Schrodinger’s Dog by Allan Brewer

August 9, 2018

“Schrodinger’s Dog” is a very fine short story stretched out over the course of a novel, filled with tedious exposition and infodumps that detract heavily from the ideas of the book which involve time travel and killing/not killing a dog.

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

“Schrodinger’s Dog,” a book with an exciting summary of its plot, fails utterly to live up to the expectations it raises. A book about time travel, and about killing/not killing a dog (as with the famous Schrodinger’s Cat never-actually-performed experiment, or thought exercise), is bogged down by nothing happening but exposition and some kissing until literally halfway through the book. I slogged through this on a kindle fire and nothing of note happened until 51% of the way through.

I don’t lean too heavily on gifs outside of twitter, but this particular scene kept running through my head. When ARE they going to get to the fireworks factory? The idea of the book is an exciting one, so why does nothing of import happen until halfway through the book?

Oh, things DO happen before then. The protagonist is married but separated to a woman who put her career on hold to raise their now-grown children and is trying to pick up the pieces of what’s left after a 20+ year gap in her job history. The protagonist feels vaguely guilty that her career suffered while his (as a historian who’s published books) hasn’t suffered at all and has, in fact, thrived. But the kids are grown and she’s not sexy any more so he’s happy to move out and live in the tiny apartment his new employers, a top secret government agency, provide for him.

He doesn’t have to actually DO anything in his new job except hang out with the science nerds who are building a time machine. Well, it’s not really a time machine. It’s more like a time camera. Using blah blah sciencesticks they can peek through time and take photos of what’s going on. There’s a lot of explaining how this works, and it’s explained in a clumsy and frankly tedious way. The explanations just go on and on.

To lighten up the constant explaining, we have the manic pixie dream girl who works there. She’s young and fun! She’s also an actress in community theater! She’s rich! She plays pranks on coworkers! She has a fast car! She plays piano! She totally wants to make out with and then sleep with the not-rich middle aged married-but-seperated historian, as vital young ladies are wont to do. She is by far the most realized character and it’s obvious that the author wants her to be real so he can date her.

Once stuff starts happening it gets a little more interesting but there keeps being these infodumps and the pacing is weird, too hurried. The book ends abruptly.

A few interesting things happen, but over all it’s not enough to save this wreck of a book. If you stripped out most of the first half and paced the second half better it’d make a decent novella maybe. But there’s too much in the first half and not enough in the final, I don’t know, eighth or so.

They just really needed to get to the fireworks factory a lot sooner.

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