Denzil Pugh's Reviews > Everything Matters!

Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr.
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May 25, 2012

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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 and Balmer at Band Camp, laying on the couch in the building next to our cabin and loving every minute of the book (well, the comfy couch and air conditioning helped.) There's nothing like the end of the world, and Currie's book is all about that. Except, the main character, Junior Thibodeax, has known all his life that the world will end on a certain day in the future, and it's the alien voices' experiment to see whether the knowledge of impending doom has any impact on his life. Whether, in a world where nothing matters, if anything matters at all. Starting with a blow by blow of his deliverance in the hospital, to his destruction by asteroid (maybe), the book details his life with a sardonic irony and humor that is quite entertaining. With Junior's knowledge and intelligence he sets out to save the human race, trying to fight the prediction that everyone will die in a gigantic fireball.

However, whether he succeeds or not, we aren't really sure, because the aliens come to him right before the end date and explain to him something he already knew... that the Earth he lived on is only one of millions of possibilities in a multiverse separated only by a sliver of a second. That basically there is a ring around the sun of different realities, and in each of those Earths, Junior makes a different decision, from not squashing a bug to not telling his big secret to his girlfriend, which effects the outcome of the world tremendously. It's the whole butterfly in the Sahara theory. A bit of a spoiler, but, the ending chapters are considerably different than the rest, and nothing much happens, but in the end, Junior's realization that Everything Matters proves the aliens wrong in their original assumption, and proves Voltaire right.
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