Author: Blake Crouch // First published: July 2016 // Genre: Science Fiction
This edition: 340 pages, published in July 2016 by Crown // Get it @TheBookDepository
Read in September 2016
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
“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.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
I hadn’t heard of this book until Instagram blew up with pictures of it last month. It came out in July, but for some reason everyone seemed to reading or hauling it in September. As most everyone else —I guess— I was drawn it because of the cover, and then the synopsis locked me in and I had to have this book. Getting the paperback version was kind of complicated, but that’s another story all together.
While I enjoyed my reading experience overall, I wasn’t that taken with this book. I had this very weird and conflicted sensation that the story was both taking too much time to unfold and was jumping to things too quickly at the same time. I’m writing this review almost a month after I read the book (#badbookblogger), so I don’t remember the specifics of what I thought and when in the book I thought it, but as I recall, it takes almost until the half way point of the book before we are told what the hell is actually going on. I will say, though, that it was not what I was expecting. I was anticipating the main character to have had some sort of experimental scientific procedure done to him that allowed him to explore deep corners of the human mind… Or something. Instead, it’s a mix of Fringe and Sliders; which isn’t necessarily bad in itself, I just wasn’t chuffed with the execution.
People around the main character are just too quick to accept the crazy situation that he is in. None of them really question him, they just go along with it. WHY? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Either he’s friends with way too gullible people, or this world is way more technologically and scientifically advanced than ours and crazy stuff like this is normal. But either way, it doesn’t make sense to me. Especially near the end.
As I said, how the story unfolds was not at all what I expected, so while reading, I got surprised a couple of times. I also read this book quite quickly, and I admit I was into it while reading. But now that I’ve finished it, the more I think about it, the more I think I didn’t like it all that much. The concept is interesting, it is relatively fast-paced, it is an easy read, but some elements of the story just didn’t do it for me.