|Title||:||All Times Possible|
|Format Type||:||Mass Market Paperback|
|Number of Pages||:||191 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
All Times Possible Reviews
I found All Times Possible to be equally fascinating and frustrating with the start of every chapter. It was fascinating in the way that Gordon Eklund tells this story mainly through various third person limited points of view, getting in the heads of each of his characters in turn (with the notable exception of the enigmatic John Durgas). This allows for a great economy of storytelling, advancing both plot and character development in the space of a few lines of interior monologue.It was frustrating almost for the same reason. Telling the story through so many points of view, it is almost necessary that Eklund have to jump back and forth in time and place. In one of our early views of the protagonist Tommy Bloome, we see him remembered as a young man some twenty years later by Nadine, his lover at the time. Although we get a good fleshing out of Tommy's character in this chapter, the reader is left to wonder what role Nadine will play in the rest of the story, (Spoiler:(view spoiler)[ no more than a passing mention. (hide spoiler)])The plot itself seems to have some holes, but it is hard to tell due to the disjointed narrative. At the end of the book, the antagonist John Durgas drops a rather large plot point in the reader's lap which is not satisfactorily addressed, at least not in the remainder of the book. It may be that there are subtle clues scattered throughout the book, but I didn't find myself motivated to go in search of them. I have a guess as to the solution to the point Durgas brings up (Spoiler:(view spoiler)[ that Durgas is the first Tommy Bloome who was murdered by our protagonist Tommy Bloome who then stole the original Tommy's identity. Yeah, this book is like that. (hide spoiler)]), but no real textual evidence.An interesting read, worth it for some masterful characterization, but a little weak on plot.
All my science-fiction-reading life, as I said before, I’ve been a sucker for time travel stories and alternate history stories. This one’s a little of both. It begins in a world in which Tommy Bloome (except that he’s not, really), who is twenty years old in 1947, attempts to assassinate one of the fascist generals who runs the United States. He fails and is shot for his trouble -- but between the trigger being pulled and the bullet crashing into his forehead, a whole other story takes place. Tommy wakes up on the day of his birth, 4 July 1927, but he’s already twenty years old and remembers fully his earlier life. This time, he’ll get it right. This time, he has enough of a head-start to build a proper revolution. And he does, a Red revolution in 1934, following which he and his victorious colleagues form a Supreme Executive Committee (with Tommy as First Secretary) set about collectivizing and rationalizing the country. Of course, in the purges that follow, thousands must die, but maybe things are better. Or maybe not. Toward the end of the book, we find out that Tommy’s original world is one in which William Randolph Hearst died as a boy, but the significance of his absence is never explained. The characters -- Bloome; his best friend and earliest supporter, Bob Ennis; his wife, Rachel, who comes to hate him; his one necessary outsider, Arnold Lowery; his dark alter ego, John Durgas; the one woman, Nadine, who loved him before the revolution -- all are very nicely portrayed and developed, though the whole thing is a bit confusing at first, as each of them takes center-stage in turn. The world Eklund portrays is likewise well thought out and believable. And the writing style is striking -- Eklund’s usual high-quality work. But the book is ultimately unsatisfying. And I’m not sure why.
A story about trying to pull the strings of history. I regret my vague knowledge of Marxist historical theory, since I think that would have helped me understand the author's intent; nonetheless, it struck me as quite a good work of alternate history, more thoughtful than most entries in this often-trivial genre; narrated with skill, too, from multiple points of view. No longer than it needed to be.
I read this one when it first came out, back in the seventies. My copy went missing long ago. Want to read it again! It was excellent.