Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Abbynormal92243

The Time Traveller's Wife

Recommended Posts

:( i've read it. finally. and I have to say that i am disappointed. its a wonderful story and yes i was able to leave behind my scepticism at the whole genetic time travelling and immerse myself in the story. I thought the love between them both was overwhelming and plucked at my own heart strings to the point where i wished for a love so all consuming. BUT then it just seemed to fall apart, it lost momentum, holes started to appear, storylines went unexplained and the whole "my c*nt hurts" was shocking and unnecessary. Although maybe the author felt the use of this word was the only way to describe the horror of it? i don't know. Oh maybe i just need to read it again? :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the mistake of taking only two books on holiday with me. I had finished the first by the time I got to the airport in Rome. So I read The Time Traveller's Wife twice.

 

I thought it was great. I liked Claire and thought that the fact Henry was a bit of a 'player' in his younger days made it real - he wasn't the perfect man to begin with and had to be 'trained' by Claire! I I felt that the build up to Henry's demise was particularly well written, but the actual event was quite nondescript. I did shed undefineda tear or two, and I would definately recommend this. I did wonder what would happen if a copy of this was taken apart (theoretically of course!) and put in Henry's chronological order, rather than Clare's. Perhaps an electronic copy could be used .......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:P ... I don't know why people are getting so bent out of shape ... it was used twice in over 500 pages! Anyway ...

 

I bought (and read) the book on the premise of the reviews I had read on BGO ... some bad, some good, some indifferent.

 

Personally, I thought it was great. AN wrote in a way that I was quite happy to believe in Henry's condition (for the purposes of the story) and I wanted to find out how the relationship unfolded over the years (and back again). I felt genuinely sad at the end (even though we knew what would happen) but I felt it to be quite a beautiful story of true love (crikey, I'm turning into a soppy bugger!!!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the whole "my c*nt hurts" was shocking and unnecessary.

 

I totally agree. I actually really enjoyed the book (couldn't put it down), but the use of language like this I felt was totally out of character for Claire especially. I am not easily shockable, I just felt that the main characters in this book wouldn't be likely to describe things using words like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and the whole "my c*nt hurts" was shocking and unnecessary. Although maybe the author felt the use of this word was the only way to describe the horror of it?

 

I think that maybe you answered your own question here. Clare only seems to use this word when she feels that her body has been abused: after childbirth and after sex with Gomez.

 

On the other hand it could be quite normal for young adult Americans to say that and other crude words used in the book. It is sadly a common occurrence here too, but I didn't find it out of context in the book.

 

At one point when the 32 year old Henry visits the 16 year old Clare, he refers to a woman named Alex as 'A bank teller with big tits who liked to be spanked' and berates himself when he realises that he is talking to Clare the teenager not Clare his wife. The author is reminding us that Clare inevitably changes as she grows up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read quite a few recently published titles and there seems to be a marked increase in the use of the c-word generally. In this book though, as Angel points out, I felt that the language fit the extreme emotions Clare was feeling - it wasn't there gratuitously.

 

It took me about 150 pages to get into TTW, but after that I forgot that it was not true timetravelling. That made it easier to buy into and by the end I was expecting to meet someone with the disorder! How daft is that?!

 

I did enjoy it though, after I got over my initial scepticism and found Nifennegars style to be easy to read - I didn't feel too blinded by science either. There was just enough to make me feel that it could happen without boring me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about halfway through this and it's not as great as I thought it would be. The writing can be very pretentious and so far I don't sympathise much with either of the two main characters, which is weird. I also don't like the way it deals with the time travel sometimes, too many plot holes. But it's a good story, sometimes funny and sweet and I do want to keep reading. It's just a little hard to get through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished this one last week, and for a first novel, it was very impressive. It was not as sad or as poignant as I had hoped - and I felt about halfway through that the novel became almost 'mundane'. However I'm sure that this was done intentionally to reflect the fact that Henry and Clare's life was not all time-travelling excitement and sexual passion.

 

The dual narration and varied chronological order was truly inspired and I found AN's detailed writing beautiful in places. However the high level of detail did make the novel a little over-long for me. Ultimately a very rewarding read though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Time Traveller's Wife was read by the BGO book group earlier this year, so further comments on it can be found in the Book Group archive.

This can be found by scrolling down to the Book Groups section, which is quite near the bottom of the 'Forums Home' page.

 

Thanks for your input, Leanne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Searching through the backlists, noticed there were two Time Traveler's Wife threads. Could there be another stitch-up job from friendly moderators/admin.? The more recent one is on page 2, I think.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

----------------------------------------------------21st February 2006, 12:38 PM

 

Momo

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Just finished this book. To begin with, I have to say, I really don't like science fiction. My husband and boys don't watch any sci-fi movies with me any more because I always come up with logical explanations why something doesn't work, mostly the author isn't constant in their plot and then it all get's really unlogical.

Anyway, I thought the story itself was well written, I liked the characters, even Gomez, I felt sorry for him because he might have ended up with Clare if it wasn't for Henry and because of Henry he had to stay with her so much.

But the whole time-travelling thing really was too much. Everything was so weird, whatever seemed to be said in one part was contradicted in the next, there are many plots that really don't make sense, even if this chronological disorder would exist, which is - of course - rubbish.

Someone suggested to take the whole book apart and write it again in Henry's chronological order. And this is where it starts. Of course, you would have to be able to do this in "normal life" but here it doesn't work because he doesn't have a chronological order.

Oh, and the American title was a bit confusing. Especially, when I was looking it up at amazon, it didn't even turn up because - silly me - I had written traveller with two lls. That annoyed me most. I have read American editions of British books (when lent by American friends) and not only did they spell everything differently, they also changed circumstances, names, etc. which was really confusing. But at least the title of the British edition could have had the correct British spelling. That's my opinion as a neutral reader (at least in that respect).

Oh, I probably wouldn't have read the book if it wasn't a book club read but I have picked up others through that and really enjoyed them. Not this one, though.

 

---------------------------------------------------23rd February 2006, 01:32 PM

 

My Friend Jack

Moderator

 

Christ, Momo, you deserve a medal for bothering if you disliked it that much! Or a certificate. ;)

 

---------------------------------------------------23rd February 2006, 04:19 PM

 

MarkC

Subscriber

 

I enjoyed this, but you have to treat it as a romance with a scifi twist rather than a serious attempt at science fiction. It falls into the pitfalls that a lot of scifi does with time travel, that information comes from nowhere - think about where the list of dates comes from.

 

---------------------------------------------------23rd February 2006, 11:25 PM

 

Momo

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Christ, Momo, you deserve a medal for bothering if you disliked it that much! Or a certificate.

 

I have never not finished a book club book. But I thought I'd put in my comments here since some people might feel the same as me.

 

I enjoyed this, but you have to treat it as a romance with a scifi twist rather than a serious attempt at science fiction.

 

See, that is my trouble, I cannot do this, everything I read has to be logical. Otherwise I get too confused.

 

---------------------------------------------------23rd February 2006, 11:31 PM

 

Momo

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Christ, Momo, you deserve a medal for bothering if you disliked it that much! Or a certificate.

 

On the other hand, I did say: ... I thought the story itself was well written, I liked the characters ... So, it wasn't entirely such an achievement.

 

---------------------------------------------------24th February 2006, 08:46 AM

 

My Friend Jack

Moderator

 

Thanks for the replies, Momo. You have pinpointed why I couldn't join a Book Group (apart from BGO, of course!) - it's that feeling of being pressurised into finishing a book that I wasn't enjoying. Life's too short and there's too many things to be enjoyed.

 

---------------------------------------------------24th February 2006, 11:26 AM

 

Momo

Subscriber and Permanent Resident

 

Thanks for the replies, Momo. You have pinpointed why I couldn't join a Book Group (apart from BGO, of course!) - it's that feeling of being pressurised into finishing a book that I wasn't enjoying. Life's too short and there's too many things to be enjoyed.

 

True, but - and this is a biiiiig but - this way I have read a lot of books that I did enjoy even though I would have never picked them up. And there are very few books I haven't enjoyed. One year, one of my members said something like she wouldn't trust my statements since I seemed to like every book! And again, this was the first one this year I didn't really like that much. ALso, there are members of our book club who don't read every book, so there really is no pressure here. It's my personal choice.

 

---------------------------------------------------4th May 2006, 06:48 PM

katrina

Permanent Resident

 

I personally loved The Time Travellers Wife on the first read and the third. I wanted to be loved in that way, which is why I think the book is so popular, its the ideal type of love, it continues and spans a life time. Think I would have rebelled a bit more if I'd have known from an early age that I would marry my ideal man, maybe taken a few risks could I would have known that Mr Right was waiting.

 

Whilst reading this book two other people were reading my edition during their lunch hour from the fact I raved about it so much, and one of these was a 16yr who was really weak reader - it took her ages and was a challenge but she loved it and got a real sense of achievement when she finished. Out of a shop of 7 members of staff 6 of us read this book in the space of a month, I evven got to see my supervisor crying over it at lunch (I was sensible and read the sad part at home,as soon as I knew he was going to die I took it home and finished it in one sitting).

 

Can't really remember the swearing in the novel, what bothered me the most was the taking of drugs and the way they were discussed as if we would all understand them for example I didn't have a clue about opaites (?) and stuff (maybe I've lead a sheltered life). The drugs just seemed to easy to take, and didn't seem to have any repercussions.

 

---------------------------------------------------6th July 2006, 07:12 PM

belwebb

Member

 

Just started on The Time Traveller's Wife - feel a little hesitant because of the hype surrounding it. May have to check previous posts on this book.

 

---------------------------------------------------6th July 2006, 10:27 PM

 

megustaleer

Moderator

 

Just started on The Time Traveller's Wife - feel a little hesitant because of the hype surrounding it. May have to check previous posts on this book.

 

I have merged your new thread with the existing one.

 

It might be helpful to read Adrian's post 'Thread Titles' in the 'Announcements and Tips' forum (at the bottom of the index page) for advice on how to find an existing thread.

 

---------------------------------------------------12th August 2006, 11:18 PM

 

gg106

Senior Member

 

I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. I agree with the poster who said that you should read it as romance rather than science fiction, though the whole explaination of the science bit I found quite interesting. As for the loopholes in the plot that people have mentioned, I can honestly say that I did n't notice any. Maybe I was n't reading closely enough or maybe thay did n't stick out to me because they made sense within the narrative structure - time is n't static therefore neither is the plot??

I really must read it again now, just to see if I can spot the gaps this time.....

 

---------------------------------------------------14th January 2007, 12:01 AM

 

megustaleer

Moderator

 

There are further discussions on aspects of The Time Travelers Wife in the BGO Bookgroup Archive.

 

(Krey20: I'm not sure if this is true anymore, but I'll try to find it as well.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm rereading this again, I was having a random day when of just needing to be alone and this seemed like the perfect read because I know it well, but it still makes me smile and cry, I forgot that it was actually quite a long book.

I looked through this thread and was surprised to see that nobody had mentioned all the literary references in the book, after reading this the first time I went out and brought Rilkes poetry as I was completely absorbed in those passages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I looked through this thread and was surprised to see that nobody had mentioned all the literary references in the book, after reading this the first time I went out and brought Rilkes poetry as I was completely absorbed in those passages.
Those are exactly the reasons why people read books again, the second time you are more relaxed, you don't want to get to the end because you already know what's going to happen.

I didn't mention that much because I really, really didn't like the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished "The Time Traveler's Wife" on my way home from work last night and have been reading the various threads on the book (it was a BGO book group choice many moons ago) since and mulling it over in my mind.

 

On the whole, I liked it for its original central conceit and because it was an easy read. As someone who's read a lot of scifi, having time travel at the centre of the novel was not the issue for me it appears to have been for some others. However, I do have one serious reservation about how it was used which I'll come to in a while.

 

Ironically, it is the unreality of the love between Henry and Clare that could be regarded an Achilles heel. This is a couple between whom there is almost no tension, which seems to this bitter old cynic almost as unrealistic as time travel!

 

Some felt Henry was selfish. This is to misunderstand the nature of his time travelling, which is a disease, not a talent. He doesn't want to do it, has no control over when he time travels, nor to which time he will travel. Who, if they could choose to do it, would time travel on their wedding day?

 

This is why he goes to see Kendrick: to try and find a cure. Again, for those who had a problem with the genetic explanation, I'm not sure what else Niffenegger could have done.

There has to be some explanation why Alba can time travel too - can you think of a better one than genetics?

 

 

One's appreciation of the book seems to hinge on how much one actually likes Henry and Clare. Personally, I can forgive a man a lot if he likes Violent Femmes and Iggy Pop, but that might just be me. He's faithful to Clare (remember, his affair with Ingrid is over before he has met Clare in his timeline), holds off from taking advantage of her teenaged self, and tries to be a good father.

 

Also, the way Henry's time travelling works has forced him to develop a tough streak, which to some degree negates the criticism that he's a rogue. He turns up whereever his time travelling takes him with nothing else. Unless he stands around waiting to be transported back to his own time, he's going to have to steal clothes, wallets etc. just to function whenever he is.

 

Clare I had more problems with. Yes, she is a bit limp and I found her unwavering belief more or less from the moment she meets a much older Henry as a 6-year old that she is his future wife unconvincing. Would most people, male or female, really hold this belief unquestioningly?

 

 

Consequently, her sleeping with Gomez felt tacked on to me, as if Niffenegger realised how unrealistic this was and felt she ought to do something about it.

 

 

If one is going to accept that a man can time travel, then it is vital that the author sustains the internal logic of the novel. Some of what Niffenegger does is very logical - just because a person time travels, why should their clothes time travel too?

 

However, I think I'm right in saying the author makes one serious error, and even worse makes it twice.

 

 

My memory might be playing tricks on me, but my recollection is that fairly early on it is asserted Henry only time travels within his own life span i.e. the 43 years between his birth and death, and for nearly all of the novel this is what he does. Again, if one was to apply some logic to the fanciful notion of time travel, this would be a sensible constraint.

 

However, he meets 10 year old Alba at the museum about 5 years after he's died, and then at the novel's conclusion meets 82 year old Clare in 2053. If I'm right, he's shouldn't be able to do this.

 

Even if I'm wrong, I think it flaws the novel that he does because, as others have pointed out, it means Clare does not move on after his death or (to use that horrible phrase) gain closure. It further weakens her as a character.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grammath, your last spoiler raises an interesting question. The only thing I can think of is that Henry's life span can't be measured in "normal" time. Also, until he reached the point of his death, how could his genes have known the limits within which they could travel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to be interested to see how they handle the film adaptation later this year.

 

The one thing I hope for most though, is that Eric Bana will be a screen librarian to be proud of!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit to really struggling to enjoy this book. it reads very easily and i find myself skimming lots without seeming to have missed anything. does the book need to be so long?!

I don't care enough about Clare as she seems to be too sensible and Henry is only mediocre. i am reading it as a love story but have yet to 'feel' any emotion. i.m half way through and am very tempted to throw the towel in but it was a friend's recommendation and she was very moved by it. this book won't stay in my memory for long, but it does put me in mind of something along the same lines, but it was ages ago that i read it - has anyone read Time Enough for Love'. i can't even remember why i am reminded of it - can anyone help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about the comments made on this book over the last couple of years or so... it does strike me that the book succeeds as a love story for fans of sci-fi, rather than a sci-fi story for everyone else. Being of the former persuasion myself, I have to admit it that the fascination for me was the idea of genetically influenced time travel rather than the characters themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just read this book for the first time. i really enjoyed it. I thought it was a very clever premise and the foreshadowing of hanry's death and the eventual passage of his travels from past to future was inventive and touching.

 

I shed a quiet tear or two towards the end. I was deeply moved.

 

One of my fave books now.

 

Paul M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would put this book in my top ten of all time.....(so far)! It is definately on my to be re-read list.

However, I do not people that have struggled with the apparent flipping of time lines and not persisted further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is in my top 10 books too, if not in my top 3!! I thought it was completely fresh, beautifully written, and the normal anomalies of time travel plots were very well negotiated. I cannot wait for her next novel.

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By anneliesscott
      Just finished this and really, really enjoyed reading it. Can't decide whether that was because I've been so busy that it's the first novel I've had the time to sit and read from start to finish in a couple of days for ages!
       
      Those who loved Time Traveller's Wife will find the same lovely turn of phrase and level of insight into what makes human beings tick (at times really breathtaking), but I did find it harder to connect with the story. Whereas in TTW I got extremely involved in the characters and minded desperately what happened to them, I found it harder in this book. However, there was real originality (those who read in the front cover that it's a "ghost story" and are put off - don't be) and a couple of real surprises towards the end of the novel which had me squealing with delight that I hadn't seen them coming.
       
      Would love to know what others think of it!
×
×
  • Create New...