The Time Traveller’s Wife

41ds6tse8hl_sl160_ Not my usual kind of read, and perhaps a wee bit close to being a “chick flick” to be admitting that I read it here in public, but I found a fascinating resonnance with my experience of memory and the parts of scenes, the words and thoughts that the author plucks and wields.

Henry has an affliction that causes him to sporadically time travel, in the flesh. Usually backwards in time, occasionally forwards. Arriving in various odd places naked and with no idea how long he’ll be. Sometimes he travels to times and places where he encounters himself: while meeting a girls parents at christmas he travels forward 3 days to his own apartment, just long enough for his future self to tell him that he’ll be going back in shortly and that he’ll survive the rest of Christmas without incidents…

The core of the storyline is about the bizzare relationship and its complications that form around Clare: a girl who finds a version of Henry in the field behind her house and befriends him, grows into a woman and falls in love with him, and then meets Henry in his natural timeline at a time before he has met her.

It’s not deep sci-fi in the sense that it doesn’t try to explain or resolve the paradoxes or issues, it’s more philosophical in that sense in that it raises them and presses the characters into the life that results.

If you’re a romantic, then it is a touching love story with an twist of sci-fi setting with hints of quantum leap. If you’re a sci-fi fan who watches every time travelling episode of Voyager when it reruns, this is a gold mine of paradox variations; not heavy on the mushy stuff, and the snippits of written sex finally healed the scars that reading Arthur C Clarke books had left in me.

My last two reads were the heavy hitting, mainline, ‘saga’ scifi of Otherland Book 1 and Iain M Bank’s new Culture Book Matter. Although I thoroughly enjoyed both reads, Traveller’s Wife was a refreshing change.

9 Comments

I actually saw that book in Borders and thought about getting it as I love time travel Sci-Fi books, but thought it would be as you say too much of a chick flick, maybe I’ll give it a try.
I’m currently reading teh Dune saga from the new prequel novels through to the end, just about to re-read the original Dune, can’t wait.

If you like time travel noevls then I’d recommed a few,
Isaac Asimov’s – The End of Eternity,
Stephen Baxter’s – Exultant, and any in his Xeelee sequence really.
Gregory Benford – Timescape

Ahh, yeah, I read End of Eternity, although it’s a bit of a blur. I’m pretty sure I read and enjoyed Exultant, but I’ll have to check out Timescape.

LOL just found out that my girlfriend actually has The Time Travellers Wife, she loves it and has read it 5 times, it’sone of her favourite boks. She looked at me funny when I said I was gonna read it, especially when I said KFSONE told me to! ;)

So looks like I’ll be reading it sooner rather than later :)

Another time-travel book I enjoyed was The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. In this book the main character often meets himself from another time–there is even a scene of a party where all the people are different versions of himself. Amazon.com has an excerpt from the start of the 2003 reprint of the book.

On an older topic, you *almost* convinced me to buy X3: Terran Conflict with your stories, but some of the bugs you report would really bother me. I’ve decided for now to wait until X4 (presuming they will continue with new releases).

They’ve already released one patch for X3 and they’re working on more. Unfortunately, it’s likely they’ll repeat the same mistakes in X4 because they’ve made similar ones in every previous release. They seem to be a good example of saurianly “old school” gaming development.

Hehe, Allibone, there are definitely no lightsabers or starships in Traveller’s and, when the movie comes out next year, I’ll hazzard a guess that no guy should advertise going to see it unless his SO is making him go :)

I got the recommendation from Joseph Mallozzi’s blog, and I just liked the writing style, the slightly more relaxed pace that what I normally read, and the sense of “how the other half lives”.

Yes there was an American show loosely based upon this book or so I read.

It was called Journeyman and starred the bloke out of Rome (Which I actually liked and him as an actor).

It was canned after one season which was a shame as it was pretty decent.

It also reminded me a little of Quantum leap – Going back for a reason type thing.

No, Journeyman is more quantum-leapish in that he is going back in time in order to do something. In a way, the traveling in Traveler’s isn’t as gallant or noble :)

The best time travelling storys I have read are the 1st and 21nd trip in Stanislaw Lems “Star diaries”.

The former tells the tale of pilot Pirx and his space ship getting into gravitational anomalies. He meets versions of his former and future self and at one point steels chocolate from himself.

The latter is a story about Pirx going into the future to lead the Institute for Temporal Optimization of the Past. It explains why so many things went wronng in earths history. Definitely worth a read.

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