Author: Ron Currie Jr.

ISBN: 978-0143117513

Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)

Click Here To Purchase Everything Matters!: A Novel

There are books that I remember because they are poignant, profound, or thought-provoking. To say that Everything Matters will be remembered because it is all that and more is an understatement. I have found myself still chewing on questions days after reading it.

The premise of Ron Currie’s second novel (after God Is Dead ) is that Junior Thibodeau has somehow been singularly but debatably gifted with knowledge of the end of the world. What he does with the knowledge and its ramifications, form the main story line.

Ron Currie could have written this as a rebuttal to the Book of Ecclesiastes (“...vanity of vanities. All is vanity”). He definitely explores Judeo-Christian values. The underlying story line’s theme is love. Junior’s romantic love and love for his family make the title statement worthy of consideration; otherwise, what is the point? Morally, Junior wrestles with such ideas as whether the end justifies the means or whether two wrongs can make a right, especially when he indulges his own base instincts.

But, knowing what he knows, how could anyone really blame him? How would a person act in the same situation? If the end date is irrevocable, why should he act in a routine way? Knowing how to spend a specific expanse of time can be problematic for humans. We see this when a diseased person is told by a doctor “you have X days/weeks/months to live.” Many people react with self-indulgence. In Junior’s case, he’s told the end date from the beginning. His response could have been to curl up in a corner and ignore the passage of time.

In the way that the plots of movies such as Back to the Future and Groundhog Day caution against changes in the space/time continuum, Junior pokes at the fabric of this dimension to see if in fact anything DOES matter. What happens if he tries to change the course of events? When he goes to extreme measures to stop some events while letting others proceed unimpeded, the outcome is not what he expects.

I started off somewhat confused by the first few pages—confused but intrigued by the writing. I enjoy a puzzle and the beginning is certainly cryptic. Currie’s format continued to keep me on my toes with few print cues to the mark the passage of time—interesting, inasmuch as the book hinges on the measure of time. The numbered messages from an omniscient source are at first odd, but later become eagerly anticipated news bulletins. This being with the disembodied voice in Junior’s head remains enigmatic. Is it God? A god? Aliens? The question is never really answered, not even by Junior, leaving me to wonder who IS in charge? And does it matter? I consider a book like this that leaves me with more questions than when I started to be a worthwhile read.

Click Here To Purchase Everything Matters!: A Novel