© The Financial Times Ltd 2016
FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice.
February 3, 2012 10:22 pm
Q, by Evan Mandery, 4th Estate, £16.99, 384 pages
How should you describe this quirky genre mash-up? A postmodern New York Jewish comedy-cum-love story, with time travel ... It’s The Time Traveller’s Wife with matzo ball soup jokes, The Twilight Zone with additional material by Gary Shteyngart.
Q stands for Quentina Elizabeth Deverill, urban organic gardener and lover of the book’s narrator, a nebbish history professor who writes unreadable novels that imagine alternative lives of historical figures. They make an odd couple, but a happy one. Marriage awaits until the prof is visited by a future version of himself: to avert catastrophe he must break off the engagement.
Of course, meddling with the timeline can have unforeseen consequences. Evan Mandery gleefully runs with sci-fi convention, as more future selves arrive with contradictory advice about love and writing.
A readable and poignant exploration of the roads not taken, marred only by Mandery’s tendency to confuse smart for smartarse.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.