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The Time Traveler's Wife [Paperback]

Audrey Niffenegger
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
CLARE: The library is cool and smells like carpet cleaner, although all I can see is marble. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Oct. 13 2006
By Sea-dog
Format:Paperback
A love story? You bet, but I can guarantee you've never met one like this before. Meet Henry and Clare. Henry time travels. Uh, but that's not the really weird part---he does so involuntary. That's right: he has no control over when/where it happens. Interested yet? You should be. Talk about a great premise! The story is presented to us from both Clare's and Henry's points of view, so we get both sides of the story. But as someone once said, "The truth is somewhere in the middle," and this could be an excellent metaphor for this story. It's not fiction, it's not sci-fi, it's somewhere in the middle. And a love story to boot. You'll find the reading a little strange at first, but once you get into it, you won't be able to put it down. Funny and knowing, like McCrae's works, and beautifully written, like the works of Eugenides, THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE will knock you for a loop, then set you back down to earth with a smile. Heartwarming and well written, this is one book you don't want to miss. The only other book I read that I liked this much was Jackson McCrae's "Katzenjammer" which is equally strange and wonderful. I highly recommend them both.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read Oct. 8 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is actually three books in one. First, it is science fiction, and just let me say that if you're not a fan of that genre, hold one, because it's not SF in the way you THINIK it is. This is accessible stuff, full of color, make-sense plots, and sentences that actually go somewhere. Second, this is a love story--not a sappy one, but rather a well crafted and touching one. Third, this book is a wonderful character study. Henry De Tramble is a librarian in Chicago with a strange disorder that causes him to suddenly disappear and find himself in the future. Lucky him. Implausable yet somehow real, this has to be one of the most unusual novels I've come across in a while. The only other book that was this strange and unbelievable yet believable was Martel's LIFE OF PI. If you're looking for a true adventure, and I don't mean that in the "car chase" sense, then THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE will be just your cup of tea.
Also recommended: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Aug. 2 2007
Format:Paperback
I spent a couple of sumptuous evenings digesting Audrey Niffenegger's impressive first novel. It is an immensely interesting and satisfying read; I highly recommend it.

At its core, "The Time Traveller's Wife" tells the simple love story of loving, intelligent Henry and artistic, romantic Clare. The two have a beautiful romance that begins during Clare's childhood and spans decades. The twist for this couple, as the title indicates, is that Henry has the impossible curse/blessing of spontaneously travelling to different moments in his life. It may seem like the plot of a science fiction novel, but it is immediately believable and heartbreaking.

Niffenegger gracefully and skillfully takes us into the jumbled timeline of Henrry's life. As a reader, I could feel Henry's frustration, Clare's despair, everyone else's confusion. There are moments that are stunning in their honesty and commentary on life; relationships are tested and explored, and every character is completely real. The author makes us care about these individuals!

My only criticism is that the story loses a bit of its momentum towards the end; it could have been 100 pages or so shorter and some side stories were a tad unnecessary. But it is not something to really complain about it since the language is so rich and the story so enjoyable (I did not want it to end!). This is a clever, devastatingly romantic, and beautifully told tale that will not soon be forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and FUN! July 14 2005
Format:Hardcover
The book jacket describes the story as a love story about a man (Henry) and his wife (Clare). However, their tale is unusual. Henry has a genetic disorder that results in him being temporarily misplaced in time. Yes, you heard me right, he time travels. The problem is that he can't control it. Clare finds herself being suddenly left in the present while Henry travels through time, backwards and forwards, and sometimes meets her in her past. They first meet when Clare is six and Henry is thirty-six, and they get married when Clare is twenty-three and Henry is thirty-one.
Confused yet? Though the time travel element is an unusual twist, don't let it deter you from reading this novel. It is handled very well, and I didn't have much of a problem following the story (regardless of the time flashbacks, etc). In fact, I personally found that the time traveling created really interesting conflicts for the characters, and even though the source of the conflicts is based on fantasy, the conflicts themselves are very real. Anyone who has been in love would be able to relate to the strong feelings these characters have for each other and the difficulty that Clare has with being periodically left behind.
This story is written alternately from both Henry and Clare's point of view. The author uses a simple introduction of either "Henry:" or "Clare:" at the beginning of each chapter to indicate whose perspective the reader is sharing. Though I found this a little strange at first, it is easy to get used to and after a while I became so engrossed in the story that it all flowed very naturally. The trials and tribulations of these characters and the intensity of the love that they share are all very real.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by an unnecessarily depressing ending
This book has elicited in me mixed emotions. The story is certainly original. I admit I bought it for the vaguely sci-fi assumption from which it begins to discover that it was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anakina
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good read. I didn't enjoy it.
Firstly, I usually don't come to write reviews on books i've disliked, I usually don't waste my time, but this one struck a cord and it bothered me. Read more
Published 4 months ago by 8blkpaws
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book
The Time Traveler's Wife is my favorite book! I've read it so many times and enjoy it every time. For those that have seen the movie but have not read the book; please read the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars A very insightful story
Audrey Niffeneger's The Time Traveler's Wife is a great love story with a fascinating component. It helps one ponder our purpose on this intriguing part of the universe called... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Paul Chana
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Love Story
I bought this book and read it before the release of the film. It is an epic love story & you really fall in love with the characters. Much more detail than the film. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amanda Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved and Lost, Worlds Without End
Claire and Henry meet and fall in love. Each time they meet, they discover each other all over again. And each time they part, it seems like the pain of final parting. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John M. Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag this one
If I had read this book a week ago my review would have been enthusiastic and entirely positive. Eventually though, I found the novelty wearing thin. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Shamus
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Quite Live Up To The Hype
I'm a little late reading The Time Traveler's Wife and I think this affected my opinion, having heard such rave reviews about this book. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2011 by Lydia - Novel Escapes
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
My husband and I read this book together....it was perfect for that. We were both deeply moved by the characters. Amazing storyline, and so beautifully told. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2011 by Tasha Stimpson
4.0 out of 5 stars `Causation only runs forward. Things happen once, only once.'
The novel begins with a prologue in which we meet the main characters Clare and Henry, and learn of the nature of their relationship. Henry DeTamble is a time traveller. Read more
Published on June 9 2011 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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