Everything Matters!: A Novel Paperback – Jul 27 2010
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" 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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Top Customer Reviews
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...Read more ›
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!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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 places...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!