Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: "Remembrance of Things I Forgot" by Bob Smith

"It's safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine."

It's 2006, and comic book dealer John Sherkston has decided to break up with his long-time boyfriend, Taylor. Unfortunately, he chooses to do so on the same day Taylor announces he has finally perfected his design of a time machine he has been building for the US government.

As the result of an encounter with Vice President Cheney, John gets sent back to 1986, where he meets "Junior," his younger self. After an uncomfortable round of flirting, John reveals his identity to Junior, and the two meet up with a younger Taylor to try and right some wrongs—in John's family, in his relationship with Taylor and in the world, as they try to stop George W. Bush from gaining the motivation to run for president. Their journey takes them across the country, and as John reveals what the future holds for Junior and Taylor (both separately and together), he realizes that some things are better to prepare for and some things are better off running their own course. Oh, and they also have to battle two Dick Cheneys at one point. Don't ask.

This book was a terrifically fun (and funny), poignant adventure. Imagine having the power to go back into your past and change an event or two that affected you tremendously. When the book focused on John and Junior's meetings with family, or analyzing where John's relationship with Taylor went wrong, I felt it was at its best, but I felt the entire George W. Bush piece felt a little unfunny. While I understand having a dislike for the Bush/Cheney administration, I felt as if Smith made John's character a little too shrill in those instances. All in all, however, this book touched my heart, made me think and made me laugh. And it's not every book that can do any of those things well, much less all three.

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