In his award-winning debut collection, God Is Dead, Ron Currie Jr. imagined what the world would be like if God came to earth in human form and was killed. In his new novel, he tackles an equally weighty subject with the same irresistible sense of humor: in a world where the apocalypse is certain, does anything we do matter? In this hilarious, wry, deeply moving but never sentimental novel, the answer is clear: Everything Matters!
While Rodney Thibodeau Jr. is still in the womb, a mysterious voice entrusts him with the knowledge that on June 15, 2010, at 3:44 p.m. EST, the world will be obliterated by a fiery comet. In the 36 years he has on this earth, Junior is accompanied by this voice, and haunted by the implications of its prophecy. Meanwhile, his loved ones bear burdens of their own—his anxious but doting mother begins her slow descent into alcoholism; his distant father retreats still further into his work; and his brother becomes a cocaine addict. The one bright spot in all of this is Amy—the love of Junior’s life. But when he confides in her what the voice has told him, she turns away from him, sending him into a deep downward spiral. Will Junior give into the familial vice—addiction—lay back and let the apocalypse come, or will he try to do something about it?
The magic of this book is that Currie’s vision of the end of humanity is in fact a celebration of life—even at its very worst. For a novel shot through with addiction, abuse, violence and failed relationships, Everything Matters! is shockingly, impossibly uplifting. Currie captures people, in all their imperfect splendor, in just a few sentences; he creates visceral images in just a few words. And while Junior, Amy and the others prepare for the end of days, you begin to realize that the questions the novel raises—about God, fate, destiny and the future—are just as immediate for the rest of us.
Everything Matters! is a powerful, funny, thought-provoking book that confirms Currie as an exciting new voice in American fiction.
Lindsey Schwoeri is an Assistant Editor at the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.