Its not a very good book, really (Kurt, I love you, but its just true). There are many better books Ive read, and there are many books by Kurt Vonnegut that Ive enjoyed more, but there arent many books thatI think about as often as I think about Timequake, by Kurt V.
The premise of Timequake is very simple. Kind of very simple. Very simple ish.
One day, there is a time quake. Everyone in the world skips back ten years in time to their life ten years ago. And then they have to live it through. All of it. And they cant change anything, no matter how bad: they just have to watch it happen. Its just like a ten year deja vu, sitting back and watching all the things you thought might be about to happen, happening.
The book is interesting because it takes the point that the timequake ends as its starting point. Suddenly, after ten years of deja vu, ten years of sitting back and watching life happen and not having to (or being able to) act, free will kicks in again and people arent ready. Planes fall, cars crash, people die.
When I was 21, when I first read the book, I couldnt stand the idea. 11? Having to be 11 again? Having to go back to wearing a nasty, ill-fitting uniform and having to ask permission to speak every time I spoke? I hated this kind of authority. The idea of having to live through it for the whole of secondary school again was driving me insane. Tests? Exams? Hormones? I wasnt going to fare any better this time than last.
Thats the thing that sticks with me, whether Im considering where Ive come from or considering what decision to make going forward: if there was a timequake right now, which bits would I regret? Which bits would I find it hard to sit through? Which bit would I change?
And you know what? None. Much as Ive hated some of the things that have happened in the last ten years, at points, Im where I am now, and as non-secure as it might be, and as, lets face it, unemployed – it was my choice to be here. And Im happy.
For the first time ever, I do not despise and fear the idea of reliving 10 years.