Aspen Times Weekly book review: ‘Today Will Be Different’
‘Today Will Be Different’
259 pages, hardcover; $27
Little, Brown and Company, 2016
Eleanor — with her bright son Timby in tow — is playing detective as she searches for her husband, a hand doctor who appears to have given her the slip. On the hunt, she has madcap run-ins with a poet/Costco stock boy and a conceptual artist Eleanor clashed with during long-ago days as a TV animator while she also flashes back to her childhood in Aspen and recounts her estranged sister’s life in New Orleans.
Local readers — especially anyone with memories of the late 1970s here — will eat up the Aspen color in this book. There are cameos from former mayor Bill Stirling and guitarist Bobby Mason, barbecue from Hickory House and a walk around the Aspen Institute campus, a “Thompson for Sheriff” poster and a candy run to Carl’s Pharmacy.
A wonderful short graphic memoir — drawn by artist Eric Chase Anderson and inserted early in the book — includes a run-down of a typical Flood girls’ after-school Thursday in 1977 selling The Aspen Times downtown (while dad drinks in the Jerome Bar) along with memories of a bear break-in at home and of the day Ted Bundy escaped from the courthouse.
Those sections alone make “Today Will Be Different” required reading for Aspenites. But the joys of this novel extend far beyond the frisson of reading our town brought to life by a world-class fiction writer who knows it well.
Like “Bernadette,” the new book is an extraordinarily entertaining page-turner of a literary comedy. Filled with uproarious incident and whip-smart observation from an undeniably loveable (and undeniably misanthropic) narrator, “Today Will Be Different” has unpredictable laughs on nearly every page and in each taut paragraph.
Yet along with all the snickering, this is a book with heart. Somewhere amid all the slapstick set pieces, Semple crafts a resonant story about resentment, love, forgiveness and the ties that bind but sometimes break.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Longtime Aspenite Mark Howard’s new memoir, “A Rewiring Life,” chronicles a life of change across five decades in Aspen.