Let’s say you are a mere particle in the womb. You have not a care in the world except one: a premonition of the apocalypse 36 years, 168 days, 14 hours, and 23 seconds from now. (Good luck!)
This is the gist of the compelling and totally awesome first chapter of Ron Currie Jr.’s novel, Everything Matters!
Equipped with the horrific prophecy, Junior Thibodeau orbits through life without a sense of purpose. The story’s main players are brilliantly revealed in second person: a mother who subsists on cheap vodka, a cocaine-addled brother turned Major League baseball player, a tireless father who can’t catch a break.
As the chapters unfold, you find yourself anxiously anticipating the end of the world. Yes, it’s bleak — but Currie approaches distressing topics (the fall of working-class heroes, American realism, government agency plots) with humor and wit.
Even the title’s exclamation point implores you (and Junior) to find a silver lining in the mushroom cloud.
Available online at amazon.com and at your local bookstore. Author reading, July 6, 7 p.m., at McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street, between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets (212-274-1160); July 7, 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway, at 82nd Street (212-362-8835).
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