The Forever Endeavor

Chuck Wendig. Fireside Fiction, $3.99 e-book (150p) ISBN 978-0-9861040-8-4
Wendig (Invasion) fills this macabre take on time travel with somewhat flat characters, redeeming it with a creative narrative and a sense for visceral action. Recovering drug addict Dale Gilooly finds a magic box that can transport someone 10 minutes back in time. After using it to save his own life—and also to avoid his landlord and make some quick cash at the casino—Dale resolves to use this tool to win back the love of his life. The only question is whether he can keep murdering all the duplicate Dales before one of them eventually gets him. The story is told in a series of out-of-order snapshots that detail Dale’s history alongside world-weary detective Water Bard’s homicide investigation. It’s a bit frustrating to watch Dale muddle about without learning much, or without applying what lessons do come his way, but that’s apropos; Wendig’s bleak irony is well-suited to telling stories about circular addictive behavior. Wendig successfully busts the niche’s conventions wide open, and he throws in a few winking asides to his previous work that will evoke a grim chortle from his fans. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2016
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