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Now & Again Paperback – February 1, 2013
About the Author
E. A. Fournier has worked as a screenwriter and film editor in Hollywood (in a past life) and served similar roles for major corporations (current life). He has written for television and the big screen (and suffered mentally from both experiences). He has directed independent films in this country and overseas (oh, the stories I could tell). Yes, he has an advanced degree in film from the University of Southern California (sigh!) but he prefers to hide that – and yes, he roots against the Trojans whenever their football team is on TV. He currently works for a major international corporation writing and directing their audio visual productions. A native of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, he escaped from the gulag of Southern California many years ago in order to raise his large family in Minnesota. “Now & Again” is his first novel.
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Another great part of this story is the characters are not just good or evil... Due to the Many Worlds idea, they can have different aspects to their personalities emphasized in different timelines, good in one and much more faulted in another. I also enjoyed the fun the writer had with making statements about some of our most pervasive cultural norms, such as coming up with a timeline where there was (gasp!) no Facebook or one timeline being a place where the main character had "much better credit."
This is a great story which catches your interest right away and holds on to the end, which does end up happy for at least one timeline and set of main characters.
You know what? I kept trying to understand how the two heroes (and their pursuers) could move through multiple timelines, and trying to figure out what were the dangers of messing up various timelines. Sometimes, in certain chapters, I wasn't sure which timeline it was supposed to be. I just about gave up trying to understand it. And, by the end, it didn't matter, because this story is so good.
The author sometimes overloads this story with unnecessarily complex theories, and has way too many characters to keep track of, but it's like speed-walking through the Louvre. There's a feast, huge abundance of imagination right before the eyes, and you can't comprehend it all. But, boy what fun it is! You're always glad that you toured the Louvre! In that sense, it's like a Dan Brown adventure - quick, hard to know what's happening, and even more complicated, but a lot of fun and pure guilty pleasure.
How cool is it to have a long-dead brilliant physicist, Hugh Everett III, and use his name as an unwitting hero, and give him a big role in the story? It's like a new movie starring the ramifications of the theory of relativity through science fiction chaos as experienced by two ordinary characters, and making Albert Einstein an important advisory, yet participating character in the story! We've had Abraham Lincoln star in a couple of recent Hollywood movies, why not Albert Einstein next?
Plus, that smooth-talking and self-aware computer.... shades of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey! But this time, it's a female - and it's complicated.
This could easily be a movie. Forget Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio, there's a story that's even more exciting! Makes sense that the author is a script writer for movies and television. It clearly shows!
Again, it seems the plot is so complicated, but the vast imagination just laid bare, with new permutations added chapter by chapter, makes this a smorgasbord. I think I'll have to read the book again two or three more times!
I liked the way the author chopped up certain chapters with very quick scenes, shifting from one to another in rapid succession. Very similar to clips in a fast-paced television show or action movie.
Bravo Mr. Fournier! Can you do another book?
The book immediately caught my interest and held my interest. The premise of a multiverse or many worlds that was originally posited by Hugh Everett III did become plausible for me. Timelines of the worlds overlapping and thus causing chaos is intriguing. The plot of an administrative takeover of the "best timelines " while sacrificing other timelines adds to the complexity and enjoyment of the novel.
Character development was plausible and interesting. I was able to identify and understand most characters as well as empathize with their dilemmas.
In the beginning of the novel it was difficult to remember all the characters and timelines. But eventually one begins to remember patterns, people and multiverses and almost can imagine that with quantum computers and its theory this could happen-at least it did for me!.
Very engaging. Fournier managed to tell a story about love without being too "Hallmark-y" and multi-universes without sounding nerdy! I LOVE the ending! Highly recommended!
The premise in this novel is solid and fulfilling, the characters relationships are intense and real, because their development was delivered and secure. I'm a huge fan of complexity and intensity. My one true mission when searching for new titles, is to find the unique and absurdly wonderful. I would recommend this book to anyone in search of action, suspense, diversity and colorful — developed characters. This is a perfect novel for a father/son read. I will be passing it to my son in college for sure.