“All Our Wrong Todays” (2017) / Elan Mastai / 7.30.17

20 Nov

All Our Wrong Todays, Elan MastaiAll Our Wrong Todays was a lot of fun, as I recall, but nothing life-changing or world-exploding.

It is, however, quite explosively clever. The conceit is this: Our protagonist, Tom Barren, finds himself in our world, in present day 2016, but it’s all wrong. He’s supposed to be in a different now, a technologically advanced utopia, an alternative world running parallel to the one that you and I live in, the one in which Tom now somehow finds himself, presumably owing to some mistake.

It all goes back to 11 July 1965, when, in his world, a man named Lionel Gottreider invented a device that came to be known as the Gottreider Engine, a kind of self-perpetuating energy source, that made it so that our soot-besotted, smog-riddled world never came to be. So in his 2016, there’s no pollution, there’s an unending source of energy for humankind, and climate change is something no one has heard of. But also in his world, someone has invented a time machine, and, owing to some quite fun antics I won’t spoil for you, Tom now finds himself in our 2016, in a world in which Gottreider never built his Engine.

Elan MastaiI won’t say more than that. Our protagonist (or the multiple versions thereof, I should say) is equal parts annoying and charming, but always a pleasure to accompany through the adventures contained in the pages of All Our Wrong Todays. It has some similarities, both stylistically and thematically, to Ready Player One, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a blockbuster movie version being made in the near future, just as occurred with RP1.

So, if you’re looking for a light read, All Our Wrong Todays is the perfect fix. But if you’re a reader of serious literary fiction, this might not be your cup of tea.

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