Everything Matters!

Ron Currie, Jr., Author
Ron Currie, Jr., Author . Viking $25.95 (305p) ISBN 978-0-670-02092-8
Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009

In Curie’s curious second novel (after NYPL Young Lion Award–winning God Is Dead ), a young man nearly succeeds in his attempt to inject meaning into a doomed world. A mysterious voice has accompanied Junior Thibodeax all his life, having chosen the moment after Junior’s birth to tell him that a meteor will destroy Earth in 36 years. The voice also tells him secrets about his father, his girlfriend and his brother, as well as providing a cure for cancer and sage advice against bombing a federal building. From modest beginnings, Junior descends into violent insanity before finding himself lifted to a position of supreme importance. But even with his foreknowledge, the prophet cannot win every battle, and the ones he loses are more than sufficient to break his heart. Curie shows an appreciation for whimsical storytelling, leaning on unlikely chains of events and multiple perspectives to tell what could otherwise be a very dark tale, and though the omnisciently narrated portions come off as heavy-handed, the big decision he makes toward the end recasts the story in a strangely hopeful light and lends a pile of emotional currency to the book’s title. (July)

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