Let the games begin!
On a bitter cold day, in the December of his Junior Year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. They borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo a game where players can escape the confines of a body and the betrayals of a heart, and where death means nothing more than a chance to restart and play again. This is the story of the perfect worlds Sam and Sadie build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.
Spanning over thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, games as artform, technology and the human experience, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow is such a hard book to review because it involved so many feelings in me and I’m not sure how to convey that in this review!
Firstly: I loved this book! The main essence of what makes this book so great, for me, is the characters. It’s staying with those characters as they grow up together and their relationships with each other morph and develop. Games are obviously a huge part of this story because the characters are game designers but you don’t need to be really into games to enjoy this book – there are so many themes and issues explored, and it explains a lot about the games industry for those who would have no idea. However, if you have some memories of classic games from the 90s/ early 2000s then this book will be an extra treat for you! I am not a big gamer (I play loads of board games but video games, not so much) but I had a fair few trips down memory lane reading this, from the mention and inclusion of games I did play, or watched friends play, when I was a lot younger.
As I mentioned, the characters and their journeys made this novel for me. It’s full of complicated characters who are flawed but still loveable. Sam is a particular example – he can be awkward, a bit selfish and not always the best friend he could be but he has his reasons and you want him to do well anyway. All the main characters in this novel have their faults but also many positives, which means you’re rooting for them throughout.
Because we follow these characters for a long period in their lives, I felt like the reader gets to know them quite well. There are some really emotional moments – I didn’t expect this novel to be so heart-breaking at points, but it is, and it keeps you wanting to desperately read more about them all.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow is very much about human connection and the many different ways people resonate with one another and connect – as friends, partners, romantic partners, acquaintances… I also loved that the novel manages to avoid any cheesiness or cliches, despite it ultimately being a story about love. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow is an emotional, powerful read and I would highly recommend it.
My rating: 5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Chattus & Windus, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow is published on 14 July!