Summary and book reviews of All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays

by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai X
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 20, 2018, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky

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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

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.

1

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have. But it never should've turned out like this. And it's all my fault-well, me and to a lesser extent my father and, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

It's hard to know how to start telling this story. But, okay, you know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Flying cars, robot maids, food pills, teleportation, jet packs, moving sidewalks, ray guns, hover boards, space vacations, and moon bases. All that dazzling, transformative technology our grandparents were certain was right around the corner. The stuff of world's fairs and pulp science-fiction magazines with titles like Fantastic Future Tales and The Amazing World of Tomorrow. Can you picture it?

It's hard to know how to start telling this story. But, okay, you know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Flying cars, robot maids, food pills...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don’t let that put you off. The scientific explanations are a large complicated part of the story, but this intense novel is the product of an enormous, curious, swirling mind thinking in depth about science, science fiction, the human heart, life as we know it, and still more. Lots more. Do you remember the first science fiction novel you read that opened your mind to new possibilities? Convincing you that you, too, could make such waves in the world? You’ll have that exact same feeling here.   (Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Full Review Members Only (567 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mastai has fun with all the usual conventions of time travel and its many paradoxes, and the cherry on top is his dialogue, reminiscent of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Booklist

Screenwriter Mastai fills his debut with vintage-sf-novel-fueled names and explanations to anticipate readers' every question; they'll enjoy the ride.

Library Journal

Starred Review. Mastai creates a fascinating tapestry of interconnected alternate realities. ... A potent mixture of sincere introspection and a riveting examination of time travel and alternate realities, this highly recommended novel is reminiscent of Jo Walton's My Real Children with the breeziness of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Mastai's novel is both charming and wondrously plotted. ... 'Existence is not a thing with which to muck around,' and yet that's exactly what fantastic storytelling attempts, warping reality, perception, and truth - and hopefully entertaining us as well as this novel does.

Author Blurb Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity's future.

Author Blurb Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. All Our Wrong Todays is a page-turning delight.

Reader Reviews

TexasReader

Don't waste your time with this book!
I checked out this book from my local public library because it was rated 5 stars in this web site. It was disappointing! The first few chapters of the book are filled with middle-school type sexual stories. Just when you think the main character is ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Famous Predictions for the Future

Time Machine from HG Wells NovellaWould you like this in your daily life?:

Getting dressed involves an automated device that cuts and stitches a new outfit every morning, indexed to your personal style and body type. The fabric is made from laser-hardened strands of a light-sensitive liquid polymer that's recycled nightly for daily use.

Or how about this?:

I applied a pharmaceutical patch to my abdomen, right over my liver, that let me set my preferred blood-alcohol ratio, like cruise control for booze. If I exceed my fixed limit, my liver is flushed with toxin filters. I went with light-headed and garrulous without careening into impaired motor function or loss of social inhibition. That sweet spot between confident and arrogant, loose but not sloppy. ...

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