10:04 by Ben Lerner has an interesting premise: that the future will not be any different than the present. This idea is illustrated in the book by having the story essentially begin the same way it ends – with a large hurricane moving in to New York City.

The book was OK – the idea, sadly, wasn’t too well developed however it did make me think of another book that executed this premise (perhaps unintentionally) in a much better way. Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler illustrated this idea of a future not much different than the present much better than Lerner’s book did.

Albeit both books were mediocre, at least Danler’s was more memorable, despite it’s rather stagnant story line. I came to the belief however that MAYBE both of these books were the result of a writing assignment in which the future is exactly the same as the present.

Anyway, these two books were some of the most melancholy books I’ve read in awhile. They both had just barely enough momentum in them for me to keep going, and the main characters of each were so dry that I ended up disliking them.

Both books did demonstrate that progress IS NOT a guarantee of the future – and, of course, that idea goes counter to everything our society proclaims. It could be that simple truth that keeps me thinking about these two books I guess.

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