From the publisher:
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A JIMMY FALLON BOOK CLUB PICK • In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
“Riveting… Zevin has written the book she was born to write, a love letter to every aspect of gaming…Zevin’s delight in her characters, their qualities, and their projects sprinkles a layer of fairy dust over the whole enterprise…Sure to enchant even those who have never played a video game in their lives, with instant cult status for those who have.” —Kirkus, starred
“Zevin creates beautifully flawed characters often caught between the real and gaming worlds, which are cleverly juxtaposed to highlight their similarities and differences. Both readers of love stories and gamers will enjoy. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred
“Zevin… returns with an exhilarating epic of friendship, grief, and computer game development…. Zevin layers the narrative with her characters’ wrenching emotional wounds as their relationships wax and wane… Even more impressive are the visionary and transgressive games… This is a one-of-a-kind achievement.” —Publishers Weekly, starredhttps://amzn.to/3cnF05v
Zevin’s book, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, was one of my favorite books, so I was happy to pick up this new one, even though it didn’t sound like something that would interest me. The book is about three friends who create video games. The closest I get to video games are Wordle, the NYT Spelling Bee & Crosswords, and Candy Crush. The video games serve as a backdrop to these characters, and at times, the games are front and center. Somehow I was drawn into their world and I didn’t want to leave.
This is a hard book to quantify; it probably is best slotted into the literary fiction genre (and boy, do they hate when literary fiction is called a genre!) All I can tell you is this is a tour de force and a mesmerizing read. I don’t want to give away anything, so if you like character-driven stories that are fast-paced and emotionally engaging, then this is your book. I loved it, and so did just about all the critics. Too much hype can sometimes backfire, but it is well deserved here.
8/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin. Knopf (July 5, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593321201. 416p.