This Never Happened

Author: R. Tim Morris

Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction

Type: Novel

Summary: When a young man finds a book on the subway that begins to strangely mirror his own life, he begins to question his identity, his reality, and the possibilities of something more.

Why I liked it: This is a marvellous, immersive piece of literature. It’s different and weird and has a mysterious aura of things to come. Simply unputdownable.

And now for the chatty part!

This book was an instant buy for me. The first few paragraphs had me hooked, and I couldn’t let go. The writer attempts here something that few will dare: writing a whole book in second person. It is done superbly: the reader is constantly in the main character’s headspace, full with idle thoughts and self-distractions, feelings and sensations and all the confusion the young man goes through until he reaches the end of his journey. The sprinkling of seemingly irrelevant events and disjointed trains of thought makes this book so real, so alive, that you feel you’re right there with him, you practically see what he sees and experience what he experiences. It’s done with skill and it’s obvious that the author put a lot of care into every single sentence.

The premise of the book belongs in science fiction, although you don’t realise this until about halfway into it. There’s a diffuse sense of mystery throughout which keeps you hooked and turning pages. I have to admit that, as a PhD physicist, I was a little annoyed at the faulty signal propagation physics/astrophysics, but you shouldn’t be worried about that if you haven’t studied physics. And, even if you have, read this book nevertheless. It’s so wonderful that it made me ignore my inner critic (and that says a lot) and kept me hooked until the last pages.

Apropos last pages: the epilogue blew my mind. You’ll see.

Grammar, syntax, style: I was annoyed at the erratic use of commas (or the lack of their use). This is my only critique, though. I found little to no grammatical errors.

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