Solid 3.5 stars. This will make a better movie than a book. The dialogue and writing style is very dry, but there are strong (if conventional) images, and the book asks some really excellent questions for its central theme. At the beginning, I was excited that the couple was maybe going to explore different realities after second guessing their professional sacrifices, but of course it was just Jason. Missed opportunity.

The central theme is the kind that can really branch into some meaty literary fiction, but in this book, the answer is pretty clear in the first third (destiny is not binary), and the middle dragged as you wait for the characters to catch on to the very obvious way that the box works. Especially since Angela is a psychologist, a lot of her behavior didn't make sense to me. Jason is very smart with his strategy and schemes, but really slow when it comes to other things. I guess that makes sense, since he is a scientist. Anyway, I do think this will make some really great cinematic fare. It's also a good book for people who don't usually read.

I enjoyed the twist, but it didn't make sense. If Jason went back into the box every time, why should there be so many of him all of a sudden?

Also (and I think this could just be me), but it's hard for me to process how much Jason seems to love his wife. I've just never seen that, and maybe it was just a way to motivate him a la "male lead in thriller does anything for family." But I've never seen that kind of love in real life. It seems like a peculiar extension of self-preservation.

It would have been interesting to see Jason actually try to adapt to his life as the big time scientist, or actually just be honest with the scientists about what he experienced. But he didn't go through much change. No curiosity about it, so the stakes didn't feel high to me. He just wanted to go home from the get go. So his struggles were more external than internal; another reason this would work better as a film.

shethewriter's rating:
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