This is not a review. This is a short account of my failure to review a book. Yes, I have been defeated. Mister Charles Yu, I take my hat off to you. I cannot present a review, because I have not finished this book.

In fact I do not intend to ever finish it. Not because it is a bad book. On the contrary, the concept behind it is fascinating. The author’s approach to time travel fiction seems initially reminiscent of a previous book I have reviewed by K.A. Bedford, but the contrast between them could not be greater.

Yu is not employing time travel as a storytelling device. Instead the book itself becomes a time machine and as the reader, you become a function of the book’s existence itself. The adventures of Yu’s protagonist, named Charles Yu, are all bound up with attempting to explain the logic of time travel, even a grammar of time travel, rather than introduce any plot as such.

Which is what defeated me. As a conceptual work this book is quite impressive, but I did not feel there was anything for me to hook on to.

So I gave up. Apologies all round.

I switched to a Jasper Fford novel for the plane home instead. Much less perplexing.