Thursday, June 4, 2015
Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch
If you like: holding on to the past * uncovering the truth * Stay
Tomorrow and Tomorrow is the story of a future that is disturbed by a disaster in Pittsburgh and the reality of living with the fallout from it. Dominic works for a research company that searches the cache of digital archives throughout the recent history of Pittsburgh and tries to solve any insurance related queries, specifically looking into whether a death was accidental or a murder. He mourns the loss of his wife and often visits her and relives memories of their life together. Haunted by her memories, Dominic seeks solace in drugs and eventually becomes overwhelmed by his life and the cases that he works on. Dominic is then approached by mysterious new doctor and benefactor, who push him headfirst into a world he never expected.
Living in a world marred by tragedy and ruled by social media and the desire to make money quickly has led to a very disturbing and dark reality. In a world full of cameras and technology it is hard to ever hide. You assume you're always being recorded, but you never truly know by whom and how many cameras are on you. When the Archive is created the survivors realize just how exposed they were in the world that was left behind. People are able to ride their lives like amusement park attractions and other people to discover the most intimate details of their former lives without their consent. In this modern age, we are beginning to view privacy as something that is long gone, but in the age of Tomorrow and Tomorrow it is so far gone it is as if privacy never existed. Even in death, the people in Tomorrow have no privacy as their lives are sold to true crime docudramas that fill prime time entertainment. The only way to escape your past is to give it up permanently and become someone new and forget everything you left behind.
As Dominic seeks to escape the damages of his life by living in the memory of his wife he finds a world much harsher than the one he is really living in. As part of his job he investigates the deaths of those who died around the time of the same disaster that killed his wife. He live a life constantly surrounded by death and thinks that his existence is horrible. Then, he discovers the dark world of crimes that he never imagined taking place in his city and witnesses untold horrors unfolding around his life and in the past. He becomes entangled with another woman who he begins to love, though never like his wife Theresa. The investigation into the disappearance of another woman in one of his cases brings him into the clutches of a powerful family that endangers his life more than anything else. It is only when his life begins to unravel completely and he wishes for death that he's able to find true closure. In a world where you can relive the past anytime, how can you ever move forward? It is only when the past is blurred and scarred and erased that you must face the truth of reality. Sometimes you have to give up everything in order to let go and move on. Other times it's more important to never let go and seek justice. How much is one's life worth? Is it worth letting great ills go unpunished? In the end, the greatest idea we can discover is that of coming to peace with our own life. Sometimes that peace comes quickly and sometimes that peace comes after time. We all must live with our past and live with the impending future--it is what we do that determines what kind of place that will be. We need to live in our body and mind in order for our soul to flourish.
If you would get lost in your digital past, read Tomorrow and Tomorrow.
Sweterlitsch, Thomas. Tomorrow and Tomorrow. Penguin Publishing Group, 2014. Kindle Edition.