By: Ron Currie Jr.
My Copy: Borrowed from library
This book was the second volume on our book club reading list this year. My awesome friend, Maggie, chose it and I ended up having mixed feelings about it.
The conceit of the book is very interesting. The main character, Junior, learns the specific time and date when the world will end and then has to live his entire life with this information hanging over his head. So the question becomes, if you know the world will be obliterated during your lifetime, does anything you do really matter?
The book really is not a pleasant read (spoiler alert!). I found myself skimming almost everything but the end section because it was just so darn depressing. Though brilliant, Junior essentially finds himself in a downward spiral as he makes it his mission to save the inhabitants of the planet Earth from destruction. In the end, he is given the chance to do his life over and his chooses to simply live rather than devote his life to saving others. It is in accepting his fate that he discovers that all his actions truly do matter.
The last 50 pages of the book are incredible, cleverly driving home the author's entire point that our actions and lives do matter here and now. I was really hating the book up until the end, when it completely redeemed itself for me. Yet another reason to keep on reading until the end. If I hadn't had to discuss this for my book club the following week, I wouldn't have bothered to keep going with it after the first 50 pages!
Overall, a good ending with the bulk of the book being slow, boring, and essentially a downer. A interesting choice for a book club. We had a really good discussion around the themes of the story. The book as a whole is worth the effort.