All Our Wrong Todays PDF/EPUB ↠ All Our PDF or

  • Paperback
  • 391 pages
  • All Our Wrong Todays
  • Elan Mastai
  • English
  • 25 December 2016
  • 9781405927024

10 thoughts on “All Our Wrong Todays

  1. Ash Ash says:

    There are some clever ideas here but the way this book is written is so obnoxious that a three star rating feels exceptionally generous All Our Wrong Todays is the story of Tom Barren who travels back in time to the exact moment the future was born and fucks up the timeline so irretrievably that he winds up in our reality Do you get it? Our very own lives are actually the dystopia? Anyway the world is much worse but he winds up in a duplicate copy of his family that is much better than his original family; falls in love with a duplicate copy of his girlfriend who is much better than his original girlfriend; and narrowly avoids duplicating his original time travel accident which would have created an even worse reality than this oneThe story is I don't know It's fine It's a bunch of time travel nonsense which I'm always really excited about and then never actually like The way the story is told is very very aggravating This book is Tom's memoir written for his soon to be born child about how he saved the world but no one knows because you know time travel hijincks The voice is exceptionally casual as if you're on a date with Tom and he's telling you this batshit story which highlights two of my primary issues this is practically all telling no showing which is exhausting after a couple hundred pages; and there is SO MUCH lampshading Tom acknowledges that he's annoying unintelligent and not a good writer Tom even gave me the bad date analogy that I just used to describe reading this book The fact that the author KNOWS about these issues with his character and writing style doesn't really make it any better that the main character is insufferable and the writing is severely lacking At a certain point I expect the author to just write a better book instead of acknowledging that this one isn't any good and expecting me to read it anywayThe book also lampshades its own misogyny and I'm just not here for it Here are the main female characters and what happens to themTom's original Mom I can't remember her name Rebecca? Anyway she completely gives up on her life and dreams to serve his father and then she is killed dramatically by a malfunctioning hovercar before Tom erases her realityPenelope Tom's original girlthing She is a VERY talented astronaut but when she goes to space for the first time her brain just goes completely blank She decides to be a time traveler instead and is super good at it but then Tom gets her pregnant which prevents her from embarking on the first ever time travel mission so she kills herselfPenny Tom's alternate universe girlthing She is raped by one of Tom's timeline alter egos who is inhabiting his bodyA Secretary Also raped by Tom's alter egoFour women from the original universe I don't remember their names but they're Tom's best friend and three ex girlfriends who he manipulates into having sex with him because his mom died He literally describes all of their personalities with the same three adjectivesElaine in the new universe I think this was her name? Anyway she was having a time travel affair with a genius scientist which gave her cancer that pretty literally rotted her brainTom's new sister She thoughtlessly sold her app to people who wanted to abuse it for its ability to collect data so she's rich but very depressed and is currently doing nothing with her lifeTom's new Mom Nothing exceptionally horrible happens to her she's very successful because she didn't give up her dreams like his original mom but the text implies that her success has prevented her husband from achieving the success he had in the original universe Because women's success naturally detracts from men's success? I don't knowThe book takes a break shortly after Tom enters the new universe to allow Tom to come to terms with his own misogyny and how he treated his ex girlfriends It was a little off base in the same way that this book is off base Like you're going to have an entire chapter about how in Tom's future there was no misogyny although the main character just spent several chapters unable to understand that each of his ex girlfriends are separate people with different personalities needs wants interests? You're going to throw a chapter about gender euality into a book where all of the female characters are raped murdered mired in depression or used solely for sex? Really?I'm just so sick of reading books where horrible things happen to women and the story is somehow completely about Men Being Sad Obviously terrible things happen to women all of the time in real life and no one cares but I'm not going to ignore that someone sat down and wrote this book where the main character's body rapes several women but it wasn't the real him and he feels REALLY bad about it so it's okay Just fuck off with it already The climactic scene where Tom saves the world from becoming you know even worse is fairly incoherent Each different reality forms a different version of Tom and they all end up sharing a body which they are trying to control to get their desired outcome But for some reason the fight for control is a literal physical altercation? People are running and throwing punches and memories are somehow tangible places and items at the same time and it just makes no senseAnyway of course Tom wins and chooses this reality so he takes over John's life I don't know what happened to John He wasn't very good at making friends so apparently it's okay for a timeline impostor to take over his body His family doesn't even miss him I don't know the implication that Tom deserves to live than John does really doesn't sit well with meAnyway the penultimate meaning of this book seems to be that our current reality isn't that great but at least it isn't apocalyptically worse It's a lazy upsetting moral The main character essentially wiped out our perfect future where no one was starving and cancer was cured and there was apparently gender euality to rocket us back to our current reality but it's okay because now his girlfriend likes him and his family is nicer? But just what about everyone else? It's such a self centered point of view Like I know what's happening to Syria isn't great but it could be a lot worse and at least you're getting laid That's not a great messageAnyway I don't know At least this was a really uick read due both to that conversational aspect of the storytelling and to the fact that this book has OVER 130 CHAPTERS They're all about two pages long and although the chapter breaks are completely arbitrary almost all of them have some kind of pithy cliffhanger at the end It makes this book almost addictive it will only take one minute to read the next chapter so why not do it now? I hated that aspect of it but it did keep me fairly invested even against my will I suspect that this will be a boon for people who aren't immediately and irreconcilably turned off by the writing styleSome of the time travel concepts were really interesting and some of the ideas about multiple realities were too but after writing this review I think that three stars is much too high a rating I suspect that I'll be in the minority here but this book really didn't do anything for me

  2. Larry H Larry H says:

    I'd rate this 45 starsIf Back to the Future and Dark Matter had a baby the end result would be Elan Mastai's slightly crazy tremendously compelling All Our Wrong Todays While it's not as zany as the former or as heart pounding as the latter it's a really creative thought provoking book with a lot heart than you'd expect from a novel about time travelTom Barren lives in 2016 but it's not uite the 2016 we all know—it's like the vision of the future we all had when we were growing up the vision that science fiction and fantasy novels we might have read or movies we might have watched made us believe was a possibility You know flying cars a world where your needs for sustenance grooming fashion and activities are fulfilled with the touch of a button Today in the year 2016 humanity lives in a techno utopian paradise of abundance purpose and wonderBut given this paradisaical existence why isn't Tom happy? His father is the leading authority on time travel who can barely hide his disdain for his ne'er do well son and he's about to unveil a major advance in that field one that could further change the world for the better Yet Tom destroys every professional opportunity every personal relationship every situation he gets involved in And he couldn't care lessOne night Tom suddenly thinks he gets what he has always wanted Yet his actions have unexpected conseuences conseuences which lead him to recklessly travel back in time 50 years when the discovery which set the world on the path to utopia it currently enjoys But much as everything Tom touches this too goes awry and while Tom is able to return to 2016 it's no longer the world he knows—it's our 2016 instead And Tom whose name is apparently John in this alternate version of 2016 finds a new version of his family which actually seems appealing than the one he left and another version of the woman of his dreams who is apparently smitten with him as wellShould he stay in this version of 2016 even though he knows it is wrong and that his actions have utterly changed the course of history or should he try and figure out how to set things right and return the world back to the utopia it has known even if his life kinda sucks? Given the fact that almost no one believes his stories about the world he's from it's going to reuire a lot of convincing a lot of fighting the alternate versions of himself and tracking down the original genius who started it allSo how do you go about changing the last five decades of history in a world where time travel is considered an amusing thought experiment? Even if the science existed in the absence of crucial advances in related fields—teleportation immateriality invisibility even simple component manufacturing—the whole endeavor is futileWhile at times the book got a little too technical andor confusing All Our Wrong Todays really made me think How would you deal with a reunion with a loved one you've lost even if they're not the exact person you knew? If the world around you seems happy why do you have to put aside your own happiness—something you've never truly felt—to restore a different kind of happiness? It's amazing the uestions you ponder in a book about time travelI found this really entertaining and utterly fascinating I think this book would make one hell of a movie and it really is an interesting book to read after Dark Matter because it confronts some of the same themes If you like books about time travel saving the world and a good healthy dose of personal and family dysfunction this is one for you It definitely was for meNetGalley and Dutton provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review Thanks for making this available See all of my reviews at

  3. Philip Philip says:

    15ish stars Another time travel narrative used mostly as a vehicle to explore relationships or morality or whatever If Dark Matter is the ultra cool action thriller variety this is the uirky rom comaction thriller amalgamation It's got all the Ingredients the everyman I'm no hero male lead; the twee nerdy but unconventionally beautiful and intelligent female lead who gets the male lead in a way that no one else can; the meet cute naturally takes place at her book store because awww; their instant love at first sight soul bond that transcends space and time; the light banter and witty reparteeProblems with the ingredients while the male lead is supposed to reform from a manipulative jerk with daddy issues to a charmingly self deprecating and wholly relatable but still obviously noble average joe his transformation is entirely too self aware and maudlin and he never stops being super annoying; the contrived witticisms don't land and the weighty heart felt monologues would probably be powerful with a moving soundtrack and some closeups of forced tears; Tom's lampshading that he's dumb and not a very good writer doesn't make up for the fact that he's pretty dumb and the writing isn't very goodBottom line regardless of its content a decent rom com hinges on the charm and charisma of its leads Too bad TomJohn is obnoxious He's obnoxious and pretentious He's obnoxious and pretentious and self pitying He's obnoxious and pretentious and self pitying and really just not that interesting Which pretty well describes the book as a whole

  4. Kogiopsis Kogiopsis says:

    I’ve struggled for a while to review this book because on the one hand I detested it and I don’t want to spend extra time thinking about it but on the other hand it has a baffling number of high star reviews and honestly that annoys me There’s nothing good going on here; the plot uickly strays from its promised time travel based moral uandary into shallow romance a slapdash secondary conflict and a saccharine ending And the writing? The writing is miserably pretentiousThe thing is the blurb promises a much complex interesting book A character who is forced to choose between timelines must also decide how to value human lives does someone living in paradise have right to exist than someone who suffers? How does one person handle the weight of that situation where even inaction is choice?I’d still like to read that book by the way If someone out there who’s actually versed in sci fi writes it give me a heads up Because that’s one of the things about All Our Wrong Todays that got under my skin first it reads like Mastai is using the science fiction elements as window dressing for the story he actually wants to tell which is basically about a less than ordinary guy achieving his dream life with very little actual effort Which alright whatever You want to write your boring fantasies down fine but why even bother to try and present that as interesting than it is? Why introduce time travel into the euation if you don’t intend to really use it?I’ll save the soapbox on speculative fiction as a tool for exploration of humanity for later Just let it be known that I hate the idea that SFF concepts are nothing than shiny toys because that’s literally never been trueOn top of that Mastai’s attempt at SF worldbuilding is bad Abysmal Short sighted shallow flashy without any thought or depth and obnoxiously preening This this part might get longRetrofuturism in and of itself I find completely fascinating in no small part because of the gaps between where people thought we’d be by the 2000s and where we are Those gaps often reflect unpredictable social change or scientific discoveries the stochasticity of life that demands we constantly change our world views Mastai’s utopia lacks this complexity and richness Instead he slaps a bunch of retrofuturism stereotypes down and calls it good never addressing all the changes in the world that happened in the intervening decades The concepts he uses originate in the 1950s and there are just a few little things that happened between then and 2016 The US Civil Rights Movement The Vietnam War Most of the Cold War The spread of AIDS The fall of the Berlin Wall China’s Cultural Revolution Nuclear proliferation The Iranian RevolutionAs any student of history can tell you none of these events happened in a vacuum All of them were the result of processes that started long before Mastai’s fictional ‘Goettreider Engine’ is said to have been invented in 1965 And none of them are addressed Did the USSR collapse in the utopian timeline? Did unlimited energy somehow undermine Mao Zedong? Did it solve problems of race relations around the world? Even if Mastai didn’t want to address civil rights in the States his book is set in Canada where a variety of injustices against First Nations peoples led to the Idle No More movement as recently as 2012 That didn’t come out of nowhereIt gets a little ridiculous when you look specifically at the technology to which he attributes this utopia The Goettreider Engine produces unlimited free energy even if we accept the vague science behind this which Mastai tries to handwave how does this lead to broad social changes and fix the world’s problems? How does it lead to teleportation and flying cars when energy isn’t the limiting factor in developing those technologies now? One of the core uestions of teleportation now is ‘would a teleported person actually be the same person?’ which gets at both philosophical concepts of the soul and the root mechanisms behind memorypersonality Regular cars that are driverless are a regulatorysafety issue flying cars have to overcome that and physicsAnd then there’s this“Imagine that the last five decades happened with no restrictions on energy No need to dig deeper and deeper into the ground and make the skies dirtier and dirtier Nuclear became unnecessarily tempestuous Coal and oil pointlessly murky Solar and wind and even hydropower became uaint low fidelity alternatives that nobody bothered with unless they were peculiarly determined to live off the main grid”This is a prime example of short sighted worldbuilding Putting coal and oil out of business also means destroying the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people around the world not to mention disrupting the economies of every nation in OPEC for a start Nuclear weapons would still be around because that’s what nuclear energy was developed for and no amount of free electricity detracts from their destructive power And there isn’t really a way to store or transmit energy cleanly batteries and e waste would still be a source of pollution This change wouldn’t happen fast or easily it would be a political mess both domestically and internationally and there would be a tremendous social upheaval and restructuring as a resultNot to mention the fact that while unlimited energy solves one of the world’s problems it is by no means a panacea Water and food are both key limited resources and sources of conflict Religion and history will both always be flash points Diseases can’t be electrocuted out of existence My point is this if Mastai were actually interested in exploring the science fiction concepts he invoked in this book the utopian world of Tom Barren’s original timeline would be vastly different in a variety of ways and would in fact probably not be utopian at all as a result and that in and of itself would have strengthened the book by adding moral ambiguity to the histories of the respective worlds Instead Mastai chose a flat boring alternate future and informs the reader that Tom has never cut into an overripe avocado as if that’s a pressing uestion than whether one in nine people largely in developing countries still face food insecuritySo say you get past the worldbuilding issues What awaits you on the other side?Well mostly faux deep hipster garbage from the point of view of a grating obnoxious character And yes Tom is supposed to be grating and obnoxious but that doesn’t make reading his viewpoint any enjoyable We hear a lot about his sexual exploits none of which are relevant to the plot and a lot of which reduce the women involved to little than cardboard cutouts literally four in a row are described as “funny and smart and mischievous and sweet” in a sentence which while poetic is staggeringly reductiveThere’s also a lot of generic artsy depression complaining and look I’m not averse to reflecting on the struggles of being human but I do take issue with a supposedly utopian society which has a startling dearth of therapists and adeuate mental health systems There are several instances when characters verge on discussing therapy as an option but they never uiiiite make it At one point Tom even says that “mental illness and substance abuse existed but they were managed as health care issues” which sounds good except for the fact that it’s all tell and no show Tom his parents Penelope all of them clearly would benefit from psychological treatment of some kind but none of them even try to get itAnd oh let’s talk about PenelopePenelope or ‘Penny’ in the non utopian timeline is part of a pattern this book has where every single significant female character seems to exist mostly to have their lives destroyed by a man Tom’s mother’s entire career and life is subsumed to her husband’s needs and yet she never leaves or stands up to herself Penelope is brilliant talented and gorgeous and prone to sex as a self destructive behavior leading her to a one night stand with Tom More on this later I’m still furious Penny her alt timeline counterpart is sweet and innocent and dorky and almost instantly falls into bed with Tom which doesn’t go well for her Ursula Francoeur the love of Lionel Goettreider’s life gets brain cancer because he abuses his technology to perpetuate their affair For those keeping score two out of four women die as a direct result of their relationships with male characters; Tom’s mother makes an arguable third Only Penny survives and she gets brutally rapedPenelope’s death was for me the first sign that this book wouldn’t even manage mediocrity When a one night stand with Tom results in pregnancy she can no longer fill her role as a cosmonaut because there’s a variation in her cellular makeup so she commits suicide by time travel tech There’s enough wrong here with the basic premise of ‘competent female character kills herself after having sex with Main Dude’ especially in that her death is the catalyst for the rest of the plot but that’s not even the final nail in the coffin No that comes from comments like thisWe could’ve brought a life into this world of wonders and that life could’ve changed us both made us better fixed the broken clocks inside our brains that wouldn’t let us be happy when happiness was within reachAndShe touched her stomach I like to think that’s the moment she changed her mind and decided to have our baby and become a familyThere’s a whoooole side rant here about the idea that a baby can fix its parents’ psychological and relationship issues and how dangerous and destructive it is to parents and child alike and if I had the space in this review I’d go into it but yuck I feel like it should be self explanatory that a child is a person first not a magical cure all but apparently that’s a difficult concept for some peopleFundamentally it gets at another persistent problem of this book Tom doesn’t really consider people other than himself His brief relationship with Penelope is about his desires and insecurities and he doesn’t consider hers His later pursuit of Penny in the alternate timeline is also about him not her he’s convinced that because she’s another version of Penelope they’re meant to be together Conveniently the climax arranges itself so that he never has to actually choose between his utopian world and our ‘alternate’ 2016 so he doesn’t really have to struggle with his own happiness vs the greater good the central uestion the book’s synopsis seemed to promiseThis comes into sharp relief after Tom rapes Penny And yes ‘technically’ it’s not him but another alternate world version of his consciousness inhabiting his body and blah blah blah but from her perspective? It’s him It’s this possibly crazy stranger she let into her life and trusted and started to feel something for that’s the guy who assaults her in her own bed before she’s even awakeThe book doesn’t call it rape Nor does it call what Tom does to one of his assistants in the same chapter getting her drunk and coercing her back to his apartment to sleep with him anything as strong as sexual assault “I know I went along with all of it I just wanted it to be over” she says later and those words made me nauseousWhen Tom returns to his own body though the aftermath is entirely centered around him and his feelings validating the idea that it wasn’t ‘really him’ even though to both women it was Their reactions are important inasmuch as they change his relationships with them particularly Penny As individuals who have been through a traumatic experience they barely exist This chapter is a horrific and jarring reading experience and all of that seems to serve only to motivate Tom into progressing the plot It’s callous cheap and sickeningIf you strip this story down to its bare bones it’s literally just about a mediocre uninteresting middle aged man who gets wealth career success and a woman handed to him Oh sure there’s lip service to the idea that John has grown and reflected on his actions but that’s only told and never shown The later revelation that this entire story is recounted in retrospect makes it worse because we should be able to see evidence of his growth in the narration but it’s just not there The Tom who tells the story is no mature than the past self he describesTo finish this up a tasting menu of my absolute faaaavorite uotes5 The metaphor clusterfuck“I’m not much of a Freudian but something about fame makes the id and the superego devour the ego like anacondas in a cage right before they cannibalize each other Fame warps your identity metastasizes your anxieties and hollows you out like a jack o’ lantern It’s sparkly pixie dust that burns whatever it touches like acid”4 The 101 word sentence of word vomitBut around the dinner table while I sup up the remains of the ratatouille with crusty spelt bread and my mom takes the dessert she baked out of the oven and my sister opens another bottle of sauvignon blanc and Penny listens to my dad with guileless interest while her foot occasionally presses down on mine under the table he can speak openly without fear of any ridicule acrid than the exasperated sighs Greta doesn’t bother to conceal as she accidentally splits half the cork into the bottle because her fine motor skills decrease exponentially with each glass of wine3 In the Ideal Future people don’t smile anyMy fifteen employees started applauding and flexing their zygomaticus muscles to bare their teeth and gums which makes me recoil until I realize they’re smiling at me2 Give your ex your genetic material so they can fuck your cloneLike okay in my world when you break up with someone it’s considered gracious to offer the person you dumped a lock of hair so that if they want they can get a genetically identical surrogate grown for whatever purposes they need to get over you It has no consciousness but it looks exactly like you and can be used for rudimentary physiological functions Like you know sex1 Optimism is totally the same thing as manifest destinyThe belief that the world is here for humans to control is the philosophical bedrock of our civilization but it’s a mistaken belief Optimism is the pyre on which we’ve been setting ourselves aflameThe conclusion of All Our Wrong Todays suggests that Mastai was aiming to communicate the idea that there’s no one right way to live your life and I have to say that I agree and think that’s an important message But this delivery of it has no redeeming features whatsoever Don’t waste your time

  5. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    35ish stars for this time travelalternate timelines novel Final review first posted on Fantasy LiteratureTom Barren lives in a near utopian version of our world in 2016 the world that Disney and science fiction optimistically imagined in the 1950s that we would one day have complete with flying cars ray guns space vacations and other Amazing Stories and Jetson like technology There’s a single compelling reason for this in 1965 a man named Lionel Goettreider invented an engine that produced unlimited clean energy in the process giving himself a fatal dose of radiation but also becoming a historic figure on the level of Albert Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton Tom is a disappointment to his father unsuccessful in life his career and love But his father a genius who has invented a method of time travel gives Tom a job in his lab after his wife and Tom’s mother dies not expecting him to amount to anything Tom is assigned to be the understudy for Penelope Weschler the career driven team leader for the very first time travel mission to watch the initial 1965 experiment with the Goettreider Engine as invisible witnesses Penelope and Tom have a one night stand the night before the mission and Penelope becomes pregnant instantly changing her genetic composition and disualifying her for the missionIn the fallout Tom rebelliously activates the time machine with himself as the only passenger sending himself back to 1965 and inadvertently changing the result of Goettreider’s initial experiment The emergency return function in the time travel apparatus activates and sends Tom back to 2016 ― but he awakes in our world with a kinder and gentler father a mother who is still alive a sister he never had before a personable and relaxed version of Penelope and a polluted conflict ridden world that appalls him Tom intends to fix his mistake and bring back the world he is familiar with but as he develops new relationships in our world he’s torn between these two versions of his world All Our Wrong Todays 2017 begins rather slowly with an extended setup that could have been tightened up and the sad incompetent version of Loser Tom further drags down the story with his whining and self pity But once the actual time travel occurs about 25% of the way in the pace picks up the element of suspense kicks in Tom somewhat inexplicably develops a attractive and engaging personality though a reason for that is suggested much later in the story and this novel turned into a uick gripping read that was almost impossible to put down All Our Wrong Todays is a time travelalternate timelines science fiction novel that actually pays some serious attention to the paradoxes and theoretical difficulties with time travel For example Elan Mastai directly addresses the problem that the earth’s movement in space creates for would be time travelersMarty McFly didn’t appear thirty years earlier in his hometown of Hill Valley California His tricked out DeLorean materialized in the endless empty blackness of the cosmos with the Earth approximately 350000000000 miles away The Terminator would probably survive in space because it’s an unstoppable robot killing machine but traveling from 2029 to 1984 would’ve given Sarah Connor a 525000000000 mile head startThe Gottreider Engine provides an unanticipated anchor a bread crumb trail of tau radiation that can be followed through space and time It’s an ingenious solutionMastai combines his periodic forays into the theoretical aspects of time travel and alternate timelines with a suspenseful plot and some surprisingly insightful writing that helps to ground Tom’s breezy conversational narrative voice At different times All Our Wrong Todays reminded me strongly of both Stephen King's 112263 and Blake Crouch's Dark Matter Despite its slow start overall it’s a solid science fiction novel and an enjoyable absorbing read I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review Thank you

  6. Emily (Books with Emily Fox) Emily (Books with Emily Fox) says:

    This Sci Fi had a few very interesting ideas I did listen to it as an audiobook and even though the author did a great job at narrating it I would recommend reading the physical copy of it One chapter consisted mostly of Fck and a few passages were backward not ideal to listen toI had a few issues with it that I'll explain in my Wrap Up at the end of the month since I'm having a hard time explaining them here

  7. Matthew Matthew says:

    45 stars rounding to 5 because I want people to check this one outThis was the perfect book to read after Recursion And I had no clue how similar it would be In fact if you just finished Recursion and you are looking for something just like it give this one a tryI would describe this debut novel from Mastai as a cross between the aforementioned Blake Crouch and Andy Weir The Martian and Artemis The reason I mention Weir is that the main character of this book narrator is self deprecating sarcastic and very humorous While Crouch and Weir may have a similar sci fi feel Weir is the one who brings humor sarcasm etc into the mix If you prefer that your sci fi not come with a healthy dose of humor this is not the book for youThis book was enough like Recursion that as I read the last few chapters today I was having trouble remembering if certain plot points happened in it or All Our Wrong Todays I mention in my review of Recursion that I cannot say too much without spoilers and that is the case here Just know that it deals with some mind blowing theoretical science and uestions about the delicate nature of reality and humanity If you count speculative sci fi as a favorite of yours get this book on your TBRPart of me thinks it might be a bit unfair that I mentioned Recursion oh Did it again so much in this review I do like to give everyone a good point of reference and I am always happy to give it publicity but I don’t want to detract from how good this book was as well I am hoping that my freuent mentions of Crouch’s book will draw attention to this book which until about a month ago I had never heard of and ended up with because I just happened to pick up a copy when trying to find a book for someone else In this case I was very lucky and I hope my review draws a few readers to All Our Wrong Todays

  8. Sam Sam says:

    Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you What can go right and what can go wrong There is no intimacy without conseuence To get it out of the way there's a lot of set up in All Our Wrong Todays and it took me a bit to find a feel for this book and fall into it But once Mastai gets past the set up and things are happening the smart funny prose and realized characters propelled me forward and even if the stakes and thrills aren't seemingly as high as in Dark Matter to which this will be inevitably compared and I'm guilty too it's so well written and fresh and does time travel well but doesn't rely on it for its overall success hitting the familiar beats but also introducing new concepts and ideas And this book worked me on an emotional level I laughed I cried seriously I rooted for success and cowered in moments of failure I do think that books work differently for different people depending on so many factors mood personal life setting etc The book has its own strengths and weaknesses but it's the individual reader who determines how these things coalesce or not into a whole and the reader's particular background at the moment of experience is critical to informing what the reader brings to the book So for me All Our Wrong Todays was exactly the right read at the right time for my raw sad flailing self seeing the ending of one world and the dawning of an unknown future that simply feels wrong All Our Wrong Todays wears its heart and brain on its sleeve and by the end I was completely charmed captivated and bowled over with feeling Death is slippery Our minds can't latch onto it Over time you learn to accommodate the gap in your life that the loss opens up Like a black hole you know it's there because it's the spot from which no light escapes And there's the sinewy exhaustion the physical toll of grief that you just can't seem to sleep away The intro is the tough bit where a lot of the science behind the conceit is laid out where we're exposed to the version of 2016 we all should be living in where our protagonist and the person who totally screwed up existence for all of us Tom Barren introduces himself his family his world and all the circumstances that lined up just so for his world to be created and then for him to completely undo everything in a rash move out of grief and pettiness These early parts are difficult going and I stopped reading the novel for awhile and had to restart because I couldn't uite get into it Tom is a bit pathetic on the whole and since the perspective is first person he comes off very whiny mostly clueless and seems like a hapless half wit overall That said the writing is good and sometimes we get early glimpses at Tom's expanded observational and emotional capacity But until he finally moves back in time and then is shot forward into the future after having somewhat unknowingly changed critical moments from his history we're at a high concept stage with somewhat shaky execution People talk about grief as emptiness but it's not empty It's full Heavy Not an absence to fill A weight to pull Your skin caught on hooks chained to rough boulders made of all the futures you thought you would have How do you keep five decades of love from souring into a snakebite that makes your own heart the threat drawing the poison up and down the length of you? Once Tom awakens in our version of 2016 though everything began firing on all cylinders for me Tom himself matures in how he thinks and interacts with others and our versions of Tom's family and the love of his lifelives Penelope are so much dynamic interesting and fully present in the narrative They wrestle with Tom's confusion and alienation in real funny and emotional ways And ultimately it's the characters I responded to most no spoilers since it's in the blurb but the alternate family and soul mate of our 2016 are so well drawn to the point that I better understood the earlier sketchier set up of the true family to better serve as foils for the versions from our universe the reader will respond to Greta Penny and Tom's mother are all really fun characters to see Tom interact with and while Penny and Tom's mother have counterparts that we can contrast them to mostly very favorably Greta is a uniue creation to our universe and brings so much to the table as a character and in some ways as a plot device It's Greta's singularity and the key differences between the versions of the characters that forces Tom to re think fixing his mistake and makes his assertion of his personality over that of his alternate self so key and later leads to his ability to accept the various aspects of himself and of varying realities What I'm saying is my imagination is trained ok? I've considered many other lives that I could be living instead of this one I've luxuriated in what seemed at the time to be outrageously improbable possibilities for who I could be instead of who I am And now you show up telling me all the dopey delusional fantasies I harbored as a frustrated adolescent and sheepish adult were what unambitious? That the life I'm supposed to lead is so far beyond anything I was even capable of imagining for myself? That I'm a fucking lioness living like a mouse? I won't talk too much about the plot other than to say that as Tom grapples with what he's done and then discovers that others may have messed with timelines as well he has to figure out what he's willing to do who he's willing to lose to set things right And what is right any? And is doing what's right what's best for Tom or for Lionel or for Penny or for the millions who exist in the true 2016 or for the millions who exist in our 2016? And that's when Tom finally steps into the shoes of a hero somewhat though Mastai doesn't do it in a hackneyed or trite way It's a smart circular climax and resolution as befitting our temporal anchor and the larger worlds we've been navigating throughoutI'll also say that the writing and references are fun witty sly engaging It's no accident that Tom's love across two versions of reality is PenelopePenny much like Odysseus Tom toils and makes substantive efforts to return to the woman he loves The Kurt Vonnegut as master philosopher in one version of the universe is a great nod to that writer's influence on Mastai and even the meta novel within a novel and memoir within a novel tropes get played with lightly and to good effect in All Our Wrong Todays There's a love of writing and of words that Mastai himself and his characters embrace fully in the novel and hopefully some of the uotes I've worked in throughout help to displaying his talent In principle I realize that heroism demands sacrifice But I didn't understand what I'd actually have to sacrifice Write a list of the things you can't imagine giving up and that's the list of things you'll be forced to lose Except you couldn't even draw up the list because they're all the things you take for granted as essential elements of yourself They don't seem removable from what makes you who you are Bottom line I loved the writing and found it engaging and well observed once getting past the somewhat clunky exposition I really liked the characters Tom growing on me as he grew in the novel and his family and loved ones were very compelling and the depths of his attachment to all versions of them left no doubt that he would do everything in his power to fight for them for all of them And mostly the ideas of what life one should or shouldn't be living causality and choice luck and ambition and drive love over everything the ideas are peppered in throughout which for me led to an emotionally charged read I'm probably a 45 stars because of how much I really enjoyed this but wouldn't be five stars since it was a bit touch and go at first if I could make it through the first third of the novel Overall a great read I'd recommend most certainly for fans of literary sci fi or general fiction readers who don't mind sci fi knowing that it uses time travel as a framing device for contemporary fiction For fans of Dark Matter this is not a thriller like that book was it's slower less twist y less dangerous and in some ways plays with lower stakes since it's the fate of the universe we deal with here not one intimate man and woman and child so it may not be for you But I could absolutely see people who enjoyed Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore or Station Eleven liking this read high concept fantastic writing a love of all things literary and compelling ideas about human nature and life and love with a bold dash of the speculative

  9. Bradley Bradley says:

    I'm always on the prowl for a good time travel and alternate reality kick so when this one slid by me blaring on its speakers that it was a very self aware member of its species I just had to turn my head an lookI'm so glad I did Hell I even considered just reading the first couple of pages and then putting it off until closer to its actual publication date It's months away And yet I went ahead and read it because I got sucked inIt's a memoir Yes An alternate reality memoir with several time machine encounters So we're told not to expect any of the old tropes of novelization We're dealing with a man's demons The things he's done The things he hasn't done How he's treated people in his life etcAnd it was fascinating even as I was getting anxious to get to the time travel bits I was annoyed because Tom's voice was annoying and he kept repeating himself and he didn't seem like all that nice a guy And yet we're told that he's confronting his demons so we sit back and try to be patient for the grand cataclysm that he's teased that he'd causedAnd then it happens All the little build ups all the memories all the little crappy things he's done comes back to show us that he'd been living in a freaking utopia Everything else gets darker and real at this point And then all that talk about ex girlfriends and his one encounter with Penelope that tipped him over the edge to do his utterly reckless thing then becomes a reason for living and continuing and here it comesA love story?Yes A love story A time traveling alternate dimensional love story with apocalyptic undertones And then Tom's voice becomes charming at long last Too bad the demons are still out to playThis novel ahem memoir just kept getting better and better I really loved it by the end I'm not saying it doesn't have its flaws but those flaws are worked into the text and the author's skill at turning them into something beautiful cannot be underemphasized I'm so glad I didn't put this off It's well worth reading Even from a straight SF standpoint the author goes much deeper into paradoxes and conseuences than I usually see in these kinds of novelsBut the real joy is in the characters There's some real depth hereThanks goes to Netgalley for the ARC

  10. Taryn Taryn says:

    35 Stars I read this at a very appropriate time because I’ve recently been getting the strange sensation that I’m living in the wrong timeline ; I'm going to avoid specific details about the story's path but here's a review summary for those who don't want to know as little as possible The tone is lighthearted and self aware making it an entertaining read The main character and his love life didn't excite me but I loved the technology the exploration of different realities and the uestions it raised The first half was slow because Tom was at max whininess but the pace picked up in the second half This is how the world changes—two strangers experience a crackle of chemistry Tom Barren 32 is from the world we were supposed to have a technologically advanced utopia with flying cars and space vacations Unfortunately Tom screwed that up for all of us when he traveled back in time to witness the moment that made his world possible He wakes up in the wrong today—our present His life is surprisingly fulfilling but he feels guilty about erasing the lives of millions of people Should his loyalties be to the people in his original world or the four people who make his new life so much better? Is salvaging his old world even possible? Everyone is skeptical of Tom's story Could Tom's memories of a Tomorrowland like reality be delusions? How can he prove that his memories are real without advanced technology of his original world? The most complex physics uestion is a breeze compared to the contradictions of the human heart” All Our Wrong Todays reminded me so much of Kurt Vonnegut even before the first Vonnegut reference The conversational writing style the absurdity the way backstories are told and the use of science fiction to say something larger about humanity There's even a scene that happens backward which reminded me of Slaughterhouse Five It turns out that Vonnegut is considered an important philosopher in Tom's high tech world The author also pokes some good natured fun at the science fiction genre and sometimes his own book He addresses the big problem with most time travel stories which I had never thought about This is how you discover who someone is Not the success Not the result The struggle The part between the beginning and the ending that is the truth of life My favorite part was the mythos surrounding Lionel Goettreider and the Goettreider Engine The Goettreider Engine is a machine that harnesses the earth’s rotation to generate energy This invention resulted in everyone's basic needs being met so all people need to worry about is being comfortable and entertained Of course all the technology in the world can't sort out the messiness of human emotions In terms of the 'main event' I loved the contrast of the romanticized version Tom learned in school versus what actually happened It’s amazing how much damage one penis can do” While the technical aspects of the story immediately appealed to me I had a harder time with the central character First person single point of view made this a difficult issue to overcome Tom is my least favorite type of character—a narcissistic self described loser who all these women keep sleeping with He’s completely aware of how repetitive and whiny he is but that doesn't stop him Sometimes it was hard to get too annoyed with him because he'd read my mind every time I'd start to have a negative thought A favorite line halfway through Maybe right now you’re thinking— okay why isn’t this story over? Everything kind of worked out for this jackass” His self awareness was a little endearing; he apologizes for his narcissism taking over the narrative and not delivering the time travel book you were expecting I also wasn't emotionally invested in the soulmate situation The lusty infatuation solidified into love so uickly that I never felt an urgency for them to be together in any timeline I was captivated by another love affair that plays a central role in the story simply because of uiet moment in a labWhen you invent a new technology you also invent the accident of that technology The Accident doesn’t just apply to technology it also applies to people Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you What can go right and what can go wrong There is no intimacy without conseuenceLike much science fiction one of the best parts were the uestions it made me ponder Tom draws several parallels between the fantastic aspects of his story and the ordinary lives we lead Existing in multiple realities is not just something that happens in a science fiction As Tom matures he sees how everyone is complicated and contradictory We all consist of different versions of ourselves even some versions we'd rather do without Our choices can create new realities and significant emotional experiences like heartbreak can make a hidden version of a person dominant He sees that time travel isn't necessary to destroy a world Tom has to learn for himself that beliefs not backed by action are useless and to never stop being open to different possibilities There's actually a lot of messages and I think I'd have trouble narrowing it down to the most important one if Tom didn't explicitly state what he wanted us to take away from his story The central messages I walked away with are 1 there's no such thing as the life you are supposed to lead 2 trying to control your worldlife can have disastrous conseuences That’s the magic trick of creating life—it takes every bad decision you ever made and makes them necessary footsteps on the treacherous path that brought you home While searching for about a potential film I found this uote from Elan Mastai's pitch letter to publishers Imagine if Kurt Vonnegut had decided to tell a story like The Time Traveler's Wife with the narrative voice of Jonathan Tropper I can't really sum it up better than that Tom could be exhausting at times and I didn't feel a strong emotional pull towards him or his love life but All Our Wrong Todays is entertaining and even made me laugh I recommend it to anyone looking for an amusing book that allows you to explore new worlds and makes you think I think Vonnegut fans who read contemporary literary fiction will enjoy itI want to say this devoid of any context I loved GretaI received this book for free from Netgalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review The publication date is February 7 2017

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All Our Wrong Todays[EPUB] ✼ All Our Wrong Todays By Elan Mastai – 'A witty time travelling romance' Maria Semple author of Where'd You Go BernadetteThis is a love story that could only happen because of an accident of time travelTom and Penny belong to a world so pe 'A witty time travelling romance' Maria Semple author of Where'd You All Our PDF or Go BernadetteThis is a love story that could only happen because of an accident of time travelTom and Penny belong to a world so perfect there's no war no poverty no under ripe avocadosBut when something awful happens to Penny and Tom tries to make it right he accidentally destroys everything waking up in our broken dysfunctional worldOnly here Penny and Tom have a second chanceShould Tom go back to his brilliant but loveless existence or risk everything by staying in our messy complicated world for his one and only chance at true love'Thrilling and refreshingly optimistic' Andy Weir author of The Martian 'Sharp and funny' Daily Mail ' It's a Wonderful Life meets The Jetsons' Buzzfeed 'All Our Wrong Todays is an entertaining romp that should appeal to fans The Time Traveler's Wife' The Guardian BEST RECENT SCIENCE FICTION.

About the Author: Elan Mastai

“All Our Wrong Todays” is Elan's first novel Currently he's a All Our PDF or writer and producer on the Emmy winning TV series This Is Us He's written movies for Fox Sony Warner Brothers Lionsgate and Paramount His most recent film is “What If”—also known as “The F Word”—a comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe Zoe Kazan Adam Driver Mackenzie Davis Megan Park and Rafe Spall directed by Michael Dowse El.