Jun 3, 2013

Book Review: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson

Title: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson
Published May 28, 2013; William Morrow
Genre: contemporary fiction

A singer and songwriter, Lisa made a decision years ago, in 1982, to terminate a pregnancy, a pregnancy that was not supported by her musician lover and which would have put her musical career on hold or on a different path.

Today, she looks back at her decision and wonders what it would have been like if she had had her child. The novel writes two different stories - one with her child and the other, the original 1982, without the child.
In the original 1982, I lose my mind. I drink myself into oblivion.I call him repeatedly and wait outside his door. I beg him to tell me why.
He grows bored with my drunken pain.
"I've told you why," he says. (ch. 21)
Based on the future she envisioned with the child, and the future she actually had without the child, I won't tell you whether or not the character Lisa decided she had made the right decision the first time, in the original 1982, or not. I'll let you, the reader, decide.

An unusual plan for a novel, which came off pretty well, I thought. Written in a straightforward manner, its merit is in the two stories it tells, though I found some aspects of her alternate life story just a tiny bit far fetched.

Publisher's description: 
The Original 1982 is the wise and memorable debut novel of love, regret, music and motherhood, by singer and songwriter Lori Carson of the Golden Palominos. 

It's 1982, and Lisa is twenty-four years old, a waitress, an aspiring singer-songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous Latin musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about it.But what if what if her decision had been a different one? 

 In the new 1982, Lisa chooses differently. Her career takes another direction. She becomes a mother. She loves differently, yet some things remain the same. Alternating between two very different possibilities, The Original 1982 is a novel about how the choices we make affect the people we become-and about how the people we are affect the choices we make.

About the author: Lori Carson is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter whose albums include: Shelter, Where it Goes and Everything I Touch Runs Wild.

A former member of the band Golden Palominos, she has contributed to the soundtracks of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty, Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, Keith Gordon’s Waking the Dead, and others. The Original 1982 is her first novel. Lori lives in New York City.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book. 


  1. What an interesting book. I haven't heard about it before. I'll have to look for it.

  2. Lovely review, Harvee. I hadn't heard of this book either, before venturing here.

  3. I quite enjoyed this one and thought that Carson did a good job juggling the two realities.

  4. This is a very good idea for a book. Though I have not heard this exact theme before, the 'what if" scenario of portraying different realities based on different choices is fairly common. I tend to like stories of that type.

  5. I have never heard of this book, but I did enjoy the movie "Sliding Doors". This seems like the same idea, so I'm adding it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!


I love getting comments and your thoughts...

Book Tour: Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Shadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome: On Tour Shadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome Publisher:  Boutique of Quality Books (May 3, 2022) Catego...