Midlife Crisis by Jason Ayres
Richard Kent is overweight and depressed. On the top level of a multi-storey car park, contemplating plunging to his death, he is visited by a mysterious ‘genie’ in the form of his younger self who offers him the
Having just finished Midlife Crisis I’m at odds with the proliferation of 5-star reviews on Amazon.
I’m a sucker for a good time-travel tale. The sense of nostalgia and the “what if?” questions combined with ramifications of how the smallest changes to the past could have the biggest consequences for the future always draw me in — I’m thinking the Back to the Future trilogy and The Butterfly Effect.
So the premise of a suicidal man being given a chance to go back and relive six days of his life seemed to give the promise of a great story.
Midlife Crisis had particular relevance for me as it was set in the UK and the protagonist’s birth was only four years before my own. Mentions of the era including Woolworths, 7-inch records, and rotary telephones certainly pushed my nostalgia buttons.
But finding out after Kent’s first journey back in time that none of his actions changed anything, leaving the protagonist
Dissatifying to say the least. I didn’t even feel that Kent grew by revisiting his past. Coupled with the fact that he was told by the genie that he mustn’t change anything that would affect his future once he’d visited it, it once again lacked conflict and just felt way too convenient.
Midlife Crisis is part of the Second Chances series which explores time travel concepts from the points of view of some of the other characters featured in the story. However, I have no desire to read them and I can’t recommend Midlife Crisis either.
It’s a shame.