Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin


author Gabrielle Zevin published 2022 date start Jan 09, 2023 date read Jan 23, 2023 edition ebook

contemporary fiction


Edit (Dec 2023):

Regrettably, I didn’t realize the book had Zionist content and only when someone else pointed it out did I recognize the Zionism in it. For transparency, I did not remove this book from my log.

Original review:

first impressions: the book feels massively over hyped for what it actually is.

listen. i love video games. let me say that again. i LOVE video games. i love them for their plot, their characters, the mechanics, the combat system, the dialogue options, the romance options, the endless grind for armor and weapons, minmaxing character stats. everything.

i love when indie game developers work so hard to create their lovechild and it always shows in the output how much love was put into it (stardew valley).

i love the unique stories they make, the subversion of popular game genres, and even the numerous endings that can be reached through multiple 100-hour playthroughs. i love the several years and years of painstaking work to cover each minute detail of the game (undertale).

i love how a group of friends with virtually no programming experience can create a beautiful game about choices and love because video games, above all else, are storytelling, too. and if you know how to tell stories well, then the rest will follow (disco elysium).

there's so many things about games that can be written about, and this book tries to tell all of them. which results in a pretty flat story. it's very character-driven, because this is about two people (plus one) who come together after decades of not seeing each other to make a video game.

and it is also about their love for each other. at least, that's what it should have been. but countless of times we see these two people make utterly selfish choices and quick judgments of each other that it is pretty difficult to believe that they actually do love each other.

that's not to say that there shouldn't be conflict, because yes, there should be, and yes, it happens in the book. but i don't really see the characters learn from their mistakes? they make mistakes but then they don't really... talk about it? they just kinda stop talking for a while and then communicate again after a few years. and then that's it. not even an apology happens, good lord.

i would not really mind that they were unlikeable characters, because that just means they're deeply flawed, and that's fine. but they do not change at all. or if they do, it is insignificant to the story as a whole. what was the point of all that, then?

the writing also switches from casual to 'someone who got their hands on a thesaurus for the first time'. it's not impressive and it took me out of my immersion too many times because i had to find the definition of the word. there weren't even context clues, man. come on.

i love video games. i work as a software dev so i am very familiar with these things. i didnt really have a problem with the technical side of the story because it's okay. not the most accurate, but it paints a pretty close picture. i can suspend my disbelief for it. but the story and the characters and their development (or lack thereof) is what i had a big problem with. the premise is great. i just wished it was something better.