Release date: December 8, 2015
Lenny Funk (given name: Lennon) is able to time travel thanks in part to his grandfather’s old iPod Nano which is loaded with classic music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Together with new friend Yoko (yes, she’s named after that Yoko), Lenny “time slips” backwards to a world he thought he’d missed where he meets some of his musical heroes, including the Beatles, Jim Morrison and James Taylor, among others. Lenny must make some difficult and heart-breaking decisions. Should he change the course of history or not? And what are the consequences if he does? Would John reunite with Paul? Would he remain married to Yoko and, if not, who would be his next wife?
Time travel books are my weaknesses, so despite not being a Beatles fan, I gave this book a go. The story is pretty simplistic – Lenny can suddenly time travel using songs to direct it, and he meets these music legends and interacts with them, but when he finds out he can actually change the future, his dilemma is whether to save John Lennon from assassination. Along for the ride is Yoko, whose late grandmother used to be in the Beatles circles, and so she wants to meet her. On the basis of adventure, it’s fun – who wouldn’t like to meet their idols or be at their concerts? There is also the fact that that era seems more nicer than the current one (I, however, disagree on that point).
While the idea was marvelous, I couldn’t feel the same about the execution. As far as writing goes, it is descriptive, but dry. The characters are flat, and mostly devoid of personality. At the start, they don’t even question the possibility of time travel. Like the girl he meets for the first travel – she is able to remember him after all these years, and doesn’t even think it might be a kid of the guy or something. Lenny’s Yoko is a that-hot-girl-who-came-on-adventure-with-me cliche. She doesn’t contribute much to the plot other than a possible kidnapping case against Lenny. The time travel, itself, wasn’t explained that clearly – how he was able to take people, how he was using the song and reaching some place that the song was played at, not when it was recorded. Also, it felt so lucky that they just happened to be so good at Beatles trivia?
So, while any Beatles fan would probably find this a treat, I was more indifferent about it. Probably if it had been written better, I would have enjoyed it more.
Received a free galley from Park Slope Publishing via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or the review.