Sunday, February 27, 2011

FlashForward - Robert J. Sawyer

Summary:  The story of a world-shattering discovery at the CERN research facility in Switzerland. The research team of Lloyd Simcoe and Theo Procopides is using the particle accelerator at CERN in pursuit of the elusive Higgs Boson, a theoretical subatomic particle. But their experiment goes incredibly awry, and, for a few moments, the consciousness of the entire human race is thrown ahead by about twenty years. 

While humanity must deal immediately with the destructive aftermath of the experiment — thousands were injured and killed as every single person's body was left unconscious in the here-and-now — the greater implications take longer to surface. People who had no vision of the future seek to learn how they will died, while others seek out future lovers. (summary from jacket cover)
My Review:  Do you remember that old TV show called...wait, what was it?  Oh, yes - LOST.  When the show ended Mindy posted some suggestions of books that one might read to help combat the inevitable withdrawal that we "Losties" were facing*.  It was a nice thought, but my plan was instead to find another epic TV show to pine away for week after week - and my show of choice was FlashForward...which of course, was canceled after one season. 

Major frowny-face + whiny voice : I really wanted to know how it ended!

Luckily I remembered that I could perhaps read on occasion and with a few well place hints, Voila! I got this book for Christmas.

Because I had already basically heard this story before I feel a bit biased in my judgment.  I found I wasn't as enthralled with the individual characters in the book as I was with those in the show.  Likely this was because on TV they had more time to develop the characters and to add additional layers (a HUGE conspiracy layer was added in the show).

But hey, visions of the future combined with world-wide catastrophe; as far as fiction goes that is top-notch in my opinion.  Add a bit of intellectual play with quantum theory and I'm your gal.  The book was well-written and kept my interest, even though I already sort of knew what might happen.  And although the details were different between the TV show and the book, the ending of the book gave me just enough ideas of what could have happened that I was able to imagine an appropriate ending to the TV show.

So, as I said - I am probably biased on my opinion, having "seen the movie" before reading the book.  But if you want to "find out what happened" I recommend this one.  And if you have no idea what I'm talking about and continued reading this far despite my incredibly pedestrian obsession with a TV drama I'd guess that you would like the book even better than I did.

One more thing, this book was written in 1999 but set in 2009.  So while the plot and theoretical concepts are ultimately what make this book worth reading it is also amusing to hunt for the author's guesses on what "the future" (ie, our recent past) would look like.  Lets just say, he misjudged on the prevalence of "publish on demand;" didn't guess that Wikipedia or DVDs would be en vogue; and was one more person who didn't for see Great Recession.

My rating:  3 stars (3.5 if you haven't watched the TV show)

Sum it up:  I love reading books really, really quickly - particularly over Christmas, when it is more socially acceptable to abdicate parenting to friends and family.  This was a really good book to do that with.

*The question is - Mindy, have you watched LOST from the beginning yet?  If I had to guess I'd say you were a Sawyer girl...

1 comment:

MindySue said...

Oh, Emily. You know me so well, someone might think we'd been friends for fifteen years. I will always be a Sawyer girl.


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