On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
Before Mazer invented himself as Mazer, he was Samson Mazer, and before he was Samson Mazer, he was Samson Masur – a change of two letters that transformed him from a nice, ostensibly Jewish boy to a Professional Builder of Worlds – and for most of his youth, he was Sam, S.A.M. on the hall of fame of his grandfather’s Donkey Kong machine, but mainly Sam.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a seriously emotional journey. In the end, I felt like I’d been put through an incredible ordeal.
I have tried to write this review so many times. I’ve walked away, read other books, come back and still not known what to write. I’ve read other reviews, the book synopsis, and some blurbs from other authors. They all seem to be able to say something that I can’t.
While Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is primarily about video games and friendship, there’s not much it doesn’t touch on. Cancer, car accidents, dysentery, misunderstandings, sexism, suicide, BDSM, abortion, eating disorders, amputation, gun violence, unplanned pregnancy, and gay marriage; honestly, I don’t think there’s a topic not explored. It’s no surprise I finished Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow feeling heavy. Despite feeling euphoric, almost feverish, during the early Ichigo days, it was hard to break out of a deep melancholy after I finished.
I may not be able to capture the essence of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and how it made me feel, but it certainly resonated with me on a deep level. It’s probably longer than it needed to be, but I was thoroughly captivated by these characters and their lives.