"An intimate alliance of a lifetime, the power of play, the pull of work - this outstanding love story set in the gaming world is a soulful joy."
What a beautiful, heart-wrenching story from a writer with exceptional talent for delivering extraordinary story contexts with so much humanity. Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a devastating, nourishing novel that unlocks truths about love, life, and bone-deep bonds of a lifetime.
Refreshingly, the novel also explores the power of work and play - “To allow yourself to play with another person is no small risk. It means allowing yourself to be open, to be exposed, to be hurt…To play requires trust and love.” As one of the main characters remarks, commenting in his capacity as a creator of visionary video games: “There is no more intimate act than play, even sex.”
In 1987, it was through play that Sam and Sadie struck up a close friendship in childhood when she was the only person he’d talk to in hospital after surviving a terrible car accident. After a falling out, they encounter each other again by chance when she’s a student at MIT and he’s at Harvard. She gives him a disk of a computer game she’s working on, Solution, which pushes gamers’ ethics to the limits. Together they create a game, and form a soulful bond, with Ichigo, their game and its Sam-like protagonist, very much their baby.
After commercial success in their early twenties, Sadie and Sam fall-out over what to create next, with Sam imploring Sadie to make a third Ichigo: “You can’t abandon our child in a shitty sequel”. As they become luminaries of the gaming world, with old college friend Marx at the business helm, the imperfections of the real world infringe on the thought-provoking worlds Sam and Sadie have devoted their lives to creating. There’s painful tragedy and failure alongside the money and glory, with the needs, flaws, and complexities of each character incredibly evoked.
As Sadie remarks, “How strange and beautiful human beings are. And how fragile”. This novel, too, is strange and beautiful, and presents a powerful presentation of human fragility.
|Modern and Contemporary Fiction