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All Our Wrong Todays

by Elan Mastai

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9768418,079 (3.65)33
"There's no such thing as the life you're "supposed" to have... 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"--… (more)
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English (83)  German (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
When I started this book, I thought it was going to end completely differently than it did. The main character seemed a bit of a let down at first, but he grew to be an admirable fellow. I learned a lesson in time travel and humanity. An excellent read if you enjoy a great story. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  McBeezie | Jul 27, 2022 |
It was an interesting idea....but time travel always causes my head to spin a bit. Told from Tom's perspective throughout, who is from a utopian 2016, very different from our own, he travels back in time and things go wrong from there for him. There were some good parts, some funny parts, some novel ideas. "There is no such thing as the life you're supposed to have," is the take home point. Things change, things happen, and what you think you would fix in your current life, that decision would alter who you are and will become. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
Discovering the True Utopia

Elan Mastai has conjured up something exciting and fun, a mashup of alternative history, time travel, and dystopian genres, with a healthy dose of romance mixed in. Though he does run off the rails—or maybe falls out of the time slip—a couple of times, readers will find the story, told in first person in 137 micro chapters, generally races along, with small cliffhangers interspersed to goose you along. If you’re looking for something different, you’ll find it in All Our Wrong Todays.

Tom Barren lives in the world of 2016, but it is not our 2016. It’s the 2016 we dream of, that our sci-fi writers for decades have imagined, a sleek world without want, with every need catered to, with an ecologically healthy planet, and with cities of swirling curves and technology dreamed of and captured on film from the days of the opening scenes of Metropolis. However, Tom is something of a failure, a botcher of most things, a young man of thirty-two with a difficult relationship with his brilliant physicist father, who lost his mother years before in a tragic accident (they still occur in the near perfect future, because, as Tom points out several times, every invention comes with an accident built in).

The Goettreider Engine, first turned on by Lionel Goettreider on July 11, 1965, has made Tom’s utopian world possible. As you might expect, the world honors and worships the memory of Goettreider. Tom’s father, Victor, wants to do more; he wants to make visiting the very moment that changed the world forever the introduction of his new invention, a time machine, for maximum impact, visiting on the fiftieth anniversary date. Since Tom can’t do much of anything on his own, Victor puts him on the backup team of chrononauts shadowing a picture of perfection named Penny Weschler. Oh well, in every plan, no matter how brilliant and meticulously conceived, potential disaster lurks. So it is here, when Tom makes two mistakes and propels himself to the fateful day, and back again to the world we know as 2016. In this world, he finds the meaning of his life, his true self, and something he never had, true and abiding love.

Elan presents the story as Tom’s own account of how we ended up with the world we have, but different, too, because after saving the world, and as he likes to say, reality, Tom and his family gives us something we hope for but have no certainty of gaining: a bright future approaching the utopia he once lived in. ( )
1 vote write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
I have to be upfront here - I don't read science fiction at all because I don't understand it much. All the scientific terms go way over my head and I don't feel the same emotional connect that I probably would with a dystopian fantasy or historical fiction. The only SF book that I remember reading before this is Dark Matter which was quite good because I let all the technical aspects go and treated it like a romantic thriller.

Coming to this book, the premise sounded interesting and I had a feeling it would not be too technical. It started off really well and I thought I would love it. Tom lives in a different 2016 which he calls a techno-utopian paradise. Everything that mankind dreamed would be technologically possible has happened - flying cars, teleportation, jet packs, space vacations, moon bases, hover cars and so much more. His father is a scientific genius in the field of time travel who is disappointed with his ordinary son. Tom falls for another genius perfect woman and when tragedy occurs, impulsively goes back in time to the moment when the world was set on its high technological advancement trajectory. And unexpectedly, lands up in our 2016; with a more loving father, a living mother, a sister he never knew he could have and the love of his life. He is also a sort of genius here but with a different name. And the remaining book deals with his struggles in this world, his guilt of destroying his old reality and his desire to stay here with this loving family.

Only when Tom/John decides to find the genius behind his world's technological advances that the book gets too much for me. It goes into various details about the technicalities of time travel which I did not understand. And everything that happens later is quite confusing and I am not sure how we arrived at the ending. On the whole, the book turned into something that I didn't expect. I did not enjoy it as much I wanted to but it has enough good plot and writing to impress anyone who is more interested or aware of the genre. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
sci-fi/time travel/alternate reality. I got to chapter 48 but decided I didn't really care to continue--I'd prefer a more plot-driven narrative. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
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For my wife
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So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.
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"There's no such thing as the life you're "supposed" to have... 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"--

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THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS THE LIFE YOU’RE “SUPPOSED” TO HAVE

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.
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