Monday, May 28, 2007

35. "The Time Traveler's Wife" - Audrey Niffenegger


Henry DeTamble is a time traveler. In fact, he meets his future wife, Clare, when she is only eight years old. No Humbert Humbert, he waits until his true age-self meets her again when she is legal, and she gets to share the insanity that is time travel with him.

Because, at least for Henry, time travel is not fun. He wakes up naked, sick, and starving. He gets to see his mother die over and over again. But he also gets to see Clare, as well as serve as a warning or guide for his younger self.

Without the French prose, German poetry, inane stanzas, and quirky high brow references, this could easily be the book of the month from Harlequin romances. When I used to write romance (and yes, I did write romance - still have my RWA card somewhere), the chant was "cowboys, brides, and babies." Lately, it's cowboys, brides, babies, time travel, vampires, and ghosts. So, this novel fits in with themes women find fascinating.

And I'll admit to being taken with the premise. The what ifs are wonderful to think through. But I didn't feel like I'd read something hearty, like oatmeal. More like a quick bowl of Cheerios.

2.5 out of 5.0 Bret's First Times.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

good work keep it up...

U can DOWNLOAD FREE book EBOOKS AND any INFORMATION ON other TOPICS

http://freeinformation.110mb.com/

Joy said...

Hey, Kristen. We are quite the outsiders on this one I believe. I rated it the same in 2005.

Kristin Dodge said...

Whew, Joy. I think we have a lot of people who disagree with our assessments.

*high five*

Nymeth said...

I keep hearing about this book. Most people do seem to like it, yes, but yours is not the first negative review I read. I do like the premise. I suppose I'll see for myself one of these days.

Camille said...

So nice to see someone else who is not completely taken with this book. I read it last summer and the memory of it makes me nauseous (but that's because I had morning sickness while reading it). I thought the book was OK, but, like you said, not a hearty bowl of oatmeal. She tried too hard, I think. Found you via the Blogroll Game. Love your 'About Me' section.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm a bit tired of hearing about how brilliant this book is from high school English teachers I know and/or work with. I too liked the premise, but over 500 pages? Taking ourselves too seriously, methinks.

Kristin Dodge said...

Agreed. And this bugged me... why didn't they play against the future like they did with the lottery? Wouldn't that have affected the lives of others? Yet, this was considered okay, but other changes were inexcusable.

OK, a lot of things bugged me, but that's my mini-rant. Breathing now.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

I'm reading this book now. (It was given to me as a gift.) I'm about 200 pages in and while the construction was interesting at first, I'm growing tired of the novel quickly. The author makes use of contemporary music and events to ground the characters in the time period of the past but Henry's future is conveniently hazy. I looked ahead and understand why this may be considered acceptable but think Niffenegger made this plot decision to solve her problem of not knowing how to handle an unknown time period. A shorter novel would have been better. There's not enough to go on ... I'll finish it but can't wait to throw it in the yard sale pile.