Amy's Reviews > How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
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's review
Aug 31, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: amazon-vine, 2010-books-read, time-travel, disappointing
Read from August 26 to 30, 2010

There went 237 pages of my life that I'll never get back. Luckily, I don't live in a science fictional universe. I was really expecting something great with all the hype. And the premise of the book surely had promise.


Unfortunately, this is mainly a book where nothing much happens... *SPOILERS (to the THREE things that happen in the book) to follow!* Even the girl he never marries and his time-traveling dog companion aren't real. In fact, the only thing that happens to the time machine repairman who is the first-person narrator of the story is that he shoots his time-traveling self in the stomach, finds the book his time-traveling self wrote, and brings his dad home from being lost in time. Oh no! I've just now given away the only things that actually HAPPEN in the book. Please forgive my insensitivity to your need for something to happen in a book beyond the musings in a character's mind.

I have no problem with reading books that mainly take place in a character's mind, but this one is ridiculous in its ability to say nothing for 50 pages at a time. The author manages to explain the time machine and time travel without actually ever saying anything other than equating it with the time tenses of grammar and explaining that it's all in your head. Wait. What? Was that the point? Is this guy really just time traveling in his head this whole time inside a box that really goes nowhere? If you really want to know you're welcome to waste 237 pages of your life to find out. Some people apparently liked this book. Unfortunately, I have a suspicion that they like the book because it's the trendy book to like this month in certain geek circles.

Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.
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Reading Progress

08/29 page 50
20.0% "50 pages in and still no plot? It doesn't keep me reaching for this book for sure. Interesting concept, so much hype, but falling flat for now."
05/12 marked as: read

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