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What Connie Willis soon makes clear is that genre can go to the dogs. To Say Nothing of the Dog is a fine, and fun, romance--an amused examination of conceptions and misconceptions about other eras, other people. When we first meet Ned, in 1940, he and five other time jumpers are searching bombed-out Coventry Cathedral for the bishop's bird stump, an object about which neither he nor the reader will be clear for hundreds of pages. All he knows is that if they don't find it, the powerful Lady Schrapnell will keep sending them back in time, again and again and again. Once he's been whisked through the rather quaint Net back to the Oxford future, Ned is in a state of super time-lag. (Willis is happily unconcerned with futuristic vraisemblance, though Ned makes some obligatory references to "vids," "interactives," and "headrigs.") The only way Ned can get the necessary two weeks' R and R is to perform one more drop and recuperate in the past, away from Lady Schrapnell. Once he returns something to someone (he's too exhausted to understand what or to whom) on June 7, 1888, he's free.
Willis is concerned, however, as is her confused character, with getting Victoriana right, and Ned makes a good amateur anthropologist--entering one crowded room, he realizes that "the reason Victorian society was so restricted and repressed was that it was impossible to move without knocking something over." Though he's still not sure what he's supposed to bring back, various of his confederates keep popping back to set him to rights. To Say Nothing of the Dog is a shaggy-dog tale complete with a preternaturally quiet, time-traveling cat, Princess Arjumand, who might well be the cause of some serious temporal incongruities--for even a mouser might change the course of European history. In the end, readers might well be more interested in Ned's romance with a fellow historian than in the bishop's bird stump, and who will not rejoice in their first Net kiss, which lasts 169 years! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A great start to reading Connie Willis's books and short stories. Time travel, mysteries, and Latin quotes. I can't recommend highly enough.Published 3 days ago by L. Gray
Can't possibly say enough about this book. It is Sci-Fi and fairly original while also humorous. Given, anyone who doesn't enjoy the humor might not like the book, but it worked... Read morePublished 22 days ago by William J. Austill II
One of the best books I've read in recent memory. It combines two of my favorite things seamlessly: Victorian England and Time Travel (without being steampunk, which I don't really... Read morePublished 24 days ago by K S Daniels
This book captures everything I loved about Connie Willis' other time-travel books, but without quite as much nail-biting terror for the characters. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Emily
Hilarious, riveting, just plain awesome. An accidental mystery novel shoved into an intense sci fi story. Will read many times.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of those books that any writer who wants to write comedy should inspect in detail. HOW does Connie Willis take ordinary words and, through some mysterious magic of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by T. C. Sienko
I'm not sure I would call it science fiction. It's more of a fantasy. Regardless, it's well written and very funny. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Just me