Q by Evan Mandery

I love the concept:

A man is visited by his future self, who has travelled through time to warn him that he absolutely must not marry the love of his life.

That’s Quentina Elizabeth Dervil, known to everyone as Q.

I loved watching them fall in love. Because it felt so real. Two people meeting, talking about this that and everything, their lives so naturally coming together …

That pulled me right into the story.

And that’s why I was infuriated when the unnamed narrator’s future self and insisted that the pair could not marry. His argument was good, but oh how I wanted to find away around it.

And the trouble is, once you have taken the advice of a future self once, any number of future selves will arrive from different periods and different paths taken to offer advice on every life choice you could think of.

It was a joy to watch the dialogues between one man and his future selves, packed full of facts, intelligence and wit. And a tour de force by the author, making one rather neurotic writer recognisable at so many different stages of life.

It was wonderful and infuriating at the same time.

I wanted to intervene. To point out what was really important in life. But I couldn’t!

Many of the details of time travel were glossed over, but there were enough details there to sell the concept. Very clever!

The writing is lovely, allowing the story to move forward on a cushion of clever ideas and cultural references.

It gets a little lost sometimes when the story’s unnamed hero paises to ponder life, love, his novel … but it soon finds itself again whenever he has someone to talk with.

Those dialogues, full of warmth and wit, are a delight.

And, just as I was wondering how on earth all of this could be brought together, it was. Perfectly.

This really is a novel for both head and heart.

And I might not have written about it too coherently, but I can only think of one more thing to say – I loved Q!

Not necessarily rational, but that’s love for you!

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