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Q: A Novel

by Evan J. Mandery

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12225175,530 (2.85)8
Shortly before his wedding, the unnamed hero of this book is visited by a man who claims to be his future self and who tells the hero he must not marry the love of his life, Q. At first the protagonist doubts the stranger, but then becomes convinced of the authenticity of the warming and leaves his financée. More appearances by future selves give other warning until the only constants in the proragonist's life is his love for his New Youk City home and his former fiancée Q.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This is between a two and three star for me. I almost abandoned it around the 100-page mark, but am really glad I stuck with it. I didn't care for the protagonsist's novel chapters within the story, but there were only a couple of them. Q is a tad too perfect (but then again, she is being seen through the eyes of the man who loves her, so it's acceptable). My biggest gripe was that the main character tended to think about random topics or ideas in the middle of the action, and they were often things I just didn't care about. This is what turned me off and almost made me abandon the book. However, the pivotal Thanksgiving scene more than made up for it and resumed my interest. It was written so well, and I loved the fact that Mandery used time travel and the protagonist's malleable life to explore fate and sense of self. Overall, this was a bit more sad and philosophical than expected but good nonetheless. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
DFN a 23%

¿Quiero saber porqué el protagonista viaja al pasado para decirse a si mismo que no debe casarse con Q? Sí.

¿Tengo tantas ganas de saber como para soportar seguir leyendo? No.

Terrible escritura. Algunos dicen que es una comedia, y no estoy segura, porque aunque los diálogos son ingeniosos -debo admitir que la escena del mini golf comunista fue muy ocurrente- ninguno me causo ni siquiera el asomo de una sonrisa.


Los personajes no me importaron. Y el protagonista habla DEMASIADO. Es aburrido. Y eso que yo amo las tramas que involucran viajes en el tiempo.

Tal vez más adelante se ponía mas interesante. No sé, no hay nada lo suficientemente fuerte que me impulsara a seguir leyendo y averiguarlo.

Tal vez la película logré ser más entretenida. Eso espero.
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
Q by Evan Mandery

Premise: Time Travel - Is it possible to make our current/future lives better by changing our past?
MC's older self(ves) go back in time, returning to his present time, in order to give him advice on how to make his life better. The first self who visits him tells him he should not marry the woman he is deeply in love with. He is given a good reason; however, the reader can see right away that it would be really unnecessary to follow that advice. He follows it because for one thing, ignoring the advice wouldn't make a good story, and secondly, the protagonist is a dope. Likable, but a dope nonetheless. He needs a keeper.

I love the premise of this book as well as the lesson I took away from it when I finally reached the end; however, the plot itself was nearly nonexistent. At least, the story surrounding the characters was shrouded by all the extraneous twaddle that encompassed a good 3/4 of the book itself. A major--MAJOR--portion of the book is spent within the protagonist's current magnum opus or whatever he professes it to be. We are, oh, good Lord, forced to read the main character's novels as he is writing them. He describes his genre of writing as the "counterhistorical exploration of the unexplored potentialities of...(fill in the blank)". Basically, what would happen if a famous person from history did something else with his/her life? Became famous, or not, for something else? Sounds reasonable, right? Especially when it doesn't involve vampires or zombies. Ahem.

Unfortunately, the ridiculous material wanders all over the place like a 5 year old picking flowers in the outfield at a T-ball game. The subjects of the MC's novels range from the "full potentialities of a full William Henry Harrison presidency" in full detail...to Sigmund Freud's obsession with the male genitalia of eels, not to mention his own mother. Chapters and chapters and chapters and chapters focus on Freud's imaginary parallel life, his loves, and how it all takes him on a different path than what he is known for. (I'm pretty sure I'm making it sound much more interesting than it actually was when reading about it.)

I'm not sure if I am more annoyed by how cerebral it is written or if I enjoy it for that same reason. I think I actually felt neurons firing, stretching out and attaching themselves to other parts of my brain. Thank goodness the author knows how to incorporate "verisimilitude" into his novel because I almost believed half the baloney he referenced. Shoot, I don't know anything about quantum physics. I know very little about the migration route of whales. Who knows? Maybe Freud was a devotee of Charles Darwin's theories regarding evolution? Perhaps he was obsessed with humpback whales and the testes of eels. The author's skill made it so *yawn* *sigh* convincing that I failed to fact check and see if there was any grain of truth to it. Needless to say, I'm thankful I read this using a kindle app, because I needed my dictionary throughout. Unless you are a graduate of Hah-vahd or your name is John Green, you will too. Indubitably, that is an obvious axiomatic conclusion based on the evidence provided by the subject material.

Was Q's author getting paid by the word? I was actually starting to wonder if I was being Punk'd! à la Ashton Kutcher. Right when I was getting ready to write a letter to Mr. Mandery in protest and to demand a refund of my inevitable late-return library fee, the character's older self finally comes back and tells him, "Your novels are crap. No one is interested in them. No one will ever be interested in them." Huh. The author is so brilliantly talented, I guess, that he even feigned to bore himself. Masterful touch. Touché, Mr. Mandery. Your point.

All my snide comments aside, I did enjoy this book (minus the twaddle mentioned above). There were a few gems in there, such as the detailed and humorous description of a communist-themed putt-putt course funded by the Neo-Marxist Society of Lower Manhattan.

There were also some ideas thrown out there that struck me with their insightfulness:

Everyone believes he will act bravely when life presents him with his greatest test, but in the end there are few heroes.

This is how it is with bullies. They force themselves upon the world and shape it to suit their needs.

Sometimes circumstances will require sophistication. At other times simplicity may be needed. Creatures will adapt to whatever situation confronts them. This is Darwin's true meaning.

"Ultimately, meaning is up to the reader."

Touring a matzo factory: There are no chocolate rivers or Oompa Loompas, just Jews.

"I know this all seems foreign to you," he says. "You're thirty-one. You're young. You can't even imagine what it's like to be old. But time passes in an instant." He snaps his fingers. "In the blink of an eye you will be me. And then you will look back upon your life with the full measure of regret it deserves."

In summary, class, I think Evan Mandery is pretty darn brilliant. I would have rated this higher if it would have been edited down. I think the excessive "crap" part of the novel was written on purpose and left in there on purpose. Unfortunately, I was so distracted and annoyed by it, I couldn't wait to reach the end of the book. The dry humor of it, or its subtlety or whatever, was mostly lost on me because the "joke" went on far too long (kind of like my review). I will look for more of his books, though, because as a writer, there's obviously something really interesting going on in his noggin. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Feb 20, 2016 |
This is my October book for BOTM. This is the story of time travel. The protagonist is met by his future self and is told not to marry the love of his life. It takes some convincing, but after much sou searching he listens to his future self. But of course the future is never what we expect it to be. So the man is constantly visited by different versions of his future self giving him advice on what he should do to be happy.
I didn't really like this book. It was an ok read, by that I mean it was readable, I didn't dread my weeks reading so it wasn't all bad. I feel like the writer, i.e. the man, was pretentious and Q was perfectly bohemian. I just didn't connect to the characters. I felt the man was jerked around by his future selves quite a bit, they kept changing what would make him happy.
There were these were these awful parts were Mandery inserted whole chapters of the Man's writing and it was just tedious, it really annoyed me. I wanted it to stick to the story. It felt lazy and as storyline filler to me.
So in the end the old man, goes back to tell his original self not to leave Q. There he meets old Q and they go off into the sunset. The ending really pissed me off. It was a pointless story, they end up together in the end and wasted all their youth and missed so much time with each other. In my mind after the book ends, like within a week or so one or both is hit by a bus, because that seems fair for wasting the life they could have had even with the tragedy. The whole reason the man didn't marry Q is their son has a horrible genetic disease and it destroys both the man and Q. I'm sorry, but the solution is called birth control, and if Q doesn't want to agree to that a vasectomy could easily be obtained and the whole problem avoided, then they could adopt! I was just a annoyed at the stupidity of the main character.
For additional reviews please see my blog at www.adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com
  Serinde24 | Nov 12, 2015 |
An unnamed narrator tells the story of Q, Quentina Elizabeth Deveril, the love of his life. After meeting, dating, and planning to marry, an older version of the narrator arrives via time travel to tell him that he can't marry Q. He takes his elder self's advice and tries to move on with his life. But then more and more time traveling future selves arrive, constantly interfering with his life.

This may be the most twee novel I've ever read. It pushed the limits of Poe's Law, making me wonder if this is the ultimate New York hipster with affectations novel, or just a parody of New York hipster with affectations. I eventually decided that it's later, and to it's credit parts of this novel are laugh out loud funny. The conclusion is also very satisfying. But to get to that point - whoa boy - it was tough to not just give up reading. ( )
  Othemts | Jul 20, 2015 |
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What is the point of this story? What information pertains? The thought that life could be better, is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. ---Paul Simon, "Train in the Distance"
For V, my Q
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Q, Quentina Elizabeth Deveril, is the love of my life.
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Shortly before his wedding, the unnamed hero of this book is visited by a man who claims to be his future self and who tells the hero he must not marry the love of his life, Q. At first the protagonist doubts the stranger, but then becomes convinced of the authenticity of the warming and leaves his financée. More appearances by future selves give other warning until the only constants in the proragonist's life is his love for his New Youk City home and his former fiancée Q.

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