There aren’t many books out there that definitively explore the nature of friendship and passionate platonic love – one that blossoms and blooms but also withers and wanes. And it’s definitely safe to say there aren’t any with video game developers – as protagonists – in the mix!
Enter Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.
A charming boy meets girl story that evolves into a fierce relationship that spans three decades – in the author’s own words, “I have a hard time describing the book, but it’s broadly about love, art, video games and time.”
Gabrielle Zevin is completely in tune with the times and orchestrates a sprawling, evocative and vivid tale – with twists and turns not entirely different from the many virtual worlds she envisions as part of the narrative.
The premise. Sadie & Sam are friends, partners and collaborators. But above all else, they love video games. As they grow older, drift apart and then get together again, they decide to start developing their own games.
Fleshed out in the form of vignettes – from childhood to their late thirties – Zevin weaves a delicate yet extremely imaginative yarn that often dives deep into the narrative process of game development and the importance of storytelling – albeit through a completely different medium.
There are moments of joy, sadness, despair, arrogance and insecurity layered within themes that explore identity, culture, and fear of the other.
But above all, there’s a deep reverence for and great understanding of the art of creation that not only exists as part of the story, but also seeps into the visually textured description of some of the games that Sadie and Sam develop together.
Zevin incorporates nostalgia, heart and portions of her own upbringing and experiences in the book – which is a creation in itself – and so do our protagonists, whose stories and lives are intertwined within these rich and immersive worlds – that in my opinion, would make gorgeous games in themselves. (They actually went ahead and made one of them! Brilliant!)
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a modern masterpiece and one for the ages, with Zevin examining the fragility of relationships, the power of collaboration and the oscillating nature of the creative process. A rare gem that takes you on an inspiring, tender and thought provoking journey through time – one that comes full circle at the end.
P.S. There are some shout outs to her inspiration, at the end of the book, and Indie Game made the cut. Great documentary. Go watch it!
Watch Gabrielle Zevin discuss ‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow