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The Future for Curious People

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 ratings  ·  235 reviews
What if you could know your romantic future? What if an envisionist could enter the name of your prospective mate into a computer that would show you a film of your future life together?

In The Future for Curious People, a young librarian named Evelyn becomes obsessed with this new technology: she can’t stop visiting Dr. Chin’s office because she needs to know that she’ll m
Paperback, 323 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Algonquin Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,100 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-from-work
I look up at the sky, growing dark. The snow is light and dizzying - and new. That's the thing about snow. It's all about promise. It's nature's do-over.

Suddenly Adrian is standing right in front of me. He looks a little teary. Maybe it's just the cold wind. He's so close I feel his warm breath; this is possibly the most exercise he's gotten in weeks. I imagine his ribs, rising and falling, after sex. I'll miss his hands on me and the way he says I'm the best goddamn librarian in the world, even
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“Most people choose their futures by accident. They don’t even know they’re making choices. They don’t even know that there are forks in the road – much less forks within forks. The future no longer has to be messy. It can be tested out. It can be known.”

In an alternate yet still contemporary Baltimore, there is a flourishing market of Envisionists: doctors that are trained to show people a small glimpse of their future. A cup of pills, a virtual reality helmet and a n
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
You can also read my review here.

"What if there is this time bomb to love. What if it's like you fall in love with so many people who just aren't for you, and with each one, your heart toughens up, and you have to find the one who is right for you before your heart is completely calcified in your chest."


Do you ever read a book and thought 'THIS SHOULD BE A MOVIE' or 'WAIT, HAVE I WATCHED this before??' This book totally gave me those feels.

First of all, The Future for Curious People.. is a mo
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: PW 6/2/14 (with a typo, of instead of for)
This was a highly enjoyable book about people who can't help but look into their relationship futures, with great consequences to their current entanglements. The two narrators on the audiobook portray Godfrey Burkes and Evelyn the Librarian very well, alongside distinguishable minor characters with different voices.

The book made me laugh quite a few times - it's the kind of humor that's just cute, like a romantic comedy. If you don't chuckle or marvel at every combination of Tom Hanks and Meg R
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: worldbuilding
Read this and other reviews at Ampersand Read.

So this is a weird little story. What's weird about it is our little friends, Godfrey and Evelyn. They take "quirky" and walk a mile away with it. They're looking at quirky in the rearview mirror (tell me what TV show I just quoted that from, and you get a million imaginary golden ponies). Which is cool, I like a little quirk. But the quirk gets in the way of actual character building.

Both Godfrey and Evelyn have parental issues. Many characters and
Maria Tizon
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
From the first page of The Future for Curious People, I was hooked. Like, stay up all night, ignore the kids, forget about cooking dinner kind of hooked. The break up scene at the beginning was written so well, I found myself caring right away, and feeling that lost empty feeling at the end of a relationship. Evelyn Shriner is my kind of heroine. She's funny, perceptive, questions everything. She's bold and scared all at the same time. Her painful past, her inescapable feeling of loss, her addic ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is awkward. Now many of the other books I have given five stars to, need to move down a star. Not all, but many. I will fall in love with a book if it has one or two unbelievable lines and this one has an endless number. Full disclosure, I work in a library so I understand how plausible the crazy library stories actually are. Not everyone might get that. The last word quotes, the cab driver, the duck. The "last man standing" method of promotion. I'm not writing this well and I can't e ...more
Romance and Fantasy for Cosmopolitan Girls
Romance and Fantasy for Cosmopolitan Girls
Come reagireste se vi dicessero che esiste un sistema che vi proietterebbe nel futuro? Curiosi di sapere se la persona accanto sarà l'amore della vostra vita e vivrete per sempre felici e contenti?
Io sono un po' combattuta, da un lato sarei curiosissima di vedere come sarebbe la mia vita tra qualche anno, ma dall'altro mi spaventerebbe sapere che le cose potrebbero non andare come me le sono immaginate.
Bene, il libro parla proprio di questo. Un metodo ba
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it

Technology now exists for people to “envision” their romantic futures. Evelyn breaks up with her boyfriend, Adrian, when she envisions them singing “Happy Birthday” to a Chihuahua—a future that seems too bland for her liking. Evelyn’s need for love, however, transforms into obsession and then addiction when she cannot stop visiting Dr. Chin’s to envision futures with other romantic candidates.

Godfrey proposes to his girlfriend, Madge, but before ac
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I spent all day yesterday finishing this novel. With the help of envisionists, people are able to look into their future with their partner and see what sort of happy life, or disastrous one awaits them. As you can imagine, this is going to cause earthquakes in their relationships. Futurisitic 'new agey' visions aside, it isn't much different than what we often do in our own minds. Taking a potential partner (or our current one), examining their meaning in our lives, sliding their flaws under a ...more
Jeff Raymond
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Ina way, this book was a somewhat frustrating read, but it's rare when characters and concept win out in a science fiction book. In a way, The Future for Curious People is the sort of anti-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind in how it handles relationships and technology, if that makes any sense, and that makes it an interesting read.

The story is about a future where people can essentially hook themselves up to a computer and see various iterations of their future. The story bounces back and
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: grislist
P.73 Expecting something light, a touch romantic with a dash of futuristic device. I'm loving it. Oddball friendly characters, one works clearing Expired Safe Deposit Boxes (is that possible?)one works in a library ,hence the outstanding mini excerpt for the day "..I went to the library because in books there were people living real lives...once you understand that each book on the shelf has a heartbeat then you'll want to stay...I tend books the way someone in an aviary tends birds."
Better in c
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
The idea behind The Future For Curious People is an interesting one. Thanks to medical science people can now envision their future with different romantic partners by hooking your head up to some wires and watching it on a TV screen. So far so good.

But the science fiction side of the story soon gets swept away for a quirky romance between an awkward indie boy and a manic pixie dream girl. Both Evelyn and Godfrey have had interesting childhoods but the implications of that aren't explored, nor i
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Went from confusing the hell out of me to charming me.
A quick read once you get past some annoying window dressing known as supporting characters.
You wonder if technology- if such existed- could find you the ideal mate. If you wonder, this is the book you need to read.
A cynic such as myself instead found many pertinent questions thrown into my already overcrowded window. I give it that-along with making you laugh- it makes you think.
For the populace who surround me, not good. LOL. But for the
Fernanda Lara
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, girly-frills
Mucho potencial, pobre ejecución, personajes aburridos y demasiada cursilería. Demasiado dejado a la suerte, demasiadas coincidencias, demasiada mención del "true love", no lo odié pero tiene más puntos malos que buenos. Puedo imaginar perfectamente a Zooey Deschanel como Evelyn y eso no es un halago al libro por mucho que adore a Deschanel.
4.5 stars

It started out really prosetic and beautiful, but soon the flowing language gave way. Also, I wasn't a huge fan of Evelyn, the female lead. Her obsession with the future felt really unrealistic after a while.

Overall, good premise, nice use of language (mostly), and I related to Godfrey and enjoyed his character development.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, fiction
What do you believe where love is concerned, and what are you capable of believing? Lots of influences from "Eternal Sunshine...", "Being John Malkovich", and "Brazil"...leaving one to wonder if they could love someone just because they're told they are supposed to love them? Likewise to wonder if they age in and out of love, and meet people that will love them someday...but not the version that currently stands before them.

Handed to me with a note that said "Here, read this".

This is why I do bo
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
It was an okay story. The author's idea to come out with this kind of concept deserves a credit. Quite a number of cursing words which I don't really enjoy that.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SERIOUSLY one of my new favorite books! I mean it. As soon as I finished it, I actually thought about starting it all over again. If I had any talent whatsoever and could actually write a book, THIS is the book that I would write. I loved the quirkiness of the characters and the inner dialogue had me about to pee my pants a couple of times! I felt like the author spoke to my dry and sarcastic soul and while he was making me laugh out loud, he was also making me think and feel and highlight! Omg, ...more
Silvia Devitofrancesco
Evelyn, di professione bibliotecaria, è fidanzata con Adrian, componente di una band emergente. La loro esistenza muta quando la giovane decide di consultare un visionista per conoscere il loro futuro amoroso, ma il responso non è dei migliori. Evelyn decide perciò di lasciare Adrian. Godfrey, impiegato presso la sede del Dipartimento degli Oggetti rinvenuti e mai reclamati, ha deciso di compiere il grande passo. Chiede alla sua amata Madge di sposarlo, ma la donna evidentemente sconcertata, pro ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
The 2013 movie “About Time,” tells the story of a young man who uses his ability to travel back to the recent past in order to change what already happened. This book is similar to the movie in a way, except these protagonists have the ability to see potential futures - traveling forward, rather than back - so that they can make changes now if they so desire. Both stories conclude with a new appreciation for, and commitment to the “now,” but not necessarily by choice.

The Future For Curious Peopl
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished-in-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny Roth
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How do you know that you've found the one? Is it the person with whom you can most easily envision a prosperous future? Or someone who, when you're with them, makes you think about the future less because you are happy and loved in the present?
This is the conflict at the crux of The Future for Curious People. In alternating chapters, we hear the struggles of newly single Evelyn and recently almost-but-not-quite-engaged Godfrey. Evelyn, born to parents consumed by a tragic event in their past, i
Dec 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was hooked by the title, read through all of it, and hated it. Truly hated it. Yet I finished it. Which is to say that it isn't all bad in there, there are some interesting ideas, the characters are quirky alright, but quirky's good. Until it's not and you're overusing it.
The book is full of great ideas, with hints at pop culture, but it never fully manages to take any of these ideas to another lever. And it is frustrating. It sounds very similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Except
Blodreina (Red Queen)
Oct 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-stella
"Books can break a man open, even ones about a panda, maybe especially so."

Leggere per tutto il libro i pensieri di Evelyn e Godfrey mi ha fisicamente sfiancata.
La trama era accattivante e faceva porre domande interessanti, peccato che non ci sia nulla di tutto questo nel libro. Il libro e i personaggi sono di un piattume disarmante, i loro pensieri vagano senza senso, saltano da un pensiero ad un altro senza il minimo legame tra loro, entrambi i personaggi erano così hipster (o meglio, ci prova
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, really. Well. What a trip. This was an...odd novel. The humor was wonderful and dry. I liked the female lead and her best friend, and towards the end, the male protagonist is a great character as well. It's definitely an interesting concept--almost syfy. Overall, well written. However, there were some definite weaknesses as well. The set-up for the plot took 2/3 of the book, so the actual story didn't get going till late. This caused the ending to be rushed and inconclusive. I enjoyed ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Future For Curious People by Gregory Sherl imagines a world where people can visit envisionists to get a peek at their romantic futures.


But these characters can briefly look into the future, rather than stewing endlessly about feeling not-unhappy, and they can glimpse how their lives would turn out with different partners. Bart and Amy, Godfrey's smug-coupled friends, see their future selves happily sailing on a boat, and are reassured that they've made their right choice. But in most cas
Alan Carr
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fun and entertaining read which sucked me in from the title and held me through to the end. The book wasn't quite what I expected but then it was all about playing with expectations so that seems appropriate. Also appropriate is that I obtained the book from stealing it, temporarily, from a friend. When you meet Dot you'll know why that's so appropriate. I only wish there was twice as much story as the characters and world were such fun to dive into that any ending was going to feel slightly u ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I was drawn to this novel by the premise. What if we could see our future as couple with another person? The premise also seemed to me like a different take on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Instead of erasing memories of a bad relationship, you can prevent them from happening at all.
Although generally well-written, I wasn't pulled into the story and didn't find it compelling. I also didn't feel engaged with the characters. Overall I feel this is likely due to personal preference, theref
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-books
An interesting read for me. The story was set in a world where people could go to a doctor and see their possible futures. The story follows the story of two people who use the service to find out more about where their lives are going. I found it to be a real funny and thought provoking read. By the end it was really sweet and made me think about fate and whether knowing about where your life is going is a good thing.

Loved the ideas behind it and enjoyed it more and more as it went through. Fo
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl 1 16 Aug 02, 2015 11:57PM  

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Gregory Sherl is a novelist and poet. His debut novel, The Future for Curious People, will be released by Algonquin Books on September 2nd, 2014. It has been translated into five languages.

He is also the author of three poetry collections, including The Oregon Trail is the Oregon Trail, shortlisted for the 2012 Believer Poetry Award and a semifinalist for Best Poetry in the 2012 Goodreads Choice A
“Books can break a man open,
even ones about a panda, maybe especially so.”
“What if there is this time bomb to love. What if it's like you fall in love with so many people who just aren't for you, and with each one, your heart toughens up, and you have to find the one who is right for you before your heart is completely calcified in your chest.” 4 likes
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