- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1003 KB
- Print Length: 146 pages
- Publisher: Tor.com (April 24 2018)
- Sold by: Macmillan CA
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0756HJ8P1
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 32 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #207,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||CDN$ 19.50|
Save CDN$ 15.51 (80%)
This price was set by the publisher.
Time Was Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"With echoes of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine and replete with the inimitable scent of used bookstores, Time Was weaves an exquisite spell of love, war and quantum physics that is timeless in its appeal. A scientific romance in the most evocative sense of the word." ―Nina Allan
"McDonald’s gift for storytelling is on full display as he captures the emotional nuances of a decades-long love while exploring issues of military and scientific might and the state of the contemporary book industry." ―Booklist--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top international reviews
Of course, leaving you wanting more is not in itself a bad thing, and in any event the book is well worth a few hours of your time.
Emmett Leigh est un bouquiniste indépendant, qui cherche et vend sur Ebay des livres à valeur historique. Lors de la liquidation de la librairie The Golden Page du quartier de Londres Spitalfields, il dégote un petit livre de poésies. Ce ne sont pas les poésies, par ailleurs assez mauvaises, qui l'intéressent mais la lettre manuscrite glissée entre les pages. La lettre en question est une lettre d'amour, écrite par Tom pendant la guerre à son amant Ben.
Grâce à quelques éléments glissés dans la lettre, il arrive à dater la lettre et à identifier Tom et Ben. Tom Chappell et Ben Seligman. Emmett va chercher à reconstituer leur histoire. Tom Chappell était un jeune poète et Ben Seligman un professeur de physique employé par l'armée britannique dans les recherches sur le RADAR. Puis l'impossible va se révéler à Emmett. Il identifie à nouveau Tom et Ben sur des photos prises à diverses époques, jusque dans un reportage en pleine guerre de Bosnie en 1993. Il doit se rendre à l'évidence, les deux amants sont des voyageurs du temps.
Dans cette enquête sur l'identité de deux hommes à partir d'une simple lettre trouvée dans un livre, Ian McDonald arrive à créer un récit très prenant, mêlant faits et lieux historiques, voire rumeurs et théories complotistes. On se prend rapidement en tant que lecteur à aller chercher les informations sur internet pour replacer l'histoire de Tom et Ben dans notre Histoire. J'ai beaucoup aimé ce roman.
Vous pouvez lire si vous le souhaitez une critique plus détaillée sur rmon blog dont l'adresse se trouve sur mon profile.
Yes, there is a love story. Yes, there are two lads in WWII. Yes, there is some timey-wimey stuff. That's not the heart of the book, however. This is more a literary mystery with a sci-fi twist and a speculative fiction love affair. The majority of the book is from the point of view of a modern day used book hunter/seller who prefers his books to people . He stumbles across an odd book of poetry in a dumpster after yet another bookstore in the city closes. This book, and what he finds inside it, begins the mysterious journey down the rabbit hole in which he learns of Tom and Ben.
There are flashbacks, alternating chapters told from Tom's viewpoint that work to intertwine the reader into both timelines and the mystery as it unfolds. These jumps can be a bit confusing, and there are some places where the author seems to change viewpoints without a proper understanding of who's chapter it is (mostly at the end) that I had to re-read to clarify. The true beauty of this book is in the writing, the prose and the way the mystery opens up to the reader, waiting until the very end to come full circle and all is revealed.
If you are looking for strictly science fiction romance, this is not it. If you are expecting two boys fighting in WWII, with guns and bombs and daring time-travel adventure and- well, this is not it. There is a love story, though, and it's beautiful. This book is simply that, beautifully written, beginning to end.
Unfortunately, the couple, Tom and Ben, are bit players in their own story. The book is really about Emmet, a present-day bibliophile who hunts and deals in rare war books, and the bulk of the story is about him unraveling the time travel mystery. When the story returns to Tom and Ben, they typically get just one scene. I really wanted to spend more time with them. We don’t get to know much about the lovers, and little distinguishes them other than their occupations... Tom is even nicknamed Tom the Rhymer (he’s a poet) to help you remember.
Don’t read the book if you need a tidy ending. It ultimately gets around to explaining the time travel premise, but Tom and Ben’s fate makes zero sense and leaves you wanting more from the book.
I wasn't wholly disappointed. McDonald's a great wordsmith, dreaming up one poetic phrase after another. And as a lifelong bibliophile, I loved the role that ancient, jumbled bookshops played in the story.
However, I was a little sad that we didn't learn more about the two men who sit at the core of the plot. Also, for a science fiction-ish novella, the science wasn't terribly well explained. And perhaps the most frustrating part was the ending, which seemed a bit pat, a bit too easy.
That being said, I still recommend the book. It's a short, intriguing read with a few great passages and some poignant moments. It's not as strong as I'd expect from McDonald, but maybe if he'd had more time/space to develop the narrative, it could've been a five-star work. Sadly, I get the impression that he's said all he needs to say about these characters.
Having said that, I really enjoyed Time Was, which is the first time I’ve read this excellent author. The lyrical descriptions painted such a great sensory atmosphere that the story itself carried me away. Ultimately, while the plot focus on Emmett rather than Tom and Ben was disappointing, Time Was is a solid introduction to this author’s work, for me, anyway.
I've been on a book slump and this book didn't help at all.