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  • Gaili Schoen

Fifty in Reverse


"I miss my iPhone! I'll never complain about the autocorrect function again."


Lately I've been enjoying this genre of books that involve time travel in a non-science-fiction format. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, and now Fifty in Reverse by Bill Flanagan. All deliver poignant messages of appreciation for the life we have been given. 65-year-old Peter Wyatt goes to sleep in his bed in 2020 and wakes up the next morning to find that it is now 1970, and he is 15 years-old, reliving his childhood. Everything seems as it was when he was 15, with some notable changes: The Americans win the war in Viet Nam, and the Beatles do not break up their band. When young Peter strips his clothes off in school in an effort to wake himself from what he thinks must be a dream, he is sent to see psychologist Terry Cannon for counseling. With Terry's help, Peter tries to make sense of what Terry calls his "delusion," pondering the deepest questions about whether it is better to try to improve humanity, or to try preserve history in order to keep his future life on track.


Fifty in Reverse is a fun, quick read, and I especially enjoyed the narrator whose excellent voices felt like a full cast of characters.


Lots of great musical references, however it was annoying that Peter introduces the world to some of the great songs of the future saying that he wrote them, as this gag was the motor behind the film Yesterday, and felt like a rip-off.


But otherwise the book was enjoyable and humorous, provoking much thought and conjecture.


“I had it perfect the first time but I had to lose it to know it.”


⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 on GoodReads (check out our RipeReads group!) Hardcover: 208 pages; Audiobook: 5 hours, 25 minutes.

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