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Everything Matters!

by

Everything Matters! Cover

ISBN13: 9780670020928
ISBN10: 0670020923
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: 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 mother; his brother, a cocaine addict turned pro-baseball phenomenon; his exalted father, whose own mortality summons Junior's best and worst instincts; and Amy, the love of Junior's life and a North Star to his journey through romance and heartbreak, drug-addled despair, and superheroic feats that could save humanity.

While our recognizable world is transformed into a bizarre nation at endgame, where government agents conspire in subterranean bunkers, preparing citizens for emigration from a doomed planet, Junior's final triumph confounds all expectation, building to an astonishing and deeply moving resolution. Ron Currie, Jr., gets to the heart of character, and the voices who narrate this uniquely American tour de force leave an indelible, exhilarating impression.

Review:

"In Curie's curious second novel (after NYPL Young Lion Award-winning God Is Dead), a young man nearly succeeds in his attempt to inject meaning into a doomed world. A mysterious voice has accompanied Junior Thibodeax all his life, having chosen the moment after Junior's birth to tell him that a meteor will destroy Earth in 36 years. The voice also tells him secrets about his father, his girlfriend and his brother, as well as providing a cure for cancer and sage advice against bombing a federal building. From modest beginnings, Junior descends into violent insanity before finding himself lifted to a position of supreme importance. But even with his foreknowledge, the prophet cannot win every battle, and the ones he loses are more than sufficient to break his heart. Curie shows an appreciation for whimsical storytelling, leaning on unlikely chains of events and multiple perspectives to tell what could otherwise be a very dark tale, and though the omnisciently narrated portions come off as heavy-handed, the big decision he makes toward the end recasts the story in a strangely hopeful light and lends a pile of emotional currency to the book's title. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Above all Everything Matters! radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"In this radical reimagining of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Junior tells his own story, while in alternating chapters his wildly dysfunctional family and friends provide commentary." Library Journal

Review:

"The apocalypse, provocatively envisioned with wild invention and irreverent wit....This vivid novel races and sputters jerkily, but it's an exhilarating ride nevertheless." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Like Kurt Vonnegut, Currie understands that...humor is a more powerful salt than screed." San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in 36 years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter?

Synopsis:

In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: 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 mother; his brother, a cocaine addict turned pro-baseball phenomenon; his exalted father, whose own mortality summons Junior's best and worst instincts; and Amy, the love of Junior's life and a North Star to his journey through romance and heartbreak, drug-addled despair, and superheroic feats that could save humanity. While our recognizable world is transformed into a bizarre nation at endgame, where government agents conspire in subterranean bunkers, preparing citizens for emigration from a doomed planet, Junior's final triumph confounds all expectation, building to an astonishing and deeply moving resolution. Ron Currie, Jr., gets to the heart of character, and the voices who narrate this uniquely American tour de force leave an indelible, exhilarating impression.

Synopsis:

"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones tell an all-American family saga of fathers and sons, blinding romance, lost love, and reconciliation-culminating in one final triumph that reconfigures the universe. A tour de force of storytelling, Everything Matters! is a genre-bending potpourri of alternative history, sci-fi, and the great American tale in the tradition of John Irving and Margaret Atwood.

About the Author

Ron Currie, Jr., took his place as one of America's freshest young literary voices with his acclaimed debut collection God Is Dead, which won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

grendel, August 6, 2009 (view all comments by grendel)
Despite its grim subject matter--the unavoidable End of The World--"Everything Matters" is one of the most beautiful novels you will ever read, with a protagonist you will never forget.

Junior Thibodeau has been hearing voices literally all his life...they begin even before that, in utero--and while the voices are friendly, even supportive, they deliver the mind-shattering information that on a very specific date in 2010 the Earth will be struck by a giant meteor and all life on the planet will be wiped out. Junior isn't crazy, and neither are the voices in his head. They predict and tell him secrets about other people from his family and friends to complete strangers...all of which prove to be true, and so Junior is plagued by the certainty of this outcome, and with it the ultimate existential question: Does anything I do in this life matter at all?

The answer comes in how he handles his relationships with those closest to him: with his father, a strong but all-too-silent mountain of a man who only finds solace when he's working long hours at a bakery; his older brother Rodney, damaged by a cocaine addiction before reaching his 10th birthday, who nevertheless retains his innate athletic ability and becomes a man-child baseball star with the Chicago Cubs; and Amy, Junior's grade-school sweetheart and love of his life...who withdraws from Junior when he tries to explain to her his awful secret but later returns to his life in a bizarre sequence of events that are connected to the coming apocalypse.

There is black humor liberally laced throughout this book to alleviate the looming doomsday scenario. There's even a chance element introduced that Junior--while unable to save the planet--can possibly keep the human race from extinction. And there is a wild cast of supporting characters that includes a wheelchair-bound drug addict who tries to enlist Junior's help in blowing up a Social Security building in Chicago, and a stern, hard-as-nails government agent who knows Junior is right about the world ending and imprisons him to prevent the news from being leaked to the public.

Currie tells the tale using alternating first-person perspectives from the different characters, and each has a distinctive, compelling voice that moves the plot along briskly. Best of all are the scenes in which the reader gets to hear the voices that speak directly to Junior, and try to help steer him towards making the right decision, even as Junior asks aloud whether it matters. The voices (which speak in a collective "we") function like a caring but wry and sometimes sarcastic parent-figure, expressing admiration, disappointment, and ultimately understanding for the hero they know they have burdened with horrible knowledge.

The final pages of "Everything Matters" are among the most emotionally stunning and moving you will ever encounter. They speak to truths about our collective humanity that can, and should, offer saving graces for the mortality we all face, but too often fail to recognize.
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670020928
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Currie Jr., Ron
Author:
Craden, Abby
Author:
Currie
Author:
Wert, Doug
Author:
Huber, Hillary
Author:
Currie, Ron, Jr.
Author:
Morey, Arthur
Author:
Currie, Ron, Jr.
Author:
Deakins, Mark
Author:
Currie Jr, Ron
Author:
Hoppe, Lincoln
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
Prophecies
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100727
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.32x6.32x1.14 in. 1.14 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Everything Matters! Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Viking Books - English 9780670020928 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Curie's curious second novel (after NYPL Young Lion Award-winning God Is Dead), a young man nearly succeeds in his attempt to inject meaning into a doomed world. A mysterious voice has accompanied Junior Thibodeax all his life, having chosen the moment after Junior's birth to tell him that a meteor will destroy Earth in 36 years. The voice also tells him secrets about his father, his girlfriend and his brother, as well as providing a cure for cancer and sage advice against bombing a federal building. From modest beginnings, Junior descends into violent insanity before finding himself lifted to a position of supreme importance. But even with his foreknowledge, the prophet cannot win every battle, and the ones he loses are more than sufficient to break his heart. Curie shows an appreciation for whimsical storytelling, leaning on unlikely chains of events and multiple perspectives to tell what could otherwise be a very dark tale, and though the omnisciently narrated portions come off as heavy-handed, the big decision he makes toward the end recasts the story in a strangely hopeful light and lends a pile of emotional currency to the book's title. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Above all Everything Matters! radiates writerly confidence. The excitement that drives the reader from page to page is not about the characters. It's about seeing what Mr. Currie will try next."
"Review" by , "In this radical reimagining of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Junior tells his own story, while in alternating chapters his wildly dysfunctional family and friends provide commentary."
"Review" by , "The apocalypse, provocatively envisioned with wild invention and irreverent wit....This vivid novel races and sputters jerkily, but it's an exhilarating ride nevertheless."
"Review" by , "Like Kurt Vonnegut, Currie understands that...humor is a more powerful salt than screed."
"Synopsis" by , In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: a comet will obliterate life on Earth in 36 years. Alone in this knowledge, he comes of age in rural Maine grappling with the question: Does anything I do matter?
"Synopsis" by ,
In infancy, Junior Thibodeaux is encoded with a prophesy: 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 mother; his brother, a cocaine addict turned pro-baseball phenomenon; his exalted father, whose own mortality summons Junior's best and worst instincts; and Amy, the love of Junior's life and a North Star to his journey through romance and heartbreak, drug-addled despair, and superheroic feats that could save humanity. While our recognizable world is transformed into a bizarre nation at endgame, where government agents conspire in subterranean bunkers, preparing citizens for emigration from a doomed planet, Junior's final triumph confounds all expectation, building to an astonishing and deeply moving resolution. Ron Currie, Jr., gets to the heart of character, and the voices who narrate this uniquely American tour de force leave an indelible, exhilarating impression.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Startlingly talented . . . he survives the inevitable, apt comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and writes in a tenderly mordant voice all his own." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

In this novel rich in character, Junior Thibodeau grows up in rural Maine in a time of Atari, baseball cards, pop Catholicism, and cocaine. He also knows something no one else knows-neither his exalted parents, nor his baseball-savant brother, nor the love of his life (she doesn't believe him anyway): The world will end when he is thirty-six. While Junior searches for meaning in a doomed world, his loved ones tell an all-American family saga of fathers and sons, blinding romance, lost love, and reconciliation-culminating in one final triumph that reconfigures the universe. A tour de force of storytelling, Everything Matters! is a genre-bending potpourri of alternative history, sci-fi, and the great American tale in the tradition of John Irving and Margaret Atwood.

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