Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel for the romantic
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvelous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscences of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling...
Published on Feb. 4 2003 by Stone Junction

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but falls down on the follow-through.
Since a synopsis of the plot is already printed, I won't bore you running through it here. Unfortunately, I was bored running through the book. What a great premise -- H.G Wells' Time Machine exists and an archeologist is going to take a ride into the future! What a let-down. There's no denying that this is a well-written book, but I like books that are plot and...
Published on April 30 1998


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel for the romantic, Feb. 4 2003
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvelous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscences of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling apocalyptic dystopia that reveals more about the present-day human heart than one would expect.
Taking a page from H.G. Wells's classic THE TIME MACHINE, Wright has fashioned a fiction based on the 'reality' of a fiction. Wright's protagonist David Lambert, archaeologist and devotee of Victorian machinery, discovers that Wells based his novel upon a factual incident. Lambert subsequently discovers the time machine, intact but riderless, and decides to travel to 2500 A.D.. What he discovers raises more questions than answers about the fate of humanity, but it also raises questions as to what events led Lambert to this point in his life. As he travels the futuristic England countryside, he retraces his past with his friend Bird, and the woman they both love, Anita. The farther Lambert treks through England, the farther his despair over past actions becomes.
Not having perused Wells's classic, I am unable to compare his and Wright's styles. I can reveal that there is a deeply pleasing antiquated feel to Wright's tale; something in his style evokes the nostalgic prose style of Jules Verne. The font also seems charmingly old-fashioned (and for anyone who doesn't believe a font can affect a story, please discover Chip Kidd's terrific novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS, which covers just such a format consideration).
Wright has penned several travel books, and his knowledge of the mechanics of travel shows through; Lambert is nothing if not prepared for his journey, and his time machine seems plausibly real. It is to Wright's credit that ROMANCE reads not as a tour book, but rather as a full-fledged story. His future England is left appealingly vague; jungle covers the land, manmade flora has taken root in an unexpected manner, and humanity has all but disappeared. Clues are revealed as to what occurred, but that is all they remain, clues. Mankind's ultimate fate is left to the imagination; what Wright reveals is frightening and confusing enough.
Wright is not only concerned with a 'what-if' scenario; he also is a curious traveller of the human conscience. His intention is not to simply provide the curious with yet another post-apocalyptic landscape; like the best of the genre (SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon, THE STAND by Stephen King, and THE POSTMAN by David Brin, to name but three), Wright wants to explore the human condition through the genre stereotypes. Lambert, despite his intention to map out the future, is plagued by his past. His love for Anita, his regret over Bird, haunt his every move. Wright may be attempting to show that we are the sum of our past actions, and no matter how far you travel, the past will never fail to judge your present actions. You cannot outrun yourself.
A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE is not the novel for the reader who demands fast-paced action. Wright lays out his tale deliberately, with care and precision given to each step. Lambert's journey is highly unlikely, yet completely believable. His ultimate destination is heart-breaking in its simple acceptance of what makes a person happy. Wright's novel, despite the absence of characters, is a very real romance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but falls down on the follow-through., April 30 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
Since a synopsis of the plot is already printed, I won't bore you running through it here. Unfortunately, I was bored running through the book. What a great premise -- H.G Wells' Time Machine exists and an archeologist is going to take a ride into the future! What a let-down. There's no denying that this is a well-written book, but I like books that are plot and character driven. This book is a great idea. There is little "story" and the characters are poorly developed. Such interesting people and I never got to find out more about them! It's a great hook, but when I expected the book to really take off, it just ran out of gas.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy Plot Devices, Nov. 15 2003
By 
This is an interesting concept novel used to drive home a point about technology and scientific hubris run rampant that eventually chokes our planet and all but destroys the human race.
In 1999 David Lambert, really a rather wandering soul, is a museum curator who has lost the love of his life to Mad Cow disease and his best friend in a falling out over a nasty love triangle involving the same woman. Unbelievably a letter falls into his hands that purports to be from H.G. Wells informing the reader of the return of the time machine to London-a fiction that turns out not to be fiction. So off he goes on his jaunt into the future.
This is a poor attempt at using the time travel concept as a plot device. There are just way too many coincidences and way too many convenient plot devices to move the story along. And it drags on unrelentlessly in the middle with some very tedious slogging as the author gets carried away over describing the future he finds.
At times, the novel is very good and it does have some merit. But frankly, the plot devices used, especially in the end, undermine the novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Using the future to examine the past, Aug. 26 2002
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvellous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscence of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling apocalyptic dystopia that reveals more about the present-day human heart than one would expect.
Taking a page from H.G. Wells's classic THE TIME MACHINE, Wright has fashioned a fiction based on the 'reality' of a fiction. Wright's protagonist David Lambert, archaeologist and devotee of Victorian machinery, discovers that Wells based his novel upon a factual incident. Lambert subsequently discovers the time machine, intact but riderless, and decides to travel to 2500 A.D.. What he discovers raises more questions than answers about the fate of humanity, but it also raises questions as to what events led Lambert to this point in his life. As he travels the futuristic England countryside, he retraces his past with his friend Bird, and the woman they both love, Anita. The farther Lambert treks through England, the farther his despair over past actions becomes.
Not having perused Wells's classic, I am unable to compare his and Wright's styles. I can reveal that there is a deeply pleasing antiquated feel to Wright's tale; something in his style evokes the nostalgic prose style of Jules Verne. The font also seems charmingly old-fashioned (and for anyone who doesn't believe a font can affect a story, please discover Chip Kidd's terrific novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS, which covers just such a format consideration).
Wright has penned several travel books, and his knowledge of the mechanics of travel shows through; Lambert is nothing if not prepared for his journey, and his time machine seems plausibly real. It is to Wright's credit that ROMANCE reads not as a tour book, but rather as a full-fledged story. His future England is left appealingly vague; jungle covers the land, manmade flora has taken root in an unexpected manner, and humanity has all but disappeared. Clues are revealed as to what occurred, but that is all they remain, clues. Mankind's ultimate fate is left to the imagination; what Wright reveals is frightening and confusing enough.
Wright is not only concerned with a 'what-if' scenario; he also is a curious traveller of the human conscience. His intention is not to simply provide the curious with yet another post-apocalyptic landscape; like the best of the genre (SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon, THE STAND by Stephen King, and THE POSTMAN by David Brin, to name but three), Wright wants to explore the human condition through the genre stereotypes. Lambert, despite his intention to map out the future, is plagued by his past. His love for Anita, his regret over Bird, haunt his every move. Wright may be attempting to show that we are the sum of our past actions, and no matter how far you travel, the past will never fail to judge your present actions. You cannot outrun yourself.
A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE is not the novel for the reader who demands fast-paced action. Wright lays out his tale deliberately, with care and precision given to each step. Lambert's journey is highly unlikely, yet completely believable. His ultimate destination is heart-breaking in its simple acceptance of what makes a person happy. Wright's novel, despite the absence of characters, is a very real romance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fine science fiction with an ecological twist, Oct. 4 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
If I was being uncharitable I would label this book "science fiction". Like HG Wells, however, the author effortlessly transcends the boundaries of genre. This is a book about humankind, *now*, and about how we are on the verge of sending our world spiralling into ecological destruction. It is also a moving love story, an ironic elegy for the human race, a brilliant adventure yarn and a rigorous and thoughtful read. I have re-read it several times: every time I return to it I get out of it something fresh and new. The closing quotation from Tennyson embodies the sweetly elegiac tone of the book:
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,/ The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,/ Man comes and tills the fields and lies beneath,/ And after many a summer dies the swan./ Me only cruel immortality / Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,/ Here at the quiet limit of the world.
Highly recommended for all eco-warriors, romantics and lovers of excellent modern literature!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Too much homage, not enough thrills, Feb. 28 1999
By 
Pretty Sinister (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
It is unfortunate that the word romance has come to connote hearts and flowers in our modern world. Reading some of these reviews, I can tell a few readers never really understood the title is a homage to what H.G. Wells and other early science fiction writers' works were dubbed in the late nineteenth and early portion of this century. Romantic fiction was characterized by a love of the natural world not the love between a man and a woman. The plots centered on the fantastic not the sensual. Although the aspect of a "love story" might be present in a romance it was not guaranteed and often, if there was love, the outcome was not very happy and usual came at an awful price. However, Ronald Wright's attempt to recapture the romantic era of the past falls short of those he obviously honors. Wright's main fault, I feel, is the loquacious, intellectual who narrates the novel and continually interrupts with absurd tangental, elliptical sidestories. Three quarters of the novel has passed before any real action takes place, but the reader has been treated to entire histories of incidental characters who otherwise never appear. And by that time I had lost all interest in the Macbeaths of the 24th century. True, Wright's vision of a Pictish future was inventive and unusual, unfortunately the time travelled in getting to that future seemed like an entire millenium.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A.D. 2500: The Earth has a fever., Sept. 29 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
Ronald Wright's first work of fiction tells the story of David Lambert, a London museum curator who has a terminal illness. Fortunately, he has a time machine (described by H.G. Wells) which he can use to seek a cure. Unfortunately, the London of A.D. 2500 is a steaming wreck, with crocodiles in the Thames and strangler figs on most of the landmarks. David explores the ruins and concludes that no one has lived in London since the early 21st century. He goes to Scotland, where he finds a group of dark-skinned people, and becomes their 'guest'.
"A Scientific Romance" is a very eloquent eco-catastrophe novel. Wright's prose is florid but never pompous; his characters, although stereotypical, are sensibly developed. David Lambert is a flawed, tragic, completely engrossing hero who must deal with the knowledge that he and the Earth are victims of unchecked "Industrial Man". This book deservedly appeared on best-seller lists in Canada and should be sold in other parts of the world without delay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars "Scientific Romance" has little of either., June 6 2000
By 
V. Mike Smith (North Ranch, California) - See all my reviews
Truly a fascinating premise...I've always wanted a time machine of my own, but the protagonist wastes his opportunity. So does the author. The style is quite true to the characters, though, right down to the you-have-to-have-been-there-to-know England. Particularly fascinating were the fragmentary documents discovered along the way...mind-blowing concepts like a brochure for the Zooseum owned by Disney-Vatican; a final message by a desperate medico to her family recommending a particular METHOD of suicide (not if, just how), followed by the arrest report made by the military. If you're into postapocalyptic imagery (especially if you've been to England) and liked Shute's On The Beach, you'll enjoy this one. If not, just take the two incidental concepts I've spoiled for you and pen your own version of what could happen if the world doesn't realize that eight billion people can't all live the California dream; you'll probably have more fun, and you'll certainly save time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Good Concept, Boring Writing, Dec 2 2002
First the concept - A man with an uncurable disease, discovers a time machine created by an associate of H.G. Wells. He decides to go to the future to seek a cure.
Unfortunately the writing style to this book was excrutiatingly boring, written in the first person. The narrator (the man with the incurable disease) jumps from concept to concept, without anything interesting to say. There is virtually no action. When he gets to the future, everything is destroyed and you keep waiting for him to encounter people, which never seems to happen. I found H.G. Wells Time Machine to be vastly more interesting and that was written over 100 years ago.
Many other readers have given this book very high marks for writing and I wonder how they can? I know I kept finding myself skipping over a lot of paragraphs throughout the book and had to fight with myself to keep from just jumping to the back of the book and reading the end so I could get on with it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite time travel romance for readers of all genres..., Aug. 26 1999
By A Customer
I stumbled on this small masterpiece quite by accident & found it to be a rare find. It is truly a romance per both definitions proffered by the amazon review. The author is masterful in drawing the reader into the book. I felt as if I had travelled in time myself & felt vague unrest when i washed up "back" in the 20th century. I hope the author will loose his time machine again(soon). If you're looking for the usual time travel clap-trap look elsewhere... marvelous meditions on humankind & the milk of human kindness... imagine my surprise when I read that a group was mass distibuting a "jesus video" in which all the actors were native people except for a caucasian actor playing the lead... life imitates art once again... it's all in this wonderful book...highly reommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Scientific Romance
A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright (Paperback - July 7 1998)
CDN$ 21.00 CDN$ 15.33
Usually ships in 10 to 12 days
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews