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3.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,286 ratings  ·  288 reviews
“A philosophical, witty, wonderful, and altogether magical love story.”
—M.J. Rose, author of The Hypnotist

“Amiably outrageous….Mandery is a worthy son of those great writers of the 1970s, Vonnegut, Barthelme, and Barth.”
—Joseph Skibell, author of A Curable Romantic

“I’ve never read anything like it and enjoyed every minute of it!”
—Jessica Anya Blau, author of Drinking Close
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,286 ratings  ·  288 reviews

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Evan Mandery
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am partial, I must admit.
Indulgent and self-serving best sums up that book to me. I loved the concept, the idea of being visited by your future self, the chance to change the course of your life. It could have been such an amazing book but it really fell short for me. I didn't feel like it went anywhere, it felt repetitive and just flat. I liked the ending though but that's about it. Read it if you wish but I won't be recommending it. ...more
Q: A Love Story is a misleading title if ever there was one. It is a love story only in the sense that it's a book with a love story in it - most of the plot doesn't relate to this, regardless of what you might (understandably) assume. More unusually and significantly, it's also a time travel story. But more than either of these, it's a comedy. Oh, and the character of Q barely features, only making a couple of appearances, which seems odd given the author's choice to name the book after her.

Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
in short: time travel. love. and 'what ifs.'

yes, you've heard it all before, and, yes, you've probably heard it told just like this one, and, yes, it still doesn't get never does.

overall, i enjoyed this book. that being said, i do have some complaints.

1st gripe: what's with the BIG words in this book? i wouldn't be soooo against 'such words' if it added to the story, but it didn't. further more, how many dialouges have you heard words like "parsimonious" and "hubris" being used. (
Apr 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
So stupid. I have a strong feeling that I may have been intrigued primarily by its unoriginal concept’s similarity to an episode of the best show, Buffy (“Hell’s Bells”). Neurotic, annoying, and there are minor details left unexplained. I kept with it hoping the story would go somewhere, but it does not. Tangents annoy. The second half is ridiculous and does not hold up to the cool premise. The main character is boring and his novel/story ideas sound really dull to match him. Yes, the protagonis ...more
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Q is one of those books with the unfortunate side effect that when you are done, you find yourself wandering forlornly around Amazon lamenting the fact that the author doesn't have at least a dozen more books for you to read right away (only 2 others—both fantastic). Q is that good—a rare combination of humor, truth and poignancy. It is told from the point of view of a character called “I” who falls in love with his soul mate, “Q.” Everything goes along peachy until one day I's 60-year-old depre ...more
Bennett Callaghan
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Q, Mandery writes with equal measures of wit, irony, and poignancy--all tinged with a certain existential angst and philosophical reflection--that is characteristic of his other novels
as well (see: First Contact or It's Later than You Think and Dreaming
of Gwen Stefani). In my opinion, this is Mandery's best work although
I highly enjoyed his other novels as well. If you have read the other
reviews, you already know what it is about, so I won't detail the plot
here. I will say, however, that Q wa
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An author needs a wealth of chutzpah to write a philosophical sci-fi/comedy/romance and a still deeper well of talent to pull it off. Impressively, Evan Mandery mostly succeeds with his poignant, often hilarious, consideration of our universal curse of second guessing.

Our narrator, (“I”) is a professor of history and novelist, who writes alternative histories about such profound questions as what if President William Harrison had taken his mother’s advice and worn a jacket to his inauguration (t
Jan 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
First of all, the girl on the cover looks nothing like the Q in my head.

Second of all, Mandery's writing leaves a lot to be desired and tainted my opinions from page 2. A large portion of the book is devoted to random diatribes on anything from the play by plays of a miniature golf game to the relevance of Douglas Adam's work to a detailed synopsis of The Twilight Zone (none of which are relevant to the themes at hand).

Thirdly, the unusual device of time travel is butchered. Seriously, Mandery
Patrick Wensink
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Q has been, thusfar, my favorite read of 2011. Mandery's First Contact explored alien invasions in a robust, realistic way and thankfully, he's applied that same wonderful sense of style to time travel.

Mandery's obsession with pop culture and comedy (look no further than one character's thousand mile journey for a Chik-Fil-A sandwich) wraps tightly among what is first and foremost a love story, but is turned on its head by rupturing the space time continuum.

At the core of this heartbreaking and
Daria Zeoli
I found the premise of this book had the potential to be fascinating, and there were aspects that I enjoyed. I found myself throwing my hands in the air as the main character's future selves kept coming to him, telling him to change every action he makes at the advice of the last future self. I was relieved when his current self responded similarly.

The sections that relate to the character's books were incredibly boring, and perhaps intentionally so. I felt that I was supposed to be in on the j
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Believers in second chances... and third, and fourth...
Recommended to Alan by:
If I were to go back in time and meet my younger self, would I tell him to give up on reading this book?

Two almost insufferably cute people meet cute in Manhattan, bonding over a chance encounter in an almost-empty movie theater showing Casablanca and Play It Again, Sam back to back. They are relatively young, though both turn out to be oddly knowledgeable about bygone media—their shared touchstones are TV series like Maude (1972) and Alice (1976). Erin Grey in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Q" is really funny. And smart.
The author made a great choice, because the best way to avoid making the reader think or question about the paradoxes and impossibilities of time travel, is with humor. It doesn't matter (that much) the accuracy of the physic's laws or the science at all (although in the story the paradoxes are discussed), because what is truly important in "Q" are the humor and the romance, and the philosophy which underlays the whole plot, with the idea that the progress or the
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. I can't wait to read it again. It encouraged me to think about many different things, those being factual to emotional. I found it very similar to the way I perceive love's encounter. I don't know why others have reviewed it like they have. I guess we all just have different tastes.

I always find a book to be notable when it opens my mind to new ideas and spins old ones and new vocabulary. The tempo was pretty consistent to me too, although I can admit some of the time travel
Catie Middleton
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in a day, which absolutely never happens. But honestly, I don't think there is any other way that this book should be read. Gobble it up, it's so fabulous. The writing is superb, sometimes a bit Austen-esque. And the characters are wonderful. The beauty of this story is that it starts out as a love story, and it ends up being a story of self discovery and of choices. Through our unnamed narrators voice and experiences we see the weight that choices have on our lives, how beautif ...more
Vikas Datta
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Immensely moving and poignant.... more like a fable about what the consequences of our actions can be and would we follow on our intentions if we come to know how they would unfold in the future. But also uproariously funny at various places and the counter-factual theories are a spot of absolute, inspired genius, especially when they pull in Old Tippecanoe (William Henry Harrison, President of the US), Daniel Webster, and Herr Doktor Freud. A most delightful, but though-provoking read....
Aug 26, 2011 added it
I'm pretty into time travel. I think I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that I have some mixed feelings about science fiction as a genre. I don't really have mixed feelings about time travel. There is a lot of time travel in Evan Mandery's novel Q. I was pretty into Q.

So what is it about (besides, of course, time travel)? Q is the girlfriend of our narrator, a counter-historical novelist and academic. The two have a quirky romance and are planning their wedding, when a future version of the n
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
What would happen if somewhere in the future, the ability to travel through time became a reality? What if you could travel back in time to talk to your earlier version of yourself and stop events before they could ruin your life and make you miserable? Would you do it?

In the novel, Q by Evan Mandery, this is the premise for the story. A man in the story is never mentioned by his name, which is odd when you consider it but it doesn't interrupt the story. He meets the girl of his dreams. She is c
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book in one day, and I don't remember the last time I did that. My eyesight was really starting to fade but I couldn't stop turning the pages. I will be honest I almost stopped reading it because, in the beginning, there were some annoying political stereotypes and cliches...and I don't like that in the fiction I read. Something told me to stick with it and I'm glad I did. A slightly mind bending and original time-travel love story, this was definitely my kind of book. ...more
It's been a while, but i do remember this:

Q is witty and pleasant and doesn't take itself too seriously. There were a few powerfully emotional moments but what stuck with me was a Vonnegutian sense of humor. And yes, Mr. Vandery confirms my suspicions on his author page. Good job.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I loved this book! It was such a fun read. It also really made me think. I loved how you were able to get to know the main character simply through the voice of his narration.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: time-travelling
Apparently, Evan Mandery is a keen poker player. It shows in 'Q', a novel that turns the notion of time-travelling upside down simply by exaggerating the process.

Mandery's nameless protagonist is an assistant professor and a budding writer - or so he believes. Just before getting married (to his beloved 'Q'), he is being visited by a future 'I' that has disturbing news about the consequences of his marriage. Bewildered, the protagonist turns to the unexpected visitor for guidance. At his future
Well, Q can definitely stand for quirky. The premise of this story was intriguing enough: a man is about to get married to Q, the love of his life, but is then visited by a future version of himself, warning him not to go through with it. The narrator, never named throughout the book, changes the course of his life because of a futuristic visit, but it doesn’t stop there. While trying to appease his future self, he constantly keeps changing the path that his life is to take. He’s a writer, but h ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is nearly a 4 star book. I found the writing to be clever and the dialogue to be particularly fun. The author is very well read and provides intriguing ideas for the reader to mull over regarding the roads less traveled. At times, I found the writer's work to be absolutely profound but not in the prominent ideas. It was more in the periphery thought process of the protagonist where the juiciest material occurred. I loved the way he summarizes the workings of the bully and how the bully forc ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
I am ashamed to admit that reading this book was an accident. There are a surprising number of books with the title Q and what I thought would be a book about Martin Luther turned out to be a time travel romance that I would recommend to anyone.

Warning: Beyond this point there are spoilers.

What would you do if your future self kept coming back into your life to give you guidance? My personal reaction would probably be to tell that person to screw off and let me make my own mistakes and experienc
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the concept:

A man is visited by his future self, who has travelled through time to warn him that he absolutely must not marry the love of his life.

That's Quentina Elizabeth Dervil, known to everyone as Q.

I loved watching them fall in love. Because it felt so real. Two people meeting, talking about this that and everything, their lives so naturally coming together ...

That pulled me right into the story.

And that's why I was infuriated when the unnamed narrator's future self and insisted tha
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
With the novel's opening chapter, I found two things: enchanting sweetness and overly quirky forays that ran a bit too long. I immediately loved Q as much as our unnamed narrator did; their very cute courtship charmed me. But just as I started to get seriously excited for the story, Mandery tempered my enthusiasm with four pages describing the stroke-for-stroke mini golf game the narrator and Q play on their second date. Amusingly, the course is owned by Neo-Marxists and so the obstacles are all ...more
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
To be frank I picked up this book because I was standing at the long check out line in Waterstones and my eyes fell on the NY Times quote printed on the cover above. Tear prone? I am very much tear prone so of course I picked the book up.

I wanted a heartfelt sad ending where I can cry my eyes out. I didn’t even read the story description until I was about to start it, which made it even more intriguing. The book tells the story of Q, Quentina Elizabeth Deveril, the love of the narrator’s life wh
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the oddest books I've ever read.

It took me a very long time to finish, but not because I didn't like it. I did like it. A lot. Except for the parts that were completely uninteresting. Or boring. Or overfilled with too many details. But I can't hate the book for it, because I somehow feel that the author intended those stories within the story to be uninteresting, or boring, or overfilled with details, so that after struggling through them, they made me chuckle and think of how cle
Nov 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
The concept is the most interesting thing about this book. Unfortunately, it is wasted the actual execution of this book.

First of all, the main character was boring and pretentious. He falls in love with Q, who is an organic farmer and passionate about the environment. Which is fine, but it's done so over the top that it almost seemed like I was supposed to hate them. I would've been fine disliking them if I'd known who I was supposed to root for (certainly not the future-father-in-law) or if a
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Time Travel: Q: A Novel - Evan Mandery: Has anyone read this one? 6 32 Jan 14, 2013 10:25AM  

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Evan Mandery is the author of four novels: Dreaming of Gwen Stefani, First Contact (Or, It's Later Than You Think), Q, and, most recently, The Professional. He has also written two works of non-fiction: The Campaign, a funny chronicle of his year as research director on Ruth Messinger's doomed 1997 mayoral campaign, and A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America, a ...more

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“Give up on trying to be original. Every song has been sung, every picture has been painted, and every story has been told. The best one can do is sing, draw, or tell it again well.” 16 likes
“The human mind is itself a miraculous machine. I am writing right now, but I have no idea how this is happening. I know that my brain is composed of a cerebrum, a cerebellum, and a medulla oblongata, but these are just words. I know that electrical impulses are involved somehow, but that is about the extent of my understanding of the mechanics. And while I at least have an intuition as to how an airplane works, I really have none with respect to my brain. Frankly, lots of what appears on my computer screen is as much a surprise to me as it is to you. I certainly never expected over my oatmeal and English muffin this morning to be writing about Bernoulli's principle today. For that matter, I have no idea why I like English muffins. But I do.” 2 likes
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