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Everything Matters!

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  7,234 ratings  ·  979 reviews
In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophecy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in thirty-six years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter? While the voice that has accompanied him since conception appraises his choices, Junior's loved ones emerge with parallel stories-his anxious moth
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Viking Adult
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,234 ratings  ·  979 reviews

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Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: read-in-2009
At 11:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, I hailed a cab in front of my office building in Southwest, DC and asked the driver if he would be willing to take me to my house in Northeast, DC. His radio was tuned to an AM talk station and he looked frightened. It appeared that he really wanted to just get the hell out of Dodge but he wasn't sure if this was the sort of event that warranted such a reaction. If this all turned out to be an overreaction or a hoax of some sort, wouldn't he have a tough time ...more
Mar 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2010
Picking up a book called Everything Matters! (a book shouted Everything Matters!) turns out to be both a challenge to you, the reader, but also a trap, and a bit of a spoiler.

Because you are being told, nay, implored to Pay Attention! to everything. You don't think that's asking too much of you because the book has such a great premise, which is: what if you (this time I am not referring to you the reader, but the hypothetical you, but specifically, the main character) were born with the terrib
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would like, if I may be so bold, to try a revolutionary new rating system for this particular book. Since the novel I'm reviewing is divided into three distinct "Parts," I would like to rate each of these individual parts separately (!!!!!!!).

This isn't just because I'm bored of giving a book only one rating (though, truth be told, I am sort of bored of doing that) but because I had very different reactions to each of the three sections.

So here goes:

PART 1 -- RATING: 4 Stars

It's hard not to
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I worried through the entirety of my pregnancy. How, I fretted, could I bring a child into this world? How could I protect him? What did he have to look forward to but melting ice caps, tsunamis, wild fires, genocide, floods, hurricanes, drought, war, war, war, serial killers, crazed gunmen in schools, bullies, etc. Now that I am a parent, I realize I can't protect him from these things. I can only protect him from what I can control, and even then I am often left powerless.

We will do as we wish
Noah Nichols
Jul 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Everything Matters! serenaded me with an indifferent mediocrity. I hated it. This was yet another novel that had an exceptional premise, but it just didn't deliver on any creative front for me. Come to think of it, this would be a perfect doubleheader of torture alongside the bloated Welcome to Night Vale. That is, if you're a masochist. And the deadpan narration throughout EM! blew chunks. I was terribly bored the entire time and only completed it since I foolishly enacted a do-not-DNF rule on ...more
Daniel Villines
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
For a book to be enjoyable, the plot needs to have a certain amount of continuity in its progression. Things do not just happen in real life and the art of writing should imitate life. The lack of continuity is a significant problem with Everything Matters! The constantly shifting perspective from which the story is assembled hinders the development of characters and dices up the flow of time. The resulting experience was like watching a play comprised of multiple acts and intermissions. With ea ...more
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
1st Awesome Thing About This Book: There is an exclamation point in the title.

2nd Awesome Thing About This Book: Everything else (!)

I feel like I really did a disservice to this book by not reviewing it immediately after I finished it. But, as it stands, I’m about eight reviews behind right now, so there you have it. This book, like so many I’ve reviewed this year, was a gift from my husband and I guess he knows me well, because I loved it. This was my first foray into Ron Currie Jr.’s world and
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy! Have tissues at the ready.

So, you can find the summary easily enough. A fetus, in utero, learns of the world's impending end, from some outside unknown source, and has to live his life with this knowledge. I don't want to reveal much more but, suffice it to say, it's unique in its premise and intriguing. I loved it.

The book is written in two formats-one in the omniscent third person-religious people may believe it's God or a god (I thought it was some alien life form)-and the other is th
Deborah Moulton
Nov 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Some good writing and an interesting experiment, but the book ultimately fails. The book begins with the premise that a man, from in utero forward, knows the exact moment and cause of the end of human life on earth. Talked to constantly by an inner voice, his life is informed by this ongoing chatterbox. It's not a conversation since he never talks back or engages with the voice. It's less "God" or alien and more the on-going "monkey mind" we all have: hopping around, chastising us about our choi ...more
Justin Tappan
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
If I could give half stars, this would be a 4 1/2.

I loved this book. The premise is unique, and as the story unfolds you wonder, "Where is he going with this?" Currie then proceeds to go in directions that you wouldn't expect. I didn't expect them, anyway.

The characters are well fleshed-out and Currie brings them to life with remarkable ease. The prose is succinct. The story lags a tiny bit in the middle, but then most novels do, and the lag is only a small, temporary hiccup.

The more supernatura
Tyler Harrington
Jan 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
I feel like the author is trying to say something really meaningful here about living life to its fullest and resigning yourself to your fate rather than moaning about the shitty hand life has dealt you or whatever. But it all falls apart when he introduces time travel, nonsensical conspiracy theory, terrorist plots, an unhealthy obsession with baseball, and all sorts of totally groan-worthy nonsensical plot twists. Every character in the book is not just talented and amazing, they are THE MOST ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Addie by: Joey Baker
Everything ends, and Everything matters.

This book spoke to me for many reasons, one of which happens to be my unyielding fascination with inevitable trauma, both in real life and in fiction. What really gets me emotional and endeared to an idea, a story, a way of life are the endings, the last times, the finality of people, places, things. Endings are always traumatic for me and I can't always explain why, and obviously this book is about the end of the Earth so I was destined to be traumatized,
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a strange book--interesting premise--Junior, the main character knows from birth that the world will end 36 years after his birth, more or less. How does he live his life? I thought this was the set up for a modern take on Camus' "The Plague" instead it unfolded as one of the weirdest meditations on life and love and family I've encountered. There's a lot that flat out doesn't work and some parts are so ridiculous as to be off-putting (for me the fact that Currie obviously didn't spend a ...more
Angus McKeogh
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Too much hit and miss for my taste. This resulted in some disjointed narrative. One part would be phenomenal and then the next was droll. Thereafter the story was scintillating and then it’d shift to something seemingly unrelated and dull. A roller coaster ride of a book, but the dips were just too low. Collectively just average.
Kenneth Sutherland
the funniest part of this whole book is that when offered the chance to essentially redo his life, the main character goes back to a point in time to stop himself from getting dumped by his girlfriend instead of stopping his 9yr old brother from getting addicted to coke and subsequent brain damage lmao

fairly entertaining (though perhaps not conceptually original and partially contrived), earnestly passionate, and reasonably well written, this is definitely good material to blast through in a day
Greg Zimmerman
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ron Currie Jr. would probably take umbrage with a Bud Light commercial making the rounds these days. In it, scientists spot a meteor heading toward Earth, realize that death is imminent, and commence partying as if nothing matters anymore. But Currie takes a rather unconventional route toward trying to convince you that, even when you know you're going to die, everything in fact, DOES matter.

When our protagonist, Junior Thibodeau, is born, a mysterious voice, which stays with him his entire lif
Daniel Solera
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book came as a recommendation from the sages at After analyzing my browsing and purchasing history, they decided this book would be right up my alley. I was definitely intrigued by the synopsis, which states that the book's protagonist knows the exact date of the end of the world. With such a premise, the possibilities, both thematic and philosophical, would be plentiful and surely intriguing.

You'd think, right?

Unfortunately, this novel is all style and shockingly little substan
Sarah Etter
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
everything matters! sucked me in pretty quickly and i ended up finishing it in about three or four days. i have a full-time job, GET OFF MY BACK, GUYS!

this book did feel in many ways like getting hit by a comet. there's so much happening - in the plot, structure and themes - that it was sort of like getting sucked into a whirlwind and then dumped back out with those little cartoon birds and stars floating around your head.

everything matters! starts with the main character in his mother's womb, n
Neil White
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time a book toed so close to the line between heartrendingly brilliant and just plain cheesy. In the hands of a lesser author this would have been the latter, plain and simple. And while Currie comes dangerously close at times, he always stops short of going over the line to melodramatic cheese. Instead he comes across as a modernist storyteller like Vonnegut - with just enough of a dash of science fiction to allow suspension of disbelief for some of the stranger plot t ...more
Trevor Seigler
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this one for a while, just taking up space on my bookshelf and me "intending" to read it maybe once or twice a year since at least 2014 when I bought it at a very good (and sadly defunct) used book store in downtown Clemson, South Carolina (side note: used book stores are a gift from the gods, as are thrift stores and Goodwills where you find a really good selection of books that you may not expect). Anyway, I picked this up again recently with the intention of reading it, but this time ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid 3 1/4 - 3 1/2. If the ending didn't get as sappy and predictable, I would have liked it a bit better. ...more
Everything I want to praise this novel for would be a spoiler. Let’s just say it’s not what I was expecting and it hit my soft spots big time. It veers into to “WTF is this?” but then takes that heightened reality and makes it count. There’s this one part— no spoilers— about the launch of the Challenger, and I swear the book is worth it for that alone.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads

Everything Matters is told from multiple perspectives of the Thibodeaux family: worrisome mother, workaholic father, drug addicted brother, insane uncle, savant Junior, the love of Junior’s life Amy and the omnipresent 2nd person narrator(s). I have yet to find a second person perspective so well written and so relevant to the narrative style since this book. Although Junot Diaz comes a close second, particularly in his newest short story c
Denzil Pugh
A modern Candide. Voltaire used his episodic tale of misery and woe to demonstrate that happiness can never really be found, not until the very end, when the main characters all live in a shack and tend a garden outside. Living life is the only true happiness that mankind can have, and no amount of philosophical reasoning, or wealth, or fame, can ever get him that status. Except that's not the book I'm here to review.

I love apocalyptic books. I can remember reading When Worlds Collide by Wylie
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
One thing I'll say about Everything Matters is that its plot messed with my expectations. Not that I had a lot of expectations about a novel that opened with disembodied voices telling a developing fetus that the world would end in 36 years, but Currie's story of a typical American life with a few very untypical things about it dodges easy categorization. It's neither magic realism, nor science fiction, nor a supernatural tale, but more of an earnest existential drama about the choices people ma ...more
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ambimb by: Wallace-l
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Started great; a precocious, quirky protagonist/narrator with an odd story. But it really bogged down in the middle. I guess everything does matter; if California governments weren't strapped and the library weren't closed for 2 weeks during holidays, and i hadn't checked this out beforehand, I would have returned it unfinished. I put it down several times in favor of a layman's book on chance, probability and statistics (seriously, and I'll rate that eventually), but forced myself to get throug ...more
Carol Linn Powell
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books, 2017
Wow this was just wonderful! Such an amazing story. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version, you won't be sorry! ...more
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
The first pages of this book made all my this is a very good book sensors light up like a christmas tree with sheer happiness. A baby still in the womb is infused with the knowledge that the world will end soon. Born with this overhang of doom the embryo, baby, adolescent and finally man struggles to find meaning in his life. The authors point of view on this topic is given away by the title.

I was always a fan of the line from Martin Luther that if he knew the world was going to end tomorrow he
Diane Ferbrache
May 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: washyarg
Junior has a secret. From the time he was in the womb, he has known exactly when the world will end – on June 15, 2010 a comet will hit earth and obliterate every living thing. The story is told over the course of 35 years in alternating voices from Junior’s, his brother’s, his father’s, and Amy’s (Junior’s first love) perspectives.
What should be an intriguing, nail-biting suspense filled book is just plain weird. From the first chapters where Junior speaks from the womb, to the 70s-80s time
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Ron Currie, Jr. was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, where he still lives. His first book, God is Dead, won the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His debut novel, Everything Matters!, will be translated into a dozen languages, and is a July Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best of June 2009 sele ...more

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“Everything ends, and Everything matters.

Everything matters not in spite of the end of you and all that you love, but because of it. Everything is all you’ve got…and after Everything is nothing. So you were wise to welcome Everything, the good and the bad alike, and cling to it all. Gather it in. Seek the meaning in sorrow and don’t ever turn away, not once, from here until the end. Because it is all the same, it is all unfathomable, and it is all infinitely preferable to the one dreadful alternative.”
“And knowing that the only alternative to your grief is the nothingness that’s fast approaching, you try to embrace your own sorrow, to be open and empty and let it all pass through you. This is the key, you have learned – to relinquish control, to relinquish the desire for control. Even in this late drama, to try to control is to go mad. And so you do your best to let it all go.” 25 likes
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