This week on TLGBIR, I bring you an absolute gift, Ron Currie Junior’s “Everything Matters.” The premise is simple: what if you knew the exact day the world would end since the very first moment you had your own thoughts because a voice told you? This is what our protagonist, Junior, must struggle with.
Junior is a genius. His older brother is the best baseball player the world has ever known. Once Junior loses a chance at the one girl he’s ever loved because he tells her the world will end, he dedicates his life to finding a way to stop it to get her back. If that’s not a grand romantic gesture then I don’t know what is.
Currie takes us through Junior’s entire life and then, despite all of his accomplishments, the Voice gives Junior a choice. He’s allowed to go back and change any one moment in time because as the Voice puts it “with infinite choices comes the potential for infinite happiness.” Now this might strike you as some sort of dimestore attempt at philosophy but I assure you there is more to it. Despite following Junior for his entire life, we occasionally get glimpses into the point of view of the other characters. We get to see how they react to their environment when the world seems to be figuratively coming down around them. It’s a device that makes the big words of the Voice feel less shallow and instead paints them in a much more relatable light.
Currie’s title is an answer. It is the answer to the questions that everyone has at some point. Does anything I do matter? Yes. Everything matters.