“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
My take: 2.5 looks
There was a great deal of hubbub surrounding this novel upon its release. It was on library waiting lists all over, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. After reading it, I highly recommend Crouch’s publicist.
It took me less than 24 hours to read it. That should be seen as a testament more to simple, easy-to-follow writing than an intriguing story.
As a matter of fact, this story, of parallel dimensions, is not a new one at all. From Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” and Katherine Webb’s “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August”, where lives are replayed over and over; or alternate realities like Stephen King’s “11/22/63”; or even films like “Sliding doors” and “Groundhog Day”… my point? It’s been done before, and it’s been done better.
Jason, our protagonist, at one point becomes so narrowly focused on “love” that it is almost like watching a 16-year-old boy try to get his girl.
“He knew he shouldn’t open the door, but…”
“He new he shouldn’t leave Amanda, but…”
This irritating dependency on feeling rather than thinking, or irrationality versus rationality,… I didn’t buy it coming from a physicist. If the book had been longer, or written at a more complicated reading level than about 6th grade, I would not have wasted my time finishing it. As it was, I knew I could blow right through it and mark it from my TBR.