All Our Wrong Todays (Large Print / Paperback)
I keep trying to tell myself I am through with male fantasies, but then I get sucker punched by a really good one.
Mastai must either be super woke or just have amazing instincts, because he dances right up to the edge of a number of problematic elements that usually drive me insane (including much of what enraged me about The Lives of Tao) -- and then he tweaks them, or subverts them just so. This is a very, very clever book; it's a finely crafted instrument that Mastai has strung with tons of tropes -- which he then twangs and plucks and makes dance in a unique, deeply satisfying way. I found it romantic and poignant and philosophically challenging.
Mastai approaches time travel in a manner I'd never encountered in any other story -- although weirdly, not long after I read it, I picked up The Man From Primrose Lane, which utilizes a similar concept, but completely defangs the idea. Similarly, the recent Dark Matter plays with alternate universes and identity much as Mastai does in All Our Wrong Todays, but again, I found Mastai's version toothier and more dynamic. That said, if you liked either of those books, I think you will love this one.
All Our Wrong Todays is a book by a man, about a man, in which the female characters are all seconded to the male protagonist's story and don't really have agency -- and yet, it's also such a rich, human story that I pretty much do not care. Would I prefer to read a version of this book with a woman at its core? Absolutely. But mostly I'm just so happy that this one exists.— Anna
February 2017 Indie Next List
“Tom Barren is a time traveler. From 2016. A different 2016 from ours, that is. It's complicated. You see, he traveled from his techno-perfect utopian 2016 back to 1964 and really messed things up, leaving us with our current world. Now, the 2016 Tom-in-our-world, given the chance to return to 1964 and fix what he broke and return the world to the spiffy state he knows, faces the dilemma of loyalty to friends and family from his world versus the possibility of settling down with the love of his life in our grungy world. Whichever he chooses, people he loves will cease to exist. I predict the clever, witty, and poignant All Our Wrong Todays will be a huge bestseller for screenwriter and
first-time novelist Elan Mastai.”
— Clay Belcher (W), Signs of Life, Lawrence, KS
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“What a fun romp through time! Because you know if you go back in time, you are going to mess things up. And Tom Barren certainly does. All Our Wrong Todays is filled with mad scientists, alternate realities, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. It’s not just Dr. Whovian fun, it’s also about family, love, hope, and the endless possibilities within each of us.”
— Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY