09 February, 2011

Review - How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

In one minute, Charles Yu is going to murder himself.


When I first heard of this book and even after the first couple pages, I thought, don't we already have The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Not so, not so.

I'm really glad my first impressions were wrong because How to Live Safely Blah Blah Blah is a book that's much different and entirely it's own awesome experience. Hilarious at times, nerdy at others, fun, entertaining, with some clever ideas, How to Live Safely [US] [UK] is a book of introspection, introducing the more serious theme of making something of yourself rather than waiting for that day to come.

The protagonist is Charles Yu himself as he deals with the very real theories of time travel. Charles has a dysfunctional family, as many of us do, and much of the narrative focuses and their relationship, which I'm guessing isn't too far off from the truth.

Maybe it was the time travel aspect alone, but I this book really reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut, especially Slaughterhouse Five. Humor mixed with heavy emotions...and then there's time travel mixed in.

Why Should You Read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe?

How to Live Safely is different from anything else you'll read this year and I"m sure you won't regret it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

4.5 out of 5 Stars


Jamie Gibbs said...

I couldn't get into this one. I don't know if I'm just wired to not like sci-fi as much as fantasy, but I found that it rambled on a bit about things that weren't really necessary to the plot or the characters. Once the plot kicked off eventually, where Yu discovers the dysfunction behind his family I started to gain interest, but overall I wasn't impressed. I think that just might be me, though.

Bryce L. said...

No, I understand what your saying. He definitely rambles a few (too many) times. I can see how that would kill it for you though.

Simcha said...

I've been hearing interesting things about this book, though I have to say that if it really reminds you of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy than I'm definitely on board. The library where I download ebooks from recently got this book in and I've been trying to decide if it's a good book that I could read on my iPhone, though I suspect not.

Rebecca Chapman said...

Can't wait after that great recommendation

Ryan said...

I usually favor fantasy over SF but after reading your review this one sounds like it might be worth checking out.

Bryce L. said...

I do have to warn you of one thing, this is pretty stylized. I think it's an either love it or hate it book, but I definitely loved it.

Super deals on Black Cloud South Bend Diesel Clutches said...

Not at all what I was expecting, but I loved it all the same. This was a different writing style that I was expecting, but it worked for the story. A good mix of humor, sci-fi, and philosophy.