TIME PATROL Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In a fictive universe imagined in eight stories and one novel, time is mutable, and once time travel is discovered, humanity's remote descendants, the Danellians, set up the Time Patrol to ensure that no changes to the past will wipe out their own present. This construct (also used in The Shield of Time ) acts as a wonderful vehicle for Anderson's love of history. Manse Everard, whose presence unifies this collection, is recruited by the Patrol and rapidly ascends to the rank of roving troubleshooter. Frequently Everard finds that to preserve his own future he must destroy an alternate one, and his success is made bittersweet by his empathy for people who will never exist except in his own memory. The writing is excellent, distinguished by Hugo and Nebula winner Anderson's skill at weaving a background of sights and sounds to make the stage, and thus the actors, more real. Four of the stories are reprinted from his first Time Patrol collection (1960), four are from more recent volumes, and the novel is new with this book.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-- An excellent compilation of all of the author's short stories about The Time Patrol plus a new novella, ``Star of the Sea.'' Readers are given fascinating glimpses of people and places throughout history--prehistoric, Persian, Roman civilizations, etc.--as seen through the 20th-century eyes of agent, Manse Everard. Well written, with believable characters, this is Anderson at his best.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Although the first few have the exact flavor of their era--1950's Astounding magazine--there is nothing really dated or obsolete about these eight stories. Each and every one is a delight, from the long agony of "Odin the Goth", who already knows the doom of those he loves, to the joy of catching time bandits in a beautifully realized ancient Tyre, Poul Anderson gives us stories of the sort that hooked me on science fiction all those years ago... and exactly what brings me back today.
The full set of time patrol stories at nearly 800 pages, this is the biggest bargain you'll find this year.
In several of the stories the dialog degenerates into simplistic monologs, and the narration gains an almost derisive sing-song quality to it. You've been forewarned.
But in some stories, he "tells" instead, using long expository passages in which characters bring each other up to date on the historical background of the era in question. Anderson's expository dialog, unlike his action or plotting, is dull and sometimes awkward, and I several times lost interest and skimmed.
And in other stories, contrarily, he doesn't do enough exposition: "Gibraltar Falls" vividly describes the era when the Atlantic spilled into the then-dry Mediterranean valley, but gives the curious reader no background to follow up the geological speculation on which it is grounded. Similarly, "The Only Game in Town" describes a Mongol expedition into North America, a speculation that I believe has some basis, but although Anderson tells us a lot about the Mongols, there is not enough of a handle to follow it up into current research.
Net: fun for history buffs; action/adventure fans might do better reading other series by Anderson.