All Our Wrong Todays
by Elan Mastai
I randomly picked Elan Mastai’s debut novel All Our Wrong Todays to listen to a few weeks back. I was surprised to be blown away by the storyline and by Mr. Mastai’s excellent narration. In All Our Wrong Todays Tom Barren lives in a year 2016 when all major world problems (war, hunger, strife, etc) have been solved by a technological development that occurred in the 1960s. Unfortunately for Tom, more personal problems have not been solved. His strained relationship with his super smart father isn’t improving and the girl of his dreams commits suicide. Tom tries to use his father’s time travel technology to escape his personal problems…only to create a schism in the space time continuum that leads to the 1960s technological development not happening so he ends up living in our2016. He has a different first name, but the same parents except with a better relationship with his dad. He seeks out the girl of his dreams, but she’s not quite the same…she’s better! Of course, the world problems are still around so Tom views our 2016 as a dystopia. Even though his personal problems seem much improved in our 2016, Tom knows he has to try to “save” the world and return to his 2016.
Tom starts out as an unlikeable, though funny, character. Through the chapters he morphs into a hero worthy of our times (and the other 2016). This dystopian-turned-on-its-head sci fi title is wonderful. It’s funny, sad, profound, and entertaining all at once. I highly recommend it!