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Everything Matters!: A Novel Paperback – Jul 27 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117513
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


" Like Kurt Vonnegut, Currie understands that . . . humor is a more powerful salt than screed."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Currie is a startlingly talented writer whose book will pay no heed to ordinary narrative conventions.... He survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice of his own.... Throughout the story there is the sheer delight of Mr. Currie's fresh, joltingly funny imagery.... Above all "Everything Matters!" radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next."
--Janet Maslin, New York Times

About the Author

Ron Currie Jr. is a native of Waterville, Maine, and whose fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Sun, Other Voices and Night Train. His stories have won prizes in The World’s Best Short Story competition and have been shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story award and Swink magazine’s Emerging Writer Award. God is Dead is his first novel.

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By Schmadrian on Sept. 22 2009
Format: Hardcover
Now, I know that word tends to be my fall-back summation when I'm really, really gassed by a novel. Or, more specifically, by what a novelist has done. The 'oomph' the effort shows the writer possesses. It can be in the way they use words, they way they construct their tale...or it can be with the dynamic force they exert, constructing something that just cannot be denied.

That's what Ron Currie, Jr. has done with 'Everything Matters!' He made me mutter 'Wow'. He scored 'A hit! A palpable hit!' many times over, he impressed the Hell out of me, he made me aware of just how strong a writer's voice can be... He took me on an adventure with this tale, and throughout so very much of it, I was nodding...and grinning. (Sometimes, smirking.)

I'm biased: I like it when a writer grabs you by the throat and says 'Listen to what I have to tell you. I've a tale you don't want to miss, give me your full attention.' I love to be engaged by a writer. Or a musical performer. Or a director, an actor, an orator...a leader. Yes, I'm an opinionated S.O.B., but I also love being led. Especially when there's a fascinating destination. And the way the novel begins, the way Currie pins you up against the wall while he does what he does, you can't help but believe that the destination is, at the very least, going to be 'fascinating'. And *then* some.

That's not to say Currie gets it all right.

The multiple-part narrative points-of-view are interesting...but in the end, more an exercise in determination than anything else. (Albeit mostly completed successfully.) I didn't entirely like what he chose to focus on in the story; I felt there were some omissions and dropped balls. And the 'coda'? Well...
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By S. Cuschieri on Dec 22 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Ron Currie Jr. is a must-have author in your library.
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By Rachel on Aug. 24 2011
Format: Paperback
Once I picked this book up, I was unable to put it down until I had finished it. I enjoyed every aspect of the book from the story line, to the underlining themes I so often think about myself. The plot of the novel is simple, but the author is able to make every detail of the book relatable to the reader. The book is written from many of the characters view points which allows the reader to bond and connect with each individual character. The story is a combination science fiction, human nature, and philosophy.

If you are often someone who wonders is there really a point to anything at all? this is the book for you or if you just want a page turner with lots of twists and turns, this is also the book for you!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 114 reviews
119 of 123 people found the following review helpful
Stunning and remarkable novel June 8 2009
By Monica J. Kern - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Each and every one of us walks around with our own personal sword of Damocles dangling over our heads, which we do our darnedest to forget. This book tackles the question of how we would react if we could ignore no longer the looming end of our existence. The protagonist, Junior, is singled out (for unnamed reasons) to receive the wisdom and prognostications of some omniscient entity or entities (God? Aliens? We are never told). Chief among the information given to Junior is the news that the Earth would be struck and destroyed by a large comet 36 years after his birth. The novel follows the story of Junior's life from multiple perspectives: the omniscient entity, Junior's mother, brother, girlfriend, father (who is the book's most sympathetic and heroic figure), and Junior himself. Most of the plot centers around Junior's desperate fight against destiny.

Without spoiling crucial aspects of the plot, I will say that at first I wished it had ended differently. I kept thinking about the book, though, throughout the night, and the next day, and the day after. I returned to it and read the final few chapters again. And, slowly, I began to appreciate the point uttered quite bluntly by the author on the last page yet which remains so terribly, terribly hard to accept: "...that there is no escape and never was, that from the moment two cells combined to become one they were doomed."

The beauty of this novel is that the author somehow manages to convey both the depressing and inescapable reality of our doom as well as the simultaneous truth we are also given the gift of life and the unspeakable beauty and joy that entails--and where everything *does* matter.

I am a voracious reader and read several books a week, of all genres. Most books I enjoy in a somewhat detached and absent-minded way. A very few move me to tears and stay with me well after I have finished reading them-- Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," "The Book Thief," "The Lovely Bones," "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," "White Noise," and "A Prayer for Owen Meany," to name a few. This novel is another such book for me.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A short novel with big ideas June 13 2009
By Michael S. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
What if we knew without a doubt when life on earth would end. Also, what if we knew that destruction would come during our lifetime; how would we cope? The author deals with these situations in a fascinating way, ultimately even showing alternative solutions. Page by page we discover how one man deals with precognition and how it alters his life relationships before the end. In painful detail, we see how Junior Thibodeau deals with the impact of the fatal prophecy. Also, the plot is expanded through the eyes of his family and his girlfriend. Ultimately, without weakening the ending, Junior is given an almost impossible choice.

If you are looking for an action packed sci-fi novel or a biblical "Left behind" type story this is not for you. If you are looking for a solid story about interesting people making their way through a complicated world this might be for you. As a work of fiction knowing the ending could become tedious, however; the author gives us numerous story developments that keep us entertained till the end.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
It's a wonderful life July 13 2009
By Myfanwy Collins - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I worried through the entirety of my pregnancy. How, I fretted, could I bring a child into this world? How could I protect him? What did he have to look forward to but melting ice caps, tsunamis, wild fires, genocide, floods, hurricanes, drought, war, war, war, serial killers, crazed gunmen in schools, bullies, etc. Now that I am a parent, I realize I can't protect him from these things. I can only protect him from what I can control, and even then I am often left powerless.

We will do as we wish, we humans.

Ron Currie's daring, humorous, poignant, heart-wrenching, and, ultimately, joyful second novel, Everything Matters! also addresses the question of how can one bring a child into a troubled world. Most importantly, though, it follows the life of Junior, who not only knows how he will end, but knows how the world will end as well.

It is from there, his foreknowledge, that we witness the choices he makes in his life--when does he choose to give up and when does he choose to push beyond his limits. When does he choose to live and accept all of the beauty that life has to offer him even though he knows it will one day be taken away.

Yes, on the surface this is a book about mass destruction, but it's not about hopelessness. Rather, it's about what we wake up and choose to do each day--put one foot ahead of the other and move forward even though we know that one day we will cease to be. We are all brave to live, to choose to live.

Some books you read to be entertained, others to learn something, and some you read to change your life. Everything Matters! was all of these books for me. I finished it just as my two-year-old was waking up from his nap. I was crying as I picked him up from his crib, not because I was sad, but because I was so happy and grateful that he was alive in this beautiful world where everything matters.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Possibilities June 9 2009
By Stephen T. Hopkins - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Part of the natural order is that all things come to an end. Whether we like the idea or not, each of us will one day die. Ron Currie, Jr.'s new novel, Everything Matters!, explores the theme that we face an infinite number of choices in life, and those choices become connected with others, and have consequences that make a real difference, hence the title. Protagonist Junior Thibodeau hears voices and has precognition from infancy. He dreams with clarity and specificity that Earth will be destroyed by a comet on June 15, 2010. Junior's considerable intelligence leads him in one set of choices to save the world. Along the way he realizes that there is no way to avoid the tragedies of living: both the good and the bad matter. Deliverance or salvation comes from living, not from avoiding life. We will all die, most of us just don't know the date, so why would knowing the date make a difference in how we choose to live? Junior chooses another possible set of choices, and that approach to life also has consequences, both good and bad. Everything Matters! could be considered a philosophical novel and would provide for lively discussion by any book club. Junior could be compared to Jesus, and the ensuing "what would Jesus do?" conversation would be animated. Currie's characters are thoughtfully constructed, and his prose includes fine dialogue, vivid descriptions and remarkable creativity. Everything Matters! is a joy to read, and left me thinking and reflecting long after I turned the last page.

Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It matters - just because June 6 2009
By wogan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Everything Matters by Ron Currie, Jr. is hard to describe, the plot line is given in the product descriptions. Junior Thibodeau knows when a comet will destroy human life on earth. This knowledge for him, as for almost anyone who has a voice telling them this truth creates a perplexity of tribulations.

As life is, so is the reading of this novel... it can be depressing or it can also be the summing up of humanity.... Everything matters, there is hope. Life can be changed to alternate realities - and what does it mean or matter in then end?. Change can be accomplished by the simplest examples... a bumble bee, not stepped on pollinates a field of flowers, that inspires the building of a center, that saves the quality of some boy's life, who in turn goes on to save others; sort of a merry go round of life and thought.

That is what this novel contains in the story of an adolescent who has voices telling him exactly when the world will end. The narrators vary in sections of the book, which makes for an interesting turn of style of reading. The father, the brother, the girlfriend, the all knowing narrator themselves. These shifting viewpoints create an interest that would not be there with only one viewpoint.
A caution, if you are thinking of getting this book as an end of the world sci fi thriller/story, that is not what it really is. It is a sometimes profound reading...the choice is yours, every choice has its' consequences.

For a book dealing with the end of the world as we know it, it is full of the joy of humanity, but at the same time it also is full of the depression. There are profound ideas in utero - enjoy it, never again will you have so little responsibility for your survival, but even that is confounded, as this baby has to fight to survive there.

Even though we all know life ends - what would we do if we knew exactly when, and what if everyone we would normally know would be left behind would be destroyed in that instance? It can be a confusing book, but always is out of the ordinary, slogging through with the vagaries of life - an almost philosophical work.. It would be an interesting book club read, because everything matters!

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