This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Mr. Eternity by Aaron Thier
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon
Key West, 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It's here that two young filmmakers find something to believe in: an old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe and claims to be five hundred sixty years old.
In fact, old Dan is in the prime of his life. It's an incredible, perhaps eternal American life, which Mr. Eternity imagines over a millennium: a parade of conquistadors and plantation owners, lusty mermaids and dissatisfied princesses, picking up in the sixteenth century in the Viceroyalty of New Granada and continuing into the twenty-sixth, where, in the future Democratic Federation of Mississippi States, Dan serves as an advisor to the King of St. Louis. Some things remain constant throughout the centuries, and being on the edge of ruin may be one. In 1560, the Spaniards have destroyed the Aztec and Inca civilizations. In 2500, we've destroyed our own: the cities of the Atlantic coast are underwater, the union has fallen apart, and cars, plastics, and air conditioning are relegated to history. But there are other constants too: love, ingenuity, humor, and old Dan himself, always adapting and inspiring others with dreams of a better life.
An ingenious, hilarious, and genre-bending page-turner, Mr. Eternity is multiple novels in one. Together they form an uncommon work--about our changing planet and its remarkable continuities.
The book is philosophical and deals with climate change and what makes history, well history. The tie that binds this entire book together is Daniel Defoe. He is basically a time walker who is telling his story through his tales mashed with history. In addition to his perceptions of history we also hear from five separate characters that had a personal interaction with Daniel and learn their personal reflections of their life with him in it. Essentially what it comes down to is that every character is dealing with a changing world and finding what is really of true value.
When I started this book I found it interesting at first. Then it just went down hill for me. The jumping around from character to character, the wavering between timelines, and the fantastical history blending was hard to follow or believe. Old Dan’s stories are very creative and the details of the story are well thought out but I thought the main character was a few sandwiches shy of a picnic and was not able to connect with him. I did like the humor and the impact Daniel had on the other characters. He was inspirational to them and there was a level of honesty regarding the need to really consider our impact in our world.
If you are passionate about the environment, enjoy philosophical insights that are great for debates about our changing world and can handle a story timeline that makes you feel like you need Dramamine, then this is the book for you.
*Thank you to Bloomsbury USA & NetGalley for this ARC of Mr. Eternity*