A decade has passed since the city of Pittsburgh was reduced to ash.
While the rest of the world has moved on, losing itself in the noise of a media-glutted future, survivor John Dominic Blaxton remains obsessed with the past. Grieving for his wife and unborn child who perished in the blast, Dominic relives his lost life by immersing in the Archive - a fully interactive digital reconstruction of Pittsburgh, accessible to anyone who wants to visit the places they remember and the people they loved.
Dominic investigates deaths recorded in the Archive to help close cases long since grown cold, but when he discovers glitches in the code surrounding a crime scene - the body of a beautiful woman abandoned in a muddy park that he's convinced someone tried to delete from the Archive - his cycle of grief is shattered.
With nothing left to lose, Dominic tracks the murder through a web of deceit that takes him from the darkest corners of the Archive to the ruins of the city itself, leading him into the heart of a nightmare more horrific than anything he could have imagined.
©2014 Thomas Sweterlitsch (P)2014 Penguin Audiobooks
...and brutality in general. When you're reading, as opposed to listening, it's easy to skip over graphic violence. Not so easy when you're driving down the highway and hey, here's the rape, mutilation scene. Let's just turn the sound off. I did that or skipped ahead--frequently.
There was quite a bit of graphic violence in general and I almost quit listening a number of times due to that and the whole "adware" thing. Listening to the "ads" being fed to the main character was frequent, annoying, redundant, and unnecessary to the actual plot. And Dominic's grieving for a wife dead 10 years? He spends most of the novel reliving scenes from their lives through drugs and a form of virtual reality, which got deadly dull pretty fast. It really was a relentlessly depressing book.
On the other hand: interesting premise and plot, excellent writing, super duper audio narrator.
Thomas Sweterlitsch's Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a subtle warning about living in the past when our ability to document the present becomes all encompassing. 10 years after Pittsburgh has been obliterated by a suitcase nuc, a virtual reality reconstruction has been made by integrating all the various recordings both public and private (webcams, traffic cams, security cams, etc.). People can experience life in Pittsburgh right up to the explosion. John Dominc Blaxton was a former resident, but out of town, while his pregnant wife was killed. John now works as an investigator, following up insurance claims and spending his time on drugs reliving his time with his wife. He becomes involved in a missing person's case that gradually develops into something more sinister that threatens losing his wife a second time and perhaps even his life.
The sci-fi elements are an advanced virtual reality that is immersive in nature. The overall feel of the tale is more of a detective thriller with lots of general sleuthing with an almost terrifying view of evolving digital trends that is overly intrusive, ever present, and downright annoying. The message of the tale is that when the past can be made so real, the future offers little to look forward to.
The narration is well done with a good range of voices and pacing.
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