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Timeline Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (August 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739334220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739334225
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,684 customer reviews)

Product Description

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When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the social front, you should avoid provoking "the butcher of Crecy" or Sir Oliver may lop your head off with a swoosh of his broadsword or cage and immerse you in "Milady's Bath," a brackish dungeon pit into which live rats are tossed now and then for prisoners to eat.

This is the plight of the heroes of Timeline, Michael Crichton's thriller. They're historians in 1999 employed by a tech billionaire-genius with more than a few of Bill Gates's most unlovable quirks. Like the entrepreneur in Crichton's Jurassic Park, Doniger plans a theme park featuring artifacts from a lost world revived via cutting-edge science. When the project's chief historian sends a distress call to 1999 from 1357, the boss man doesn't tell the younger historians the risks they'll face trying to save him. At first, the interplay between eras is clever, but Timeline swiftly becomes a swashbuckling old-fashioned adventure, with just a dash of science and time paradox in the mix. Most of the cool facts are about the Middle Ages, and Crichton marvelously brings the past to life without ever letting the pulse-pounding action slow down. At one point, a time-tripper tries to enter the Chapel of Green Death. Unfortunately, its custodian, a crazed giant with terrible teeth and a bad case of lice, soon has her head on a block. "She saw a shadow move across the grass as he raised his ax into the air." I dare you not to turn the page!

Through the narrative can be glimpsed the glowing bones of the movie that may be made from Timeline and the cutting-edge computer game that should hit the market in 2000. Expect many clashing swords and chase scenes through secret castle passages. But the book stands alone, tall and scary as a knight in armor shining with blood. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"And the Oscar for Best Special Effects goes to: Timeline!" Figure maybe three years before those words are spoken, for Crichton's new novelAdespite media reports about trouble in selling film rights, which finally went to ParamountAis as cinematic as they come, a shiny science-fantasy adventure powered by a superior high concept: a group of young scientists travel back from our time to medieval southern France to rescue their mentor, who's trapped there. The novel, in fact, may improve as a movie; its complex action, as the scientists are swept into the intrigue of the Hundred Years War, can be confusing on the page (though a supplied map, one of several graphics, helps), and most of its characters wear hats (or armor) of pure white or black. Crichton remains a master of narrative drive and cleverness. From the startling opening, where an old man with garbled speech and body parts materializes in the Arizona desert, through the revelation that a venal industrialist has developed a risky method of time-travel (based on movement between parallel universes; as in Crichton's other work, good, hard science abounds), there's not a dull moment. When elderly Yale history prof Edward Johnston travels back to his beloved 15th century and gets stuck, and his assistants follow to the rescue, excitement runs high, and higher still as Crichton invests his story with terrific period detail and as castles, sword-play, jousts, sudden death and enough bold knights-in-armor and seductive ladies-in-waiting to fill any toystore's action-figure shelves appear. There's strong suspense, too, as Crichton cuts between past and present, where the time-travel machinery has broken: Will the heroes survive and make it back? The novel has a calculated feel but, even so, it engages as no Crichton tale has done since Jurassic Park, as it brings the past back to vigorous, entertaining life. Agent, Lynn Nesbit. 1,500,000 first printing; Literary Guild nain selection; simultaneous large-print edition and audiobook. (Nov. 16)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Adler on July 12 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was especially eager to read Timeline because I had just returned from the Perigord, the region in France where most of the action in Crichton's time-travel book takes place. I had toured the grim castles and fortified towns he describes, and canoed down the exact stretch of the Dordogne that's at the heart of the book. I found that Chrichton was able to bring the medieval period vividly to life, far better than I'd been able to do as I toured the area. As usual, Crichton provides enough of a believable scientific basis for his story to allow an easy suspension of disbelief. I was even more impressed by the amount of research he did to be able to paint such a clear and convincing picture of the area in the mid 14th century. OK, his characters do get into one scrape after another, and help manages to arrive just in the nick of time. But the book still kept me turning the pages late into the night. Robert Adler, author of Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation; and Medical Firsts: From Hippocrates to the Human Genome.
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Time travel is one of the most compelling sci-fi topics in Hollywood. Michael Crichton, a highly successful writer, took a more modern look at time travel. The premise of the story is based on the research done by theoretical physicists who speculate that there may be an infinite number of universes containing every alternative event that can exist across all time frames. By accessing these universes one could literally step into a past event. In the story a mythical company, ITC, is doing experimentation in three dimensional teletransportation. When they tried to send an object to a distant location it turned out that it wound up in the past-to be precise: 1357 in a place called Castlegard.
Robert Doniger, the CEO of ITC, saw an opportunity to make a ton of money. He wasn't really interested in the past but in the present. By knowing everything about Castelgard and the battle about to be fought there he could bring this knowledge to the present to create a life-like replica of the castle and village. He brought in archeologists and historians to rebuild the site without letting them know what was really up. When they began asking too many questions they were used as guinea pigs and were hurled back in time-or to another universe to be specific and suddenly were confronted with an alien culture that they were ill-equipped to handle.
The book is outstanding, keeping the reader constantly on edge as our heroes get themselves into and out of one jam after another, while trying to rescue the professor who wanted to know too much for his own good. Meanwhile, Doniger had little concern for his historians, considering them quite expendable so long as the press doesn't ask too many questions. He was such a despicable character one can almost guess he'll get his in the end.
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Professor Johnston is working in France as the chief archaeologist on a dig of a historical medieval town when the multi-millionaire Robert Doniger, owner of ITC, the company financing his project, suddenly calls him away to the US. A few days later, his son, Chris, and the students working on the dig learn from ITC that the Professor has mysteriously disappeared. Not long after, while working on the site, they find, inside a room that has been sealed for over 600 years, a disturbing manuscript bearing the Professor's handwriting; and when the document is unquestionably dated to the year 1357 they quickly turn to ITC demanding to know the Professor's whereabouts. Doniger explains that ITC, whose intent is to create a historical theme park by using cutting-edge technology to bring the past to life, has discovered a way to travel in time through a quantum wormhole. The Professor, who was sent to 1357 France, missed his return window and hasn't been heard from since. Before long, Chris and a team of archaeologists, historians, and even the military are on a mission to find and rescue the Professor, but as soon as they are sent back, and with a rapidly approaching deadline of 37 hours, things turn horribly wrong, both in the present and the past, and their chances of success start to look less and less promising.
In this novel, Michael Crichton masterfully combines mystery, action, adventure, history, technology, and science to give us an engrossing read. Through great, well-defined characters, Crichton immerses us in a marvelous adventure of clashing swords, secret passages, invading armies, and mysterious knights, and transports us into a realistically rendered medieval world.
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By A Customer on May 30 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When i first started reading this book, i was forced to. I saw an add for the movie, and i really wanted to see it, but my dad has this rule that I can't watch a movie if it's based on a book until I have read the book. It's not that I wasn't interested in the book, I just heard some stuff that Micheal Crichton was a bad author and all. Boy was I wrong. Even the beginning of the book compells you into an adventure that is great. My bedtime is like, eight, so that is when i need to stop reading. Like I do! I went out into the kitchen and got a flashlight. Yep, that's how good it is. I always put down the book reluctantly, and only when I had to. Otherwise I was in my room, reading. The whole book makes you anxiously wait for the next chapter. So I read the book, then saw the movie. The movie was good, but in no comparison to the book. Timeline is my favorite book. I could picture what was happening during the whole book. I am reading Jurassic Park now. It's good, but not as good as Timeline. I'd be surprised if anything was. But really it just is a good book with a lot of interesting stuff. I read it in a couple of days. The book is huge! That's how much time I spent reading the book, that's how good it is. I'm sorry if I'm no help, but my opinion is, get this book no matter what it takes. Seriously, this book is da' bomb. If you like medieval time books, then this book is a must have. Thanks for reading.
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