What did Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and my sister have in common? They were all my friends, and they died. Timely Persuasion follows an anonymous music critic on a quest to save his sister from the relationship that ended her life. After a chance encounter at a bowling alley leaves him with the ability to travel in time, our hero uses his musical knowledge to "blink" through the years attempting to keep the couple apart by any means necessary. But is her husband Nelson really to blame? Along the way he launches a new folk rock star, accidentally restructures his family tree, and crosses paths with the likes of Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Billy Joel. Reliving past events through the eyes of his younger selves, he soon finds that correlation and causation are not always what they seem. This story of death, life, love, and rock 'n' roll defies genre conventions while paying tribute to the classic time travel tales that came before it.
I came across "Timely Persuasion" after reading some reviews of the movie "Yesterday". This book starts out as a fun time travel adventure story, but it so much more than that. The author shows a deep love and respect for the history of music and decoding all the references adds a lot of depth and enjoyment to the story. I particularly enjoyed the love story that develops through backstory and exposition. There are a lot of great things to say about this book, but suffice to say, "Local Boy done good!
Prologue ( I envision west side story I don't know why) 1) one Metallica Maggie May rod Stewart The gambler Kenny Rogers 2) Two of us the Beatles I want a new drug Huey Lewis and the news The needle and the damage done Neil young 3) gimmee three steps lynyrd skynyrd Truckin grateful dead 4) hours in Washington Down along the cove bob Dylan Ironic alanis morissette 5) five seconds to hold you devics Smash offspring ALBUM rusty rodan ALBUM Live through this hole ALBUM Mellow gold beck ALBUM A hard rains a gonna fall Bob Dylan 6) 6ix the lemon heads 7) tram # 7 to heaven Jens lekman The boxer simon and garfunkle Possession Sarah mcLachlan Opps I did it again Britney Spears 8) eight days a week the beatles Party like its 1999 prince Are you experienced Hendrix 9) Drivin on 9 the breeders Is chicago not chicago soul coughing 10) 10 AM Automatic the black keys Just dropped in first edition Bohemian rhapsody queen Killing me softly Roberta flack 11) won one (dad) Garbage man G love and special sauce Piano man billy Joel Should I stay or should I go clash 12) Rainy day woman #12 & 35 Bob Dylan Home on the range bing Crosby That's what friends are for Dionne Warwick I'll be there for you Jackson 5 13) no for the 13th time the wonder stuff Comfortably numb pink Floyd 14) fourteen rivers fourteen floods beck Summer of 69' Bryan Adams I'm gonna be 500 miles the proclaimers Sympathy for the devil the Rolling Stones For what it's worth buffalo Springfield Roll over Beethoven chuck berry Billy Jean Michael Jackson 15) prophet 15 suppergrass People are strange the doors We can work it out the Beatles Everyday buddy holly Piece of my heart Janis Joplin All along the watchtower bob Dylan Whatever oasis Lounge act nirvana With a little help from my friends the Beatles Smells like teen spirit nirvana The power of love Huey Lewis and the news I'm into something good Herman's hermits We can work it out the Beatles Piece of the sky the wonder stuff Only anthrax Nowhere fast carter the unstoppable sex machine Captain jack billy Joel O lonely soul it's a hard rain Mary's dish Martyr the mr t experience Sunshine Jonathan Edwards Cats in the cradle Harry Chapin Alive pearl jam I want a new drug Huey Lewis and the news Summer of 69' Bryan Adams Missing you john Waite Start choppin dinosaur jr Your wildest dreams the moody blues White wedding billy idol Straight up Paula Abdul Baby one more time Britney Spears Debonair afghan wigs Dead horse guns and roses Superstitious Stevie wonder 16) Christine sixteen kiss Who knows band of gypsies Tapestry don McLean ALBUM Castles in the air don McLean American pie don McLean Vincent don McLean American pie and other hits don McLean ALBUM Let me clear my throat dj cool Bridge over troubled waters simon and garfunkle 17) wonder kite at 17 pavement Down with disease phish Black pearl jam Down 311 I can't win for loosing you earl Thomas Conley Star-Spangled Banner Hendrix We didn't start the fire billy Joel 18) 18 and life skid row Piano man billy Joel The stranger billy Joel ALBUM Slip slidin' away Paul simon Just my imagination temptations Rehab Amy winehouse 19) 19-2000 gorillaz Egg man beastie boys Rock around the clock bill Haley War Edwin star 20) 20 ft halo suppergrass Do you believe in love Huey Lewis and the news Bouncing around the room phish 21) now we are 21 mr t experience Break on through the doors Keep on keepin on Curtis mayfield 22) 22 days 22-20's For what it's worth buffalo Springfield Revenge is sweet & so are you mr t experience ALBUM Won't get fooled again the who 23) 23:59 end of the world carter the unstoppable sex machine Your so vain Carly simon Ob-la-di, ob-la-da the Beatles 24) 24 hour party people happy Mondays The last time the Rolling Stones 25) 25 minutes to go johnny cash 26) across 26 winters Phoenix morning Poi dog pondering complicated Yankee hotel foxtrot wilco ALBUM Que srea sera Dorris day I am the walrus the Beatles Prologue reprise (I envision the quantum leap theme song)
[Full Disclosure: I know the author of this book. We went to high school together, and played something like 100+ holes of golf a week in the summer of 1991.]
Ten word summary: Time-travel novel, in which a serious personal mistake is corrected.
I think the great strength of this novel is the whole giddy propulsive energy of it. There's a sort of palpable sense of delight in the sections where the rules of time travel are being figured out by a protagonist who a) seems to need that kind of challenge, and b) is clever enough (maybe too clever) to work it all out. By grounding the puzzle in the sort of person who can't help by be distracted by song lyrics and diverted by classic scifi TV shows, the early exposition is never didactic; it's fun. Even when the serious task of the novel looms, it's still fun. The narrator of the book, a former music journalist and sci-fi aficionado, is the sort of person who was meant to travel through time. He's who you'd want on your side if you became unstuck in time -- someone who knew which butterflies it's theoretically okay to kill, what you can do if you've accidentally smooshed the wrong ones, and where David Bowie happens to be playing a tiny club show in the remote slice of time you've found yourself.
That sort of giddiness is hard to sustain. And once the paradoxes of time travel pile up, and the author has to juggle a lot of narrative balls at once, things become complicated. So, in the final act, there's a bit more exposition for the sake of exposition rather than exposition as delighted discovery. No doubt this is the challenge of this sort of story; too much exposition is a tonal shift, too little and the reader is hopelessly lost. No matter, though -- by the final act, so much good will is built up on the part of the reader that its momentum will carry through to the end.
Unlike the protagonist, sci-fi isn't necessarily my thing. But I really enjoyed this book.
I just ordered the paperback version of this book, although you can also read it for free on the website. I had the privilege to read an early version of the book several years ago and I'm so excited to read the final product. Kudos to my lifelong friend Jacob for having a great idea and seeing to completion. Hope you enjoy it :)
LOVED IT! While I missed the Red Sox references made in the earlier draft, I really enjoyed reading the published edition. I definitely saw Jacob and our childhood friends in the story, but it was a peak into what his life is life in CA. I was a bit confused about some of the nuts and bolts of time travel, but the story pulled me through. Again KUDOS to Jacob!
As a Time Travel story enthusiast I must say this book left me more than a little frustrated. That the whole book was based on the small matter of a man trying to stop his sister marrying someone because she ends up committing suicide, seemed a pretty meagre premise to base a book upon.
Not only that - when the guy time travels he eventually meets other versions of himself and between them they end up discussing the why's and wherefore's if one of them does this or the other one does that. Frankly I was so confused in the end I was glad when I turned the final page, if only to give my brain a rest!!!
Take my word for it - go read the best time travel book ever - 11 22 63 by Stephen King.