Thursday, 28 August 2014

Book Review: The Future for Curious People

The Future for Curious People
By Greg Sherl
Published by Pan Macmillan
Available in paperback and ebook

If you could see your future with someone, would you want to? This is the question that Greg Sherl tackles in his debut novel, The Future for Curious People. This is a intriguing story with quirky, hipster characters worrying about their lives and futures.

Tucked away, down side-streets are clinics, ready to provide any willing customer a glimpse into their future. The 'Envisionist' can tell you, for a fee, whether your partner is the real deal. The two protagonists - Evelyn and Godfrey find themselves strapped in, ready to see a snapshot of their futures. Evelyn, a librarian wants the perfect live - family and kids all in a neat package. But she's not sure if Adrian, her boyfriend, is the one who can deliver her this life. Godfrey, is prompted by his partner, Madge to go and see an Envisionist just to make sure their life is definitely on the right track after he proposes to her.

The Future for Curious People could almost be a sequel to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the way the whole looks normal on the surface but lurking around the corners is a slightly different version of reality (this almost reminded me of the fictional worlds of Andrew Kaufman and Aimee Bender). You will just need to squint your eyes and ignore the fact that this doesn't have the original characters. Eternal Sunshine looked at the concept of deleting memories of loved ones while The Future for Curious People looks at future.

The Future for Curious People does have a the predictable 'girl meets boy' plot but Sherl puts a twist on this by looking at the way the past and the present can affect the future of Evelyn and Godfrey as they search for perfection.

I have seen this book compared to the television show Girls but I'm not sure if it should be compared to this TV show. If anything, it could be a negative. Yes, at times the characters are so caught up in their own worlds that they are blind to the events in the 'real' world but Girls is such a marmite programme that it could potentially put people off from reading The Future for Curious People. And it shouldn't - this is a warm, witty book full of interesting concepts.

Fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will definitely enjoy this book as well of fans of Andrew Kaufman and Aimee Bender.

The publisher kindly sent me a copy

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