Whats it about?
Toby Grant spends his days working for a digital marketing agency and his nights stressing about how unfair life is for his generation. With a thirtieth birthday only months away and his finances approaching meltdown, it’s fair to say Toby isn’t a happy millennial. His parents’ generation had it so much easier … or did they?
After a series of rather unfortunate events, Toby is offered an opportunity to discover exactly what life was like for his parents’ generation; courtesy of a journey back in time to 1969.
However, life in pre-decimal Britain isn’t quite as simple as Toby envisaged. And neither, as it transpires, is time travel.
The thing I like a lot about Keith Pearson is his ability to write likeable characters without having to make them flawlessly perfect human beings. I previously read The 86 Fix and its follow up Beyond Broadhall and enjoyed both immensely but I found them a little bit of a grind in the initial phases, which I really didn’t feel in Tuned Out.
That wasn’t the only difference I noticed between the books, its very clear that Pearson has learnt a lot and continued to refine his writing. I also had absolutely no idea of the link between those two books and this one so when I picked up on the strands that Pearson plots through out I began feeling more and more excited.
The magnitude of event’s happening in and around Toby’s world ramp up as his story develops and as I hit the 75% completed mark it suddenly occurred to me that I’d stepped out of the comfortable realm of enjoying a characters journey into the less comfortable but much more rewarding position of being emotionally invested in Toby as a person, at that point I realised I no longer cared so much about the journey and cared much more about Toby and his future.
In the 86 Fix; Craig is transported back in time to a point in his own history so the nostalgia factor came across as a very personal and rewarding but in Tuned out Toby is transported into 1969, quite some time before his own birth so the nostalgia was much more a journey of discovery and we are constantly given comparisons between now and then which was incredibly interesting.
Pearson did a wonderful job of playing my emotions like a violin and I can honestly say there were points towards the end of the book where I wondered if id be left in a perpetual state of depression when I finished the book, but Pearson does a masterful job of bringing all the strands together and tying the loose threads into a more than satisfactory culmination.
A beautiful story.