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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on September 23, 2009
It is not very often that I choose to stop reading a book halfway through, because I try to pick my reading material wisely. I was surprised at how dull this book is. Yes, there are some interesting scenes describing interactions between characters, but they are bits and pieces that don't seem to flow together very well. Some of the characters are rather two dimentional and odd-- very stylised and over-thought. I had no empathy or connection with any character, which is unusual for me, since I tend to read books that are character driven. This connection is what drives me to turn the pages.

The fact that Henry time travels is a novel concept, and you would think that it would be one that could carry a novel; unfortunately in this case, the concept becomes redundant really quickly. By the mid point of the book, I really was not interested in finding out how this love story turns out. It is a shame considering all of the rave reviews.
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on February 18, 2015
I am almost finished reading the book. It has an interesting story line, although not quite unique as it is a bit of a spin off on Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander" series. It could be a good book if the author had not soiled it with profanity so often that it is annoying. Good writing that is fraught with 'f' bombs is like creating a good piece of artwork and then throwing mud at it. I had high expectations, but am disappointed.
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on August 18, 2009
The element of surprise. This is far from the "best book I ever read" and at least it saves me the effort of thinking about seeing the movie or renting the DVD (soon to come if the movie critics are right ...).

I was honestly hoping for a different outcome and that maybe I would be surprised, but no. The author could have left out all the dates, they were starting to make my brain hurt.

What we have in the end is something way less than satisfactory, glommed onto by the media and popularized. I know that if I could time travel, I wouldn't have read this.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 17, 2007
This is just a short comment to say that yes, it IS a well written book, I could appreciate that, but still, it just didn't live up to my expectations and I fail to understand the hype around it. Just a matter of personal taste I suppose, sometimes that's the way it goes...
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on December 19, 2006
The 1000 plus reviews already written will tell you about the plot etc.

The novel left me somewhat disappointed.

The book could have been a good 200 pages shorter and better as a result. For example:

- There is way too much minutiae in pitiless quantity and detail of Chicago street names and landmarks making it seem as if the author were more in love with the city than her characters

- way too many references to punk (and other contemporary) music titles (see above). The descriptions of Henry's mother's singing early in the novel come across as warm and magical in contrast with the seemingly interminable lists of contemporary bands and songs throughout the rest of the novel.

- how many times do we need to hear how Henry gets cold and nauseous?

- Frankly, there were way too many incidents of Henry's time traveling to the point of its being tedious to read.

Instead of spending many pages on well-trodden (and frankly hackneyed) discussions on free-choice vs. determinism, Niffenegger would have better served the novel by exploring Henry's going back and forth, including visiting him/herself in the past and in the future, as a metaphor for our recollection of ourselves in the past, our conception of ourselves in the present and our predictions of ourselves in the future. After all, when we reminisce it is as if we are visiting ourselves in time and are unable to change it.

I think it would have made for a more intriguing novel if the veracity of Henry's time traveling were more ambiguous. Granted, this would be much more difficult to write but it would work well with the metaphor above.

As mentioned by many other reviewers, the novel's characterizations are way too light, especially those of the main protagonists.

The novel is erroneously titled. Given what I read, it should be titled "The Time Traveler," as there are considerably more pages given to Henry's point of view than Clare's. In fact, at the end of the novel, I am not sure what impact Henry's time traveling has had on Clare.

I know they are making a film of this novel. Given a very good script and director, the film could very well turn out to be much better than the novel. By necessity, the film will have to dispense with the novel's fat that is hiding a good story.

Notwithstanding the above, it is a very admirable effort for a first time writer.
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on October 2, 2003
A story that could have been with great grace and wit, is instead mashed together and stretched out into an incomprehensible (and overly-long) literary bore.
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