Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I’d never heard of it.

But it was the second best selling book in Los Angeles, as reported by the L.A. “Times.” How could that be?

Well, you can’t trust the L.A. “Times” best seller list. It’s easily manipulated. The system is opaque. And as a result there are anomalies all the time. Usually L.A.-centric books or authors. But this one?

I immediately went to Amazon and researched it. “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” had four and a half stars with over a thousand reviews. That’s extremely hard to achieve. Especially since there are always people posting one star reviews having nothing to do with the content. They didn’t get the book, or it came damaged, or…

And the book was published by Knopf, the Mo Ostin’s Warner Brothers of book publishers. There’s no trash on Knopf. There’s a reason to publish every book. But I’d never heard of this author, Gabrielle Zevin, who was not a newbie, she’d had previous books published. How did this elude me?

Not that I was ready to commit. I trust the wisdom of the crowd only so far. So I went to Libby and reserved it.

And I’ve been on a Jennifer Haigh kick. “Mercy Street” is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

And I’d already read 2016’s “Heat & Light,” but one day I went on Libby and downloaded the rest of Haigh’s books, I was sick of reading unrewarding work. I don’t write about everything I read, nor everything I watch, this is not a document of my life, I only put fingers to keyboard if I believe it’s worth your time, your attention.

And the net said “Faith” was the best Haigh book I hadn’t read, and I devoured it. Really good. And I plan on reading the rest, but all of a sudden, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” became available.

Not that I was expecting much.

Not that I’d invested much. I mean this was a library book. I’d give it a whirl, if it didn’t float my boat, no big deal, I’d move on, go back to Haigh.

But “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is astounding!

Let me make this clear. “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is the new “Goldfinch,” with a bit of “Garp” thrown in, you remember, the unexpected surprises in that John Irving book?

But Donna Tartt’s “Goldfinch” was about art. Highbrow. You could feel good reading it. Especially once it got traction. You were part of the cognoscenti, the intelligentsia, despite the criticism that it was basically a YA title (“Young Adult”.) And “Garp” was ultimately about family, and done well that always resonates. Whereas “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is about VIDEO GAMES!

And that gets no traction amongst the aforementioned intelligentsia.

But video games were the rock music of the nineties and the first decade of this century. They flourished almost underground. They got no attention, no respect, just like rock music in its infancy/ascendancy.

And of course the real breakthrough was Atari, there was gaming in the eighties, but that company crashed, taking down Warner stock, the ignorant thought video games were history. And then came Nintendo. And then came the PlayStation and the Xbox.

And then came Twitch.

Used to be all the innovation came through music, but if you want to observe the cutting edge pay attention to video games. If for no other reason than there’s more money in video games than music!

The nineties were the wild west. Independent publishers. Like music before the seventies, like tech before the twenty first century. It was innovation 24/7. And then the dust settled and the big companies triumphed. Not that the entertainment conglomerates didn’t notice the gaming tsunami. They thought it was easy, but they lost millions. Creating a game everybody wants to play can cost more than a movie to make, and the barrier to entry for the consumer is higher, video games cost much more than a movie to buy/see. There are hits…and then everything else. And just because you attach the name of a famous movie that does not mean you’ll have success. You can’t pull the wool over the eyes of the gamers, they know.

So Sadie and Sam are addicted to gaming back in the eighties. Just like boomers were addicted to music in the sixties. That’s all they cared about.

And when they went to college…

They had a whole gaming history. Sadie carries around her classics, for reference, to keep her warm at night, just like you schlepped around your albums.

And eventually the games go online and…

This analogy to music runs throughout the book.

But that’s not what “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is about, the place of games in the firmament. The main characters live in the gaming world, they’re oblivious to what else is going on. They’re working 18 hour days. If you want a life, don’t sign up. It takes a special kind of oddball.

But are Sam and Sadie boyfriend and girlfriend? What exactly is their relationship?

Do you take the money or go with what feels best?

Do you make a sequel for the easy bucks or continue to push the envelope?

But it’s really all about relationships. Connections. Acceptance. Gaming is just the framework. And “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is in no way predictable. You reach a point where it becomes addictive and you can’t put it down, and when you’re not reading it it calls out to you.

And there’s too much life wisdom to recite here.

Because the outsiders don’t go through the motions. They have their own philosophies.

If you were captain of the football team, or a cheerleader, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is not for you. If you got good grades but never got laid, sign right up. If you realized the only way to succeed was to own your identity and march forward, come on down. If you’re willing to take the time to read a book to get the rewards, you’re gonna dig this.

But not everybody will.

Because everybody doesn’t like everything.

But “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” is a major work. And it’s succeeding on word of mouth, which is the only way to sustain in today’s marketplace. Hype can buy you at best a week’s worth of attention, after that you’re on your own.

I loved this book!

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