A textbook to a discipline that doesn't exist. Think Strunk & White, only exploring an invented side of quantum mechanics instead of grammar. The story of Tara and her family travels the length of the book, applying the strange and sharp rules of a field designed to understand what can't be understood.
The universe is expanding. Tragedy strikes and Tara sets out on her own. She hitches rides. She explores far off cities. She finds the expanding universe cold and hulking and lawless. But she discovers that instead of moving out always away from her, it is moving in, contracting, reducing itself to one infinitely compact singularity. The Quantum Manual of Style lays out a different kind of rules, a set science normally plays by in the empirical universe, the universe of observation and experiment. But Tara's is the universe we cannot see. One of future, of choice. Quantum Style gives us the rules and the examples by which we can reason the unreasonable.
Brian Mihok's The Quantum Manual of Style is about how to exist, how to laugh at existence, how to exist as a friend, a family member, a person moving through the universe, bumping and loving and learning. It’s full of examples, too, anecdotes, a steady and subtle 2nd person narrative about ever-shifting family dynamics, searches. It’s equal parts thoughtful, sad, funny. Well, there’s maybe a little more funny than the other two. But it’s a thoughtful funny, and sometimes a sad funny, so, you know. It’s really good. I’m glad Brian wrote it.
The other reviews have already nailed it: funny, sad, and containing real insight RE: family dynamics. Premise-y books often run out of steam half way through; the form they're troping on can simply become white noise to straggle through to get back to the story that is emerging between the cracks of that form. There's no white noise here. I'd include some quotes but this was read aloud to me while driving through Arkansas.
A unique novel that imagines itself as a style guide for life based on the principles quantum mechanics. Some of the more esoteric stuff (the chapters on coding, for example) went over my head, but the definitions are funny and the narrative that's parceled out amid the style guide is deeply affecting.