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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and moving - and there's time travel!
As a red-blooded male who wouldn't be seen dead with a Mills & Boon, I must admit that this novel's subtitle - 'a love story' almost dissuaded me from reading it. I've always been a sucker for the old time travel motif though and am glad that that was sufficient to hook me into this compelling tale of love, loss, the true meaning of happiness and, of course, time travel...
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by Cartimand

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow to be compelling..
I thought the idea of meeting your future self would be quite an interesting read. Unfortunately our unnamed hero isn't very heroic or interesting. Neither is Q. Yes, this tells the story of how they meet, and you are supposed to believe that she is the love of his life but by the time you get half way through the book you are still wondering when, if ever the spark will...
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by A. Douglas


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow to be compelling.., 27 Dec 2011
By 
A. Douglas (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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I thought the idea of meeting your future self would be quite an interesting read. Unfortunately our unnamed hero isn't very heroic or interesting. Neither is Q. Yes, this tells the story of how they meet, and you are supposed to believe that she is the love of his life but by the time you get half way through the book you are still wondering when, if ever the spark will appear between them.

All that seems to happen is that he meets his future self at fancy restraunts and goes through the reasons why he needs to leave Q. There is a small story about their child being i'll etc but this isn't a very convincing story. I couldn't feel the love between our hero and Q and this made it really hard to care about the choices he makes. I found parts of this book would go off at random tangents, almost just to use up the extra pages. It's very slow and just not gripping enough for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A ramble through time, 5 Nov 2011
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Discerning - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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The theme of the book was alluring; having enjoyed 'The Time Traveler's Wife, something along a similar vein might be equally interesting. A love story. Readers may not be convinced about this by the end of the book. Time travel has arrived in the future, so the nameless subject's future self returns to visit himself at various key points in his life to persuade himself to take different paths in an effort to end up with a happier life, to put it simply.

A decent edit could have made this book much better. The author is intelligent but I am left wondering if he wrote the book for himself or for others to read. Not long after seven pages of a debate in the Oxford Union, the author writes: 'No one wants to read a debate in a novel.' Quite. Page-skip alert. You'll be reading about Freud and eels, I kid you not. I feel that it slips into the mode of trying to impress academia whilst throwing in contemporary morsels for Joe Public. The subject appears to have a rather weak and gullible character. Why should he believe everything his older self tells him? I feel that he deserves a dull dotage. The pacing of the book speeds up at the end, as if a red pen had suddenly been found. Still, there are flashes of superb writing amongst the digressions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and moving - and there's time travel!, 13 Nov 2011
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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As a red-blooded male who wouldn't be seen dead with a Mills & Boon, I must admit that this novel's subtitle - 'a love story' almost dissuaded me from reading it. I've always been a sucker for the old time travel motif though and am glad that that was sufficient to hook me into this compelling tale of love, loss, the true meaning of happiness and, of course, time travel. There's much humour contained herein too and enough scattergun references (everything from Monty Python, Star Trek, The Simpsons, to Dickens and Freud) to spark interest in most readers. I did find that some of the author's seemingly tangential ramblings in the middle of the book were a bit dull and didn't advance the plot much, but other random vectors were brilliant - e.g. I loved the debate between Freud and Spencer. The ending, whilst not entirely unexpected, was genuinely moving.

Well worth reading if you love the concept of time travel (and are a bit of an old romantic too)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen meets Douglas Adams style humour, 12 Nov 2011
By 
CJ Savernake (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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It's an enjoyable book: light, funny, interesting story. It's not a particularly profound or enlightening read, but engaging enough to keep you company by the poolside on holiday.

The basic story is that our protagonist gets warned by his future self not to marry Q, the love of his life. He is eventually persuaded, but is harassed by a succession of alternate versions of himself, who tell him that whatever the last version told him was a big mistake, and he must now do (fill in the blank).

The style of humour is fairly dry and pleasant, sort of reminds me of a toned down Douglas Adams mixed with Woody Allen. The recurring joke started to wear thin for me in a few places (his future selves' eating peculiarities, stinginess, rapid-fire reversal of advice just after he's committed himself to whatever action), but overall, an entertaining read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it could have been, 9 May 2013
By 
Miss K (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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I love time-travel plots and was excited at the prospect of finding this book; unfortunately I struggled to finish it.

The narrator of the story is visited by future versions of himself and each time, the future self tries to convince the present self to take a different path. It's a good premise for a story, definitely - I just found it very difficult to warm to the narrator. The love story that is supposed to be at the centre, isn't powerful enough: I wanted to be swept away by it and I just wasn't. There isn't enough heart or emotion and I found myself not really caring about the outcome.

The book isn't all bad: it's a good concept and it held my interest for a while. There are some amusing moments, though they are not that funny. I feel the book was too slow and too long given the story being told, the way it was told. It certainly gets across the fact that we are all the sum of our experiences and the choices we make, determine who we become in the future - I like this. It's not a terrible read but it's not a great book either, hence the 3 stars. I do feel this book could have been a lot better if the story had been told in a more engaging, involving way - and with a different main character.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Evan Mandery - Q: A Love Story Review *spoiler alert*, 21 April 2013
This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Paperback)
Quirky: An adjective that Evan Mandery seems to want his readers to use to describe this story.

A more accurate summary for Q: A Love Story is that you will wish you were able to time travel back to the point you picked up this novel and chose a more worthwhile one to read.

The story had massive potential but this book is not the epic romance and tragedy that it could have been if correctly executed. The time travel aspect to the romance piqued my curiosity as instead of a what-if scenario and a life already lived here was a reverse of that situation as the narrator's future self, I-60, visits his past self. Time travel only happens from the future to past so the knowledge he receives from I-60 of how the early death of Q's and his's son will destroy them as a couple is such devastating news that it demands a life's course change is considered. I wanted to see the conflict which resulted from I-60 visiting his past self and how the present narrator would act in light of his future's knowledge.

However, the narrator may be the protagonist of this novel but a romantic hero he is not. From Mandery's portrayal of him I have never met a more self-satisfied, smug and off-putting lover as this one who values his intellectual credentials as a mark of superiority. Though he does consider Quentina's feelings, the Q of the title, and how badly the death of their son would affect them his considerations give way to his own inherent selfishness as he only acts for and thinks of himself. This is most evident during Thanksgiving dinner at Q's house. He has resolved to break up with Q and has assured I-60 the deed will be done. Yet before the break up occurs there is a jarring scene where the narrator and the dinner guests discuss science and the progress of society. Why is this scene in the novel at all? Is it the novelist's attempt to shoehorn his own views into the story?

My biggest complaint is this is a time travel story where the narrator's actions occur without consequence. Comparison to Audrey Niffeger's The Time Traveller's Wife are incorrect as time travel is the only aspect the two novels share. The narrator is a self-confident individual but he is also paradoxically and illogically a spineless, thoughtless individual who is more dislikable as the story continues. The narrator is further visited by future incarnations of himself who all have advice of the life path he should take. Q: A Love Story descends into farce due to these additional visits; without any form of self-assertion the narrator follows unthinkingly follows all the orders given to him as according to his logic since his future selves are him then he can trust what they have to say about their somewhat shared experiences. The removal of consequence from this book only serves to weaken this story further as the narrator does not develop as a character. He is more tolerant than you'd expect to his future selves and his dissatisfaction reaches the level of mild irritation with and inconvenience by them.

Also Mandery continually insists on showing us the intellectual credentials of his narrator. Even during his courtship of Q the narrator talks about what it is to be a novelist and his promotional trail of the book - despite it not being very good. After his break up with Q drafts of the narrator's novel and short stories appear as chapters in this book. I am not too sure of what purpose this is meant to have as it does not fit with the themes of the novel; perhaps to satisfy Mandery's own desires to write a better novel than he could have done with the one he is supposed to be writing. Another annoying feature is this book's obsessive attention to detail in regards to food. The narrator and his I-futures visit exclusive and expensive restaurants where the narrator wonders at when his future self developed a linking for a particular dish. Pointless filler material in a novel that should be shorter than it already is.

The title of this book is a misleading one; Q is supposed to be the love of the narrator's life and have a central place in the story. Yet as a love interest Q is hardly characterised at all. It is not that she is badly described as a character but she is marginalised at the expense of the narrator's massive ego trip in his insistence to describe his own experiences and thoughts. Q floats about in the background as a kooky figure who is close to her dad - that's it. When Q is there at the close of the novel with the narrator as a time traveller her unwavering loyalty and faith in the narrator's love for her somehow hits a false note and fails to achieve a poignant ending. My own feelings upon conclusion of this novel is that Q really could do much better than the spineless narrator as a love interest.
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2.0 out of 5 stars How can you make time travel dull??, 28 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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I was hoping this was going to be a more humorous take on something like "The Time Travellers Wife" - a relationship rather than a sci-fi based jaunt. It was always readable but it never really rose above "dull", definitely not a page turner. The main character is a Woody Allen-esque neurotic who receives conflicting advice from various versions of himself from the future. There is some humour to be gained from that, conversations about things that have happened, are going to happen etc but that as a concept is not enough to sustain interest over many pages and sadly it forms the majority of the book.

** Spoiler alert ** the character meets versions of himself and moves further and further away from his love, Q. There really isn't a lot else that you don't know from reading the blurb except for how it will work out in the end. Blurb-writers: this is definitely a case of less is more. It was like a trailer that shows you everything that happens in the film.

It's a shame as the book had a great concept that was never fully explored. Some of the scenes, such as the protest that they stage, are amusing but never more than a slight smile. Certainly not laugh out loud funny. The author doesn't get the mileage out of his ideas that he should have done. Overall, a dull book that probably isn't worth your time.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Painfully boring, 11 Dec 2012
This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Paperback)
I chose this book because of the reference to Woody Allen style. However it is far removed from him, as Allen is never boring. Like some of the other reviewers, I didn't believe in the romance. The hero is a boring, unlikeable person who writes tedious books. I forced myself to read it to the end because I hate to give up - but I wish I hadn't as it was incredibly disappointing. There is one interesting scene at Q's parent's house. I thought the book was going to pick at this point but sadly, it didn't.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea for a book, but..., 9 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Paperback)
...not a great execution. I quite liked this book, but I did not love it. It is a very nice idea for a book, albeit not a 100% original. The hero, an unfulfilled (bad) author and university lecturer, keeps meeting various versions of older self that advise him on what actions to undertake in life. The first encounter is the most dramatic as it causes him to abandon the true and only love of his life. The reason for cutting the romance short was the fact the the protagonist and his fiance were carriers of a rare genetic disorder that would have caused a premature death of their child. It is beyond me to understand the necessity to leave her... Having discovered the problem they could have opted for adoption or prenatal screening or even for remaining a childless couple, but this must be me being too practical. The kaleidoscope of meetings with diverse versions of self spins faster and faster with passing of time and gets quite ridiculous - he is told to do something and embarks upon it, only to be told a few days/hours later, that this is not the right way forward.

Obviously, I have never had the pleasure of meeting my alter ego, but I somehow doubt it that I would be all so inclined to follow the "instructions". As a matter of fact I think that I would be quite reluctant to do so.

What I liked about it was the realisation that we become who we are as the result of our choices and that by choosing an alternative we would turn into someone else. Not particularly original, but still, this book made me think that.

Whereas the first part of the books flows nicely, from a certain point on the author decided to fill it up with examples of the protagonists bad writing. These bits are frankly unbearable. Some of the humour is really funny, other bits make you cringe.

I noticed that one of the reviewers remarked upon the acknowledgements - quite embarrassing and makes you sort of think that the author has not written a piece of fiction, but an autobiography.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great with a better execution, 23 Aug 2012
This review is from: Q: A Love Story (Hardcover)
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The idea of this book was an interesting one as there is a point in everyone's life that if they could change past events then they would. So I was intrigued by the idea of a man being able to travel back in time to change the events that haunt him in later life. Whilst it is not an original idea, when done well it can provide an entertaining read.

Unfortunately I did not find the main character and his love interest `Q' to be terribly interesting. Boring conversations are held between our hero and his hero past selves that are not stimulating. The love between him and `Q' is perplexing as the initial spark is not clear, nor indeed is the continuation of this deep seeded never ending love. Maybe it's just from a modern day view of how love stories should be, but I wanted to read more than just a real life companionship love from years of being together, I wanted to read of the soul consuming love that drove this man to try to change their future. That to me was the story and what I wanted to read.

The story was slow moving, dwelling for too long on discussions that could have been summarised and left room for other areas which may have added more to the story. This book was ok, but was a far cry short of what I was expecting. Slow moving and not intriguing enough for my taste.
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Q: A Love Story
Q: A Love Story by Evan Mandery (Paperback - 5 July 2012)
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