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Any Day Now: A Novel Paperback – February 26, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP; First Paperback Edition edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468303341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468303346
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,255,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An unsettling, funny, freaky reimagining of America, impeccably written, by one of our most consistently interesting transgressors of literary boundaries." --Michael Chabon

"The story has a thrumming momentum, a sense of slangy sass and jive, light-hearted yet soulful." --The Washington Post

"This is the best fiction about what's called the Sixties ever written. If you were there then, this is where you were." --John Crowley

About the Author

Terry Bisson is a Hugo and Nebula award writer. He has published seven novels and his short fiction has appeared in Playboy and Harper's magazine, among others. He previously worked as an auto mechanic and as a magazine and book editor. Bisson lives in Oakland, California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous VINE VOICE on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Bisson's _Any Day Now_ is a surprisingly lovely novel of the '60s told in a spare, dialog-heavy, fast-moving style. It begins as a historical novel -- a richly rendered coming-of-age story set in a western Kentucky slowly and a bit unwillingly being dragged into the Fifties and Sixties -- and follows its protagonist from there to college, then to the tumult of early-60s New York, and from there to the communes and social upheaval of the late Sixties in the Western deserts. Each of these settings is rendered revealingly through a few beautiful little moments of observation (the way anyone with a beard and a jazz album in Kentucky is a suspicious "beatnik"; the difficulty of getting insulation to stick to the roof of a geodesic dome with improvised glue). And the book's spare, to-the-point, episodic narrative style keeps the plot hustling along, even if it occasionally leaves us wanting a bit more psychology and characterization than we're given.

The novel is worth reading for the observations and characters alone, and Bisson's eye for detail is often as impressive as his ear for dialogue -- but the realism of the novel's evocation of a vanished age isn't, as it turns out, its only point. There's a second game afoot. Though the book begins as a straightforward historical novel, it soon shades, sneakily, into alternate history; it's done so much on the sly and in the background, cleverly, that readers won't notice it happening right away, but the world of the novel slowly diverges from our own history, heading another direction entirely.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Coyote on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Any Day Now" is one of the best books on the Sixties I've read (including my own.)Terry Bisson is one of the nation's celebrated Sci-Fi authors (he's won Hugo and Nebula Awards) and has been one of my favorite writers for four decades. (Disclaimer---also one of my closest friends.) He lived the truths he describes in his pages, and in some cases we lived them together. He's one of the most wry and funny minds around, and now he's moved into "reality", which in Terry's case means, "almost" real. I said once that he could snap a tooth out a comb and slide you through an opening no wider than that into another reality without your realizing it. The last third of his book, the "what if" Robert Kennedy has not died is wondrous. Why no national reviewers have deigned to review this book is an order of injustice like considering Newt Gingrich a spokesman for anything but self-interest. I urge you to read it.
Peter Coyote, author, "Sleeping Where I Fall."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich alternate history since 1958 on December 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The novel asks the question, what if the USA, like the USSR in 1991, couldn't keep the center together.? The time of mortal danger for the USA was 1968. The anti- hero is drifting through his own life, so he doesn't play much heed to the societal unraveling around him. A person more alert to what conditions around them mean to them personally, should be growing very uneasy at the ever increasing disorder....

The novel is very well written, and Bisson is very good at creating atmosphere with an economy of words. However, unless a sequel is planned, the reader is left to ponder how it all will eventually work. Is this the foundation for the Robert Heinlein novel " Friday ", in which North America has long been Balkanized? Will the successor states wage wars to enlarge their territory? And, what will happen to personal freedom, in the various breakaway sections? The story ends well before the reader can see the end game, whatever it may finally turn out to be. The set-up turns out to be the entire story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamie L. Henderson on April 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm having a hard time saying whether I enjoyed this book or not. At the beginning of the book, I found the writing style somewhat distracting. It was too similar to some of Asimov's coming of age type writing, but not quite there. Yet, I thought it was a great style for what Bisson was doing. As Bisson seemed to settle into the writing and the subject matter, things went smoother. By about a quarter of the way into the book, I felt I was somewhat into it and interested in what was happening and enjoying myself. And that lasted through the whole middle.

But, in the last quarter, there seemed to be a pacing problem that I can't entirely put my finger on. Events were clearly ramping up. But, as the reader, I didn't really feel like it. Some part of this may be purposeful, due to our somewhat detached and take-things-as-they-come main character. But really there is this surreal huge climax of events we are told about in a somewhat disinterested way as the character fails to *feel* like it is coming to anything interesting at all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel starts out extremely well, capturing the confusion and hope that young people felt at the start of the 1960s. Ostensibly a coming of age novel for Clay, a naive Kentuckian just becoming aware of the opportunities beyond his rural upbringing. Fascinated by Beatniks (and later Hippies), the shifting music scene, and the chances for meeting sophisticated, sexy women, he sets out on the traditional journey of discovery. In many ways, however, Clay remains the perpetual naif, and because of this, author Bisson falters in the tale's second half. He freely rewrites facts about the Sixties, brings in famous figures from the decade in inaccurate ways, and slowly ends up writing a confusing story that history buffs, in particular, might well take issue with. But casual readers as well will probably find his increasingly scattershot approach both to his characters and the novel unsatisfactory.
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More About the Author

Formerly ('75-'02) a Kentuckian living in New York,
currently a New Yorker living in California.

Known mostly for SF short stories (Hugo, Nebula awards),
also writes novels, screenplays, comics and non-fiction.
Biographer of Mumia Abu Jamal. Former automechanic,
wrote CAR TALK with 'Click and Clack'. Produced and
edited NO FRILLS Books back in '80s. Completed ST
LEIBOWITZ AND THE WILD HORSE WOMAN for Walter M Miller
estate. Lives in Oakland. Rides a KLR650.

Hosts monthly author reading series in San Francisco (SFinSF).
Edits 'Outspoken Author' series for PM Books.


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