As the news cycle marches on with unrelenting intensity, I stumbled across a book which was described as “life affirming”, “laugh out loud funny”, and “enchanting” — umm, yes please! I snatched up All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and it did not disappoint. Tom Barren’s 2016 is a very different place than our 2016. It is much like the world imagined in The Jetsons, flying cars, world peace, and all. When Tom has the opportunity to travel back to the definitive moment of modern human history, he reluctantly takes the chance. Tom describes this event as, “Where I come from every schoolkid knows the sequence of that day, It’s the pivot point of human history.” And he becomes the first living person to become eye witness to this world altering moment.
Tom travels back in time to 1965, entering the infamous laboratory of Lionel Goettreider and the moment the great scientist discovered a way to harness a never-ending clean energy source. This discovery changed the trajectory of history and lead to a world beyond anyone’s dreams. Until Tom showed up. After a series of miscalculations by the Chrononauts and unforeseen circumstances, Gottreider’s experiment goes awry, drastically changing the world. Tom is hurtled back to an alternative 2016, the one we live in. As our world is confusing and primitive to Tom he also finds unexpected happiness. His dead mother is alive, his condescending workaholic father is softer and kinder, and Tom’s hapless existence is anything but as he is wildly successful. Caught between 2 worlds and faced with moral dilemmas Tom must decide does he fight to get back to his known 2016 or stay in this new alternative 2016.
If you are looking for something utterly different, All Our Wrong Todays is filled with charm, twists, and a sprint to the finish conclusion. Tom’s quirky journey across time lines and the resulting exploration of family, self, and love makes for compelling and quick reading.