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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If you get a chuckle from irreverent humor occasionally spiked with some colorful language, The Past is Going to Suck! A Time Travelers Guide: The 20th Century by stand-up comedian and award-winning independent filmmaker Peter Wick is for you. If you’re a time traveler considering a jaunt to one of the decades of the twentieth century, this is a must-read before takeoff. But be warned. Wick cautions you not to interfere with the past because, “Everything we know, all the famous historical events, are all mistakes. They are the result of careless time travelers trampling on the history they visit, altering it, and as a result, wiping out a nearly perfect, idyllic century in which war was nearly unknown, Hitler lived a quiet life as a bad painter, and The Cold War was a TV game show set in Antarctica... Time is being ruined by time travelers.”
Sound intriguing? It did to me, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Past is Going to Suck! is a decade-by-decade overview of the twentieth century in the United States. Accompanied by illustrations, the writing style is skillful tongue-in-cheek humor with doses of sarcasm and ridicule tossed in for good measure. Some readers might be offended at certain comments, but no offense is intended. Or rather, Wick is an equal opportunity offender. No institution, no event, and no political party is safe from a jab. Our war-like tendencies are in his sights more than once. Well, after all, we had more than one war in the twentieth century. “The United States, England and France finally won. The war (WWI) was over. It had been so much fun, though, that the three winning countries decided right away to begin laying the groundwork for the next one.”
My favorite decade was the one in which I was born. Wick sums it up this way: “The 1950s brought: -The Korean War -The Eisenhower Presidency -Joe McCarthy -Elvis Presley -James Dean -The Beat Generation -Rosa Parks -Television -New coast to coast freeways -A booming economy -The Quarter Pounder with Cheese All seasoned by the eternal daily threat of complete and total nuclear annihilation.” How much simpler life was before cell phones and social media. We just had to hide under our desks at school now and then and hope the Russians weren't coming. The Past is Going to Suck! is an entertaining read. I enjoyed the time travel concept. It was a great angle.