Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Bill Flanagan, Fifty in Reverse (Tiller Press, 2020)

OK, I’ll admit that I have a particular penchant for tales of time travel. That said, I have resisted visiting this genre for almost nine years, with my review here being my last that touches on a story of this type. I’ve revisited another favorite topic, the 1970s, much more recently here. A whole host of Wonder Years have flowed under the bridge since I’ve read something that has combined both favorite topics.

But here’s the thing: Fifty in Reverse is more than the sum of these two parts.  Here’s the story of a sixty-something empty nester who goes to sleep in 2020 and wakes up as his 15-year-old self in 1970, fully aware of his circumstances and the future that lies ahead of him. This is a story for all of us for whom the past year has seemed somehow unhinged in time. Show of hands: who else has experienced a perpetual Groundhog Day feeling as they’ve gone about their daily business over the past year?

The fantasy, of course, is that, with fifty-some years of foreknowledge going for you, you’d be set to profit handsomely from both the ups and the downs of the economy. It would be an entrepreneur’s dream. Imagine knowing what the next big thing is going to be before anyone else is even three steps behind you. Maybe that’s what it was like to be Steve Jobs (or maybe he was just seemingly always able to create the next big thing…)

That’s not how this story works out, though. No spoilers here, but this is a fresh take on the time-travel theme, particularly suited for pandemic homebound readers.

1 comment :

  1. I am a sucker for time travel books. I just checked it out from my local library. Thanks for the review!