Just Finished – Midlife Crisis

Just Finished – Midlife Crisis

Midlife Crisis by Jason Ayres

Contains spoilers.

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 opporunity to relive six days of his life.

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 effectivley impotent, the bottom of the story just felt out for me. Not to say there weren’t some interesting and amusing scenarios in Kent’s re-run of his past, but much of the book lacked the conflict that I would expect from such a premise. The story ended in his final visit — a visit to his future, and seeing that it turned out as he wished, he was happy.

The End.

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.

Written by Chris Richards View all posts by this author →

Welsh artist, writer, and photographer. Music lover, cloud watcher, ebook hoarder.

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