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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.
I am re-reading this now, actually. Still wonderful, hilarious, engaging, and one of my favorite books of all time.Published 5 days ago by Marion Ravenwood
Excellent! Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors. This was so much fun to read, I could hardly put it down.Published 7 days ago by melodie denson
It is funny, original and interest. Well worth a read! Makes me want to go back to page one and read it againPublished 13 days ago by Lori LE Shioji
This book took me 7 years to read! Like many I have loved Connie Willis's work. However, when I picked this up I could not hold interest for more than 2 pages, perhaps style,... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Michael W. Penn
It was a big deal a few weeks ago when I decided that after almost four years it was high time I read a book for the sheer fun of it. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sherrie Cronin
Was not the best Connie Willis book I had read. Enjoy the small history lesson but this time travel one just didn't flow well. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Malbert
Loved this book. I found myself laughing at her wonderful, clever prose. I didn't always understand everything but really didn't care.Published 21 days ago by J. Guthrie
I've never been a fan of science fiction and had I realized that's what this was when I bought it, I wouldn't have. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
witty, imaginative and basically a fun read. It combines several genres: time travel, adventure, murder-mystery as well as comedy. I enjoy Connie Willis' imagination. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Connie Burke