at least four stars for me, up until about half way through, when it felt like Junior and Amy lost their individuality and started to sound more like a mouthpiece of the author. Events began to seem implausible to me - even in the context of a novel where the implausible is part of ordinary life. It seemed strange to me that Junior (brilliant though he is) suddenly becomes a scientific genius and hooked into the government to boot. This could be because the 'we' who have been speaking to him since birth give him the knowledge, but this connection was never made - at least that I could see. The final section hit me in the head (and heart) like a hammer.

( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I loved this book! A funny-and-sad take on the end of the world.

(I wrote about Everything Matters! on my blog here.) ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
i didn't know how to feel about it at first- strange god-like narration that i couldn't decide if i liked, used as one of the many narrators. but i like the existential qualities of the book and alternate reality presented towards the end. ( )
  nheredia05 | Jun 12, 2018 |
An odd, surprisingly sweet book that I was really glad that I read. I picked it off the TOB's long list and am sorry it didn't make the short list. I'm really liking this spate of non-cynical books. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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.
 
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For my family
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First, enjoy this time! Never again will you bear so little responsibility for your own survival.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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