FORGOTTEN BOOK: Any Day Now by Terry Bisson, 2012
This is the 112th in my series of Forgotten Books.
Being from Texas I like a nice alternate history every now and again. Lord knows history has been rewritten from multiple points of view on many occasions. And sometimes, by people who were NOT politicians.
This week we have a new novel from Terry Bisson who did TALKING MAN that I reviewed here some time ago. When I was at ArmadilloCon a copy of this book leapt into my hand and I was told “This is the BEST book of the year so far!” I was told this by someone whose taste I trust and who reads a large number of books each year. Many more than I do.
So I took it home and was shelving the items I got at the convention and I began to look at it. It is a novel of the 1960’s. Good! It is about political unrest and the wars. OK. Science fiction has tackled this a couple of times.
So I began to read. It was a nice coming of age novel and then I began to see the little tweaks. The first I noticed dealt with our main characters discussing jazz. One hears the early work of Miles Davis, an artist he has never heard of. Miles died too young before he could revolutionize the jazz world. Then LBJ resigns and Humphrey becomes President during the war. RFK and MLK get shot but do not die. The 1968 election goes topsy turvy and the world is spinning out of control.
I do not want to give too much away. There are some wonderful U-turns in here that you do not see coming and to spoil those would be criminal. But it is definitely an alternate history. And it is definitely about coming of age in the 60’s and Viet Nam and the South and sex and the revolution and many of the things that might have happened or could still possibly happen. It is a cautionary tale.
You should check it put.
It reads fast and very well. This is the best book I have read this year and I hope you do too.
Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more Friday Forgotten Book reviews at her own blog, and posts a complete list of participating blogs.