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Everything Matters!

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,147 Ratings  ·  785 Reviews
In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in thirty-six years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter? While the voice that has accompanied him since conception appraises his choices, Junior's loved ones emerge with parallel stories-his anxious moth ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Viking Adult (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 16, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: read-in-2009
At 11:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, I hailed a cab in front of my office building in Southwest, DC and asked the driver if he would be willing to take me to my house in Northeast, DC. His radio was tuned to an AM talk station and he looked frightened. It appeared that he really wanted to just get the hell out of Dodge but he wasn't sure if this was the sort of event that warranted such a reaction. If this all turned out to be an overreaction or a hoax of some sort, wouldn't he have a tough time ...more
Sep 22, 2010 j rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2010
Picking up a book called Everything Matters! (a book shouted Everything Matters!) turns out to be both a challenge to you, the reader, but also a trap, and a bit of a spoiler.

Because you are being told, nay, implored to Pay Attention! to everything. You don't think that's asking too much of you because the book has such a great premise, which is: what if you (this time I am not referring to you the reader, but the hypothetical you, but specifically, the main character) were born with the terrib
Aug 09, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it
I would like, if I may be so bold, to try a revolutionary new rating system for this particular book. Since the novel I'm reviewing is divided into three distinct "Parts," I would like to rate each of these individual parts separately (!!!!!!!).

This isn't just because I'm bored of giving a book only one rating (though, truth be told, I am sort of bored of doing that) but because I had very different reactions to each of the three sections.

So here goes:

PART 1 -- RATING: 4 Stars

It's hard not to
Jul 07, 2009 Mallory rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who aren't afraid of an emotional read
This is simultaneously one of the most uplifting and depressing books I've ever read. Every time I started to feel really joyful--"Yes, everything DOES matter!"--something would come along to make me question the book's themes all over again. That said, this is not a sad read, just a hard one. This is one of those books that does something to your soul, even if you can't exactly pinpoint what that is.

Junior is "gifted" with the knowledge, in utero, that the world will end in roughly 35 years. He
Jul 13, 2009 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2012 Jennie rated it really liked it
1st Awesome Thing About This Book: There is an exclamation point in the title.

2nd Awesome Thing About This Book: Everything else (!)

I feel like I really did a disservice to this book by not reviewing it immediately after I finished it. But, as it stands, I’m about eight reviews behind right now, so there you have it. This book, like so many I’ve reviewed this year, was a gift from my husband and I guess he knows me well, because I loved it. This was my first foray into Ron Currie Jr.’s world and
Justin Tappan
Jun 06, 2013 Justin Tappan rated it really liked it
If I could give half stars, this would be a 4 1/2.

I loved this book. The premise is unique, and as the story unfolds you wonder, "Where is he going with this?" Currie then proceeds to go in directions that you wouldn't expect. I didn't expect them, anyway.

The characters are well fleshed-out and Currie brings them to life with remarkable ease. The prose is succinct. The story lags a tiny bit in the middle, but then most novels do, and the lag is only a small, temporary hiccup.

The more supernatura
Deborah Moulton
Nov 18, 2009 Deborah Moulton rated it liked it
Some good writing and an interesting experiment, but the book ultimately fails. The book begins with the premise that a man, from in utero forward, knows the exact moment and cause of the end of human life on earth. Talked to constantly by an inner voice, his life is informed by this ongoing chatterbox. It's not a conversation since he never talks back or engages with the voice. It's less "God" or alien and more the on-going "monkey mind" we all have: hopping around, chastising us about our choi ...more
May 07, 2013 Addie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Addie by: Joey Baker
Everything ends, and Everything matters.

This book spoke to me for many reasons, one of which happens to be my unyielding fascination with inevitable trauma, both in real life and in fiction. What really gets me emotional and endeared to an idea, a story, a way of life are the endings, the last times, the finality of people, places, things. Endings are always traumatic for me and I can't always explain why, and obviously this book is about the end of the Earth so I was destined to be traumatized,
Daniel Solera
Sep 08, 2010 Daniel Solera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book came as a recommendation from the sages at After analyzing my browsing and purchasing history, they decided this book would be right up my alley. I was definitely intrigued by the synopsis, which states that the book's protagonist knows the exact date of the end of the world. With such a premise, the possibilities, both thematic and philosophical, would be plentiful and surely intriguing.

You'd think, right?

Unfortunately, this novel is all style and shockingly little substan
Oct 05, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Oh boy! Have tissues at the ready.

So, you can find the summary easily enough. A fetus, in utero, learns of the world's impending end, from some outside unknown source, and has to live his life with this knowledge. I don't want to reveal much more but, suffice it to say, it's unique in its premise and intriguing. I loved it.

The book is written in two formats-one in the omniscent third person-religious people may believe it's God or a god (I thought it was some alien life form)-and the other is th
Greg Zimmerman
Mar 12, 2011 Greg Zimmerman rated it really liked it
Ron Currie Jr. would probably take umbrage with a Bud Light commercial making the rounds these days. In it, scientists spot a meteor heading toward Earth, realize that death is imminent, and commence partying as if nothing matters anymore. But Currie takes a rather unconventional route toward trying to convince you that, even when you know you're going to die, everything in fact, DOES matter.

When our protagonist, Junior Thibodeau, is born, a mysterious voice, which stays with him his entire lif
Neil White
Mar 01, 2013 Neil White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time a book toed so close to the line between heartrendingly brilliant and just plain cheesy. In the hands of a lesser author this would have been the latter, plain and simple. And while Currie comes dangerously close at times, he always stops short of going over the line to melodramatic cheese. Instead he comes across as a modernist storyteller like Vonnegut - with just enough of a dash of science fiction to allow suspension of disbelief for some of the stranger plot t ...more
Sarah Etter
May 30, 2011 Sarah Etter rated it really liked it
everything matters! sucked me in pretty quickly and i ended up finishing it in about three or four days. i have a full-time job, GET OFF MY BACK, GUYS!

this book did feel in many ways like getting hit by a comet. there's so much happening - in the plot, structure and themes - that it was sort of like getting sucked into a whirlwind and then dumped back out with those little cartoon birds and stars floating around your head.

everything matters! starts with the main character in his mother's womb, n
J.T. Geissinger
Dec 12, 2011 J.T. Geissinger rated it it was amazing
Five thousand stars. Seriously. I would like to have Ron Currie Jr.'s lovechild, in order to perpetuate this level of talent in the gene pool.

Shockingly, exquisitely, amazingly (and many, many more -ly words) GOOD. Toe-curlingly good. Blather-on-endlessly-to-your-friends-until-they-barf good.

Inventive. Funny. Piercing. Soulful. Creative. Smart. Epic. Stunning.

Forget about the chapters counting DOWN, not up. Forget about the omniscient, alien narrator that occasionally -- fabulously -- intrude
Sep 04, 2010 C.E. rated it really liked it
This is a strange book--interesting premise--Junior, the main character knows from birth that the world will end 36 years after his birth, more or less. How does he live his life? I thought this was the set up for a modern take on Camus' "The Plague" instead it unfolded as one of the weirdest meditations on life and love and family I've encountered. There's a lot that flat out doesn't work and some parts are so ridiculous as to be off-putting (for me the fact that Currie obviously didn't spend a ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Cassie-la rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads

Everything Matters is told from multiple perspectives of the Thibodeaux family: worrisome mother, workaholic father, drug addicted brother, insane uncle, savant Junior, the love of Junior’s life Amy and the omnipresent 2nd person narrator(s). I have yet to find a second person perspective so well written and so relevant to the narrative style since this book. Although Junot Diaz comes a close second, particularly in his newest short story c
Jan 17, 2011 ambimb rated it really liked it
Recommended to ambimb by: Wallace-l
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2010 Carl rated it liked it
Started great; a precocious, quirky protagonist/narrator with an odd story. But it really bogged down in the middle. I guess everything does matter; if California governments weren't strapped and the library weren't closed for 2 weeks during holidays, and i hadn't checked this out beforehand, I would have returned it unfinished. I put it down several times in favor of a layman's book on chance, probability and statistics (seriously, and I'll rate that eventually), but forced myself to get throug ...more
Diane Ferbrache
May 05, 2010 Diane Ferbrache rated it it was ok
Shelves: washyarg
Junior has a secret. From the time he was in the womb, he has known exactly when the world will end – on June 15, 2010 a comet will hit earth and obliterate every living thing. The story is told over the course of 35 years in alternating voices from Junior’s, his brother’s, his father’s, and Amy’s (Junior’s first love) perspectives.
What should be an intriguing, nail-biting suspense filled book is just plain weird. From the first chapters where Junior speaks from the womb, to the 70s-80s time
Jun 26, 2014 James rated it really liked it
The first pages of this book made all my this is a very good book sensors light up like a christmas tree with sheer happiness. A baby still in the womb is infused with the knowledge that the world will end soon. Born with this overhang of doom the embryo, baby, adolescent and finally man struggles to find meaning in his life. The authors point of view on this topic is given away by the title.

I was always a fan of the line from Martin Luther that if he knew the world was going to end tomorrow he
Blodeuedd Finland
I am having a bad dnf day. boring
Mar 06, 2013 Lookiamafishie rated it really liked it
I'm not giving it five stars ONLY because it felt like people who loved it really really loved it and I don't know if I'm one of those people. However, I did really love it. It was great to read, cheesy ONLY very rarely. I think what I liked most about it is that it was a story about a family. I think it's rare to find that in contemporary US fiction (I feel like the author usually focuses on one person and that person's major love.) So that was refreshing. It felt deep without being annoying ab ...more
May 07, 2015 Kiki rated it it was amazing
A genius novel. How would you behave if you knew the world was going to end? I just loved the main character, Junior. There was something in this novel to appeal to almost anyone. I have recommended it to people who might otherwise have never picked it up.
Denzil Pugh
A modern Candide. Voltaire used his episodic tale of misery and woe to demonstrate that happiness can never really be found, not until the very end, when the main characters all live in a shack and tend a garden outside. Living life is the only true happiness that mankind can have, and no amount of philosophical reasoning, or wealth, or fame, can ever get him that status. Except that's not the book I'm here to review.

I love apocalyptic books. I can remember reading When Worlds Collide by Wylie
Oct 28, 2011 Gretchen rated it really liked it
What a wild ride. I tend to shy away from books with an apocalyptic theme (I get enough depressing news from the real world) but the title of this book grabbed my attention. Maybe because, when I am having a particularly world-weary day, I will sometimes poke a stick at that behemoth of a philosophical question that slumbers in a corner of my mind: "Does anything really matter?"

The protagonist in Ron Currie's book, Junior Thibodeau, really has reason to ask that question. From the day he is bor
Nov 05, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it
One thing I'll say about Everything Matters is that its plot messed with my expectations. Not that I had a lot of expectations about a novel that opened with disembodied voices telling a developing fetus that the world would end in 36 years, but Currie's story of a typical American life with a few very untypical things about it dodges easy categorization. It's neither magic realism, nor science fiction, nor a supernatural tale, but more of an earnest existential drama about the choices people ma ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Mar rated it really liked it
I happened upon this book as I fumbled across one of the many sale tables at 2nd and Charles. The cover art and the title jumped out at me and the cover page alone had enough critic praise to get anybody's attention. I then realized I had read another of Currie's books, God Is Dead, and had found it to be very interesting. I just finished this book and I thought it to be very well done. He brings up a lot of issues but ones which, when discussed at point blank range, seem to get negative or argu ...more
Padraigh Mchale
Jul 25, 2009 Padraigh Mchale rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this book. Really. I expected to enjoy it somewhat, though, and how couldn't I? It's about the choices and life of a man who knows, down to the second, the exact time and method of the destruction of all life on our planet. Well, ninety six percent of it, anyway, which seems about the same, being one of the species that would be extinct in that scenario.

That being said, this book is way better than it has any business being. There are a lot of point of view transitions in
Jun 02, 2013 Jesse rated it liked it
a solid early novel from that new school of writing that heeds dfw's advice about the new radical being earnestness and an eschewal of irony. the polyphonic structure works well, but the strange reset toward the end seems redundant and didn't seem necessary as the theme was already developed. but the characters were memorable and fun to spend time with (minus their precocity (minor aside: why must every protagonist be precocious, and then have a brother who is earnest, lovable, and humble despit ...more
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Ron Currie, Jr. was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, where he still lives. His first book, God is Dead, won the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His debut novel, Everything Matters!, will be translated into a dozen languages, and is a July Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best of June 2009 sele ...more
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“Everything ends, and Everything matters.

Everything matters not in spite of the end of you and all that you love, but because of it. Everything is all you’ve got…and after Everything is nothing. So you were wise to welcome Everything, the good and the bad alike, and cling to it all. Gather it in. Seek the meaning in sorrow and don’t ever turn away, not once, from here until the end. Because it is all the same, it is all unfathomable, and it is all infinitely preferable to the one dreadful alternative.”
“And knowing that the only alternative to your grief is the nothingness that’s fast approaching, you try to embrace your own sorrow, to be open and empty and let it all pass through you. This is the key, you have learned – to relinquish control, to relinquish the desire for control. Even in this late drama, to try to control is to go mad. And so you do your best to let it all go.” 18 likes
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