All Our Wrongs Today, by Elan Mastai
I was in equal parts awed and irritated by this book. For the first few chapters I pretty much hated it. Self-referential hoop jumping! Writerly in-jokes! Talking directly to the reader! But All Our Wrong Todays crosses and re-crosses the line between annoying gimmicks and truly imaginative and inspirational storytelling throughout. In the end it’s the breath-taking innovation that really stays with you.
It’s a time travel tale, but it works primarily because it’s also a love story, an examination of family dynamics, and a book with an irresistible “would you rather” question. It’s dripping with pure imagination, and bizarrely plausible. It’s also staggeringly complex, both philosophically and technically: there are plates spinning in this book you can barely imagine lifting in a stack, with so many circles revolving around themselves it’s stunning Elan Mastai was not sucked into a black hole. Worth persevering with.