Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
7/5/22; 416 pages
Knopf Doubleday

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is very highly recommended literary fiction and a gamer's uncommon love story that spans thirty years. This is a novel written for the generation who grew up gaming that can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys excellent literary fiction.

Sam was in his junior year at Harvard when he saw and called out to Sadie. Sam Masur hadn't seen Sadie Green since 1986 when they were 12 and 11. They met at a children’s hospital where Sadie's sister was recovering from cancer and Sam was undergoing surgeries to repair a badly injured foot. Their bond and friendship started when they started playing games together. Then they had a falling out but they both intensely felt the loss of their friendship. Now, meeting again as young adults, they reconnect and become creative partners, collaborating on the design of a video game. Marx, Sam's roommate and friend helps facilitate their work as does Dov, a game designer, lover, and professor of Sadie's. Before either of them graduate from college, they have created their first game, Ichigo, which becomes a blockbuster.

The narrative alternates between the point-of-view of Sam and Sadie, allowing you to experience the inner thoughts of two of the most fully realized characters I've encountered in a long time. Sam and Sadie live in their heads, are deeply flawed, and make many assumptions about the thoughts and motives of the other person. Over the thirty years the plot covers their friendship, grief, arguments, disabilities, fame, resentments, deceit, tragedies, and creative processes. Each character is not always likable, perhaps with the exception of Marx, but always portrayed in a realistic manner.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is truly an epic, brilliant, remarkable novel and a love story to a generation and to the creative process itself. Additionally the well-plotted narrative tells an engrossing story that will hold your attention throughout. I'm not a gamer, but have some insight and understanding of games and the work, collaboration, and determination required to make them. Zevin has made this is an intricate part of her exceptional novel while also delving deep into Sam and Sadie's inner thoughts and personal experiences.

This is an epic novel that will likely become a classic depiction of it's characters but also as a reflection of a generation. Even if you are not a gamer, this is literary fiction at it's finest.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday via NetGalley.

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