Challenge: To read all of the TOB Shortlist? AND because it sounded weird enough for #Weirdathon. Genre: . . . Sci Fi? Type/Source: eBook, App Store Why I read this now: I blame Ti. (Her review here.)
MOTIVATION for READING: In chatting about TOB books, this one was mentioned and somehow Ti and I decided to read it, not quite together, but an almost-readalong.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Jane and Jim are married. Jim dies and his pre-arranged ‘funeral’ arrangements involve signing up with what Jane accuses as being a cult. She wants no part of this company’s ‘arrangements’ and fights them. She wants her husband’s head back, please. While all of Jane’s stuff in the ‘after-Jim’ timeline is being told, we meet Jim as he enters the ‘future’ via various stages of imagination and, I guess you could call it purgatory? It’s rather confusing. It goes back and forth between Jane and Jim but mostly it becomes memories and reflection on their marriage. Jim was required to forget everything about his life so that he could effectively choose his best-self future. I think. Truly, the more I attempt to write this, I am getting more and more confused about what happens/happened!
WHAT’s GOOD: The style seems very matter of fact and offers a humorous look at the after-death business. The idea that Jim was a non-Christian chaplain tending to the lonely and dying of the hospital struck me funny, too, though that is me confronting my bias’s and things that make me uncomfortable tend to make me laugh inappropriately. I rather liked Jim much more than I liked Jane.
What’s NOT so good: The confusion, obviously, but then it really didn’t bother me either.
And who was Millicent!??! I’m reading along and can’t recall one of the characters. I surely failed to appreciate this story…
FINAL THOUGHTS: The takeaway for me was that Jane couldn’t commit nor communicate and some actions on both parties had consequences that made both good and bad things happen. It was a bit of a mind-boggle. Now I don’t remember what it was exactly and certainly can’t describe it. This assumes I blame Jane more than Jim and I don’t think I should. See? brain fog.
An interesting counter-point book comparison within the TOB would be with Fates and Furies… (The having kids or not issue.)
AND now, the technology/gimmick: I purchased the eBook app for my iPhone via the AppStore. I had to scroll down in each of Jane and Jim’s viewpoints and then swipe left for the other’s page. Though it had an ongoing bar of progress, there were no page numbers, no ability to look up a word or even copy an interesting sentence or phrase. Eventually, I hit a screen with the Polaris (that was the company arranging for Jim’s afterlife) logo and the swipes reversed. I hit the Polaris logo again – though it was added to, so it was a different logo – and reversed swipes once more but the narrative time line got confusing where I wasn’t sure if I was in the past or the future. And then it just fades away as it repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats and
repeats and repeats and repeats and
As far as experimental novels go, it didn’t suck, I guess.
RATING: Three slices of pie. No pie was mentioned that I noticed.