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Halfway Through (The Time Traveler's Wife SPOILER)


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I'm about halfway through (he's spending Christmas with her family and has just found out her Mum's a manic depressive - and after reading this book, love, so am I), and unless I get I get some positive feedback here, I'm giving up.

I posted my first impressions earlier, and I'm afraid it's getting worse.

Firstly it didn't grab me from the start and I read other books inbetween - always a bad sign. Still, I vowed to stick with it, and once I got past the awkward narrative structure it improved. The enforced double-narrative seemed a little contrived, and I felt whenever the authour switched voices in mid-scene Niffenegger was really forcing the change of voice to make it obvious it was now the other person narrating. Seemed a bit like Kevin Samson writing in Outlaws, where each narrator gets his own unique voice.

Secondly, the basic premise of the novel, time travel, is mishandled and cack-handedly written. Two versions of himself in the same time frame? (Believe me ladies, if we could do that to ourselves the human race would be extinct). Some evolutionary mishap in the human genome being allowed to rewrite the laws of physics? Those I could live with, but TTW is just an affront to basic common sense. I keep asking myself questions instead of losing myself in the book. Why just appear now? Why just disappear now? More important is the where? How does he go to a particular place as well a particular time?

Also, the nastiness of the bloke: "I can't help myself so I can do whatever I like." Beat people up? Sure! Rob and steal? Why not! Buy stocks cheap? Who wouldn't! Run naked through the neighbourhood? Well, I tried this, and the police would just not believe my story!

Most importantly, I don't care about the love story. So he loves her and they love each other, and so forth. I find both of them so insufferable that I don't care about their relationship(s).

I'm half-heartedly interested in the secondary goings on. I like Kimy, and I like Clare's room-mate, but can't stand the room-mate's boyfriend.

My current thinking is, "This is not a book to tossed away lightly. It is to hurled with great force."

I'd like either an incentive to finish it (bearing in mind I have a long list of others waiting on my TBR pile) or, preferably, a precis of the ending. I'm guessing she dies of some disease he can't prevent, and he knows it (of course he knows it, he just can't get involved in any ethical situation that would ruin the house-of-cards plot), but doesn't tell her.

God, I hate them both. Hey Audrey, try going back in time before Stephen Fry wrote Making History.

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I didn't read all of your post, as I'm only on page 150, but your feelings came across loud and clear.

 

People's contrasting reactions to this book are extreme, and fascinating. Me, I'm loving it. I've been a sucker for time travel stories since the day I first read John Wyndham's Seeds Of Time. I'm also a sucker for love stories, and the reason why a lot of sci-fi doesn't appeal to me is because there isn't enough human interest in it. This has it in abundance. There is nothing that would stop me continuing with this novel.

 

I have a small theory that the world is divided into those who loved the film Field Of Dream and those who hated it (only out of those who've seen it, of course). I now have a further theory, which could be swiftly disproved. Those who hated Field Of Dreams will not like The Time Traveler's Wife, and those who loved Field Of Dreams will love The Time Traveler's Wife.

 

I loved Field Of Dreams.

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One thing I have gotten from BGO is the polarisation of opinion about the book.

 

Now, I loved Fields of Dreams. It's the old "losing yourself" in a film or book, that I can do all the time, especially with Making History as per my initial post. I had no problem with the ghosts turning up and playing. I "bought into it" as our Yank friends would say.

 

With TTW I find myself "jumping out" of the book and going, that is just not right, there's just no way that could happen, etc.

 

I've not read the John Wyndham book, though I did love The Day of the Triffids. A mate of mine said he'd done a time-travel novel and I'm guessing Seeds of Time is it. I'll look out for it.

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Having finished 'Saturday' (thankfully!) I have now raced to catch up on this one. I am enjoying it much more than the aforementioned book which I found dreadfully trite and predictable. However, I would not class TTW as sci-fi - it is more fantasy. But, as an avid sci-fi fan, I find the premise and the skipping around in time no problem at all to follow. I like the different interfaces between Henry at different ages and Clare as she ages normally (though the references to her teen years with the trashy attitudes to sex and her nosy, pushy friends who demand to 'know all' make me very glad not to be that young anymore!!)

 

If this was true sci-fi, yes, it would demand that the time travel be relatively feasible to the laws of physics, etc. But this is fantasy so no such documentation is needed. You just need to accept the premise and go with it. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved this book, everything about it fascinated me, I was actually so lost in it at one point that I thought that time travel is a perfectly normal thing to do! I can on the other hand see why some people would not enjoy it, its definitely not going to be for everyone, but it does tell you on the cover what its going to be about and if your not prepared to accept the fact that in this book there is time travel then there is not point in even starting!!

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