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the Time Traveler's Wife Paperback – 2004

4 out of 5 stars 2,696 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harcourt; Pages Wrinkled edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049U6URE
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,696 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,286,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to her bestselling debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, she is the author of two illustrated novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. She lives in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The Time Traveler's Wife" is one of the most interesting, powerful books I've read in a long time. Audrey Niffenegger did a beautiful job taking some of the most complex ideas - time travel, marriage, love, children, friends, literary and artistic allusions, religion, death, drugs, childhood, growing, loss, and what it means to be human - and weaving them together poetically and with amazing clarity. Her characters are wonderful, "real" people with strengths and flaws, and I really grew to adore them. Despite skipping around time at the same rate as Henry, the time traveler, the events are sequenced in such a way that you still witness each character's growth as a person, as well as discover many surprises along the way. Clare and Henry's story is one of the best love stories I've read in a very long time. This book also echoes important modern-day questions about the appropriateness of gene therapy, and what it means to be a human being. I highly and enthusiastically recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I admit: I am an easy touch when it comes to time-travel books. I have loved such diverse books with this theme as "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", "A Wrinkle in Time," and "Time and Again."
I was not disappointed by "The Time Traveler's Wife." The book both moved me and challenged me to think about a number of deeper issues in life (most notably, the true meaning of love in a romantic relationship).
The underlying story concerns Henry, a librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and Clare, his artist wife. Henry suffers from CDP (Chrono-Displacement Order) which whisks him from the present to another point of time (usually the past). One minute he may be in the stacks of the Newberry Library in 2003, the next minute he may find himself in a field (probably naked) in Michigan with his future wife as a child sometime in the early 1980's.
The author does an excellent job of sequencing the book. Even though Henry is shuttling back and forth in every chapter, she manages to move the plot forward. You do feel that you see Henry and Clare meeting, falling in love, starting a marriage and going through the stages of their lives. You do get to know their family and friends and see life happen to them.
However, I do feel that the author could have better developed all of her characters, particularly the supporting ones. I wanted to learn more about their close friends, Gomez and Charisse, and their troubled marriage. I felt that the landlady from Henry's child-whom he constantly visited in his time-traveling modes-was a sketch figure that could have been better developed. I wished that the author could have mined deeper into the inner feelings of Henry and Clare.
Still I would highly recommend this book to most readers. (If time-travel books bother you, this won't change your opinion.) It is a good, hard-to-put down read. And at the end, you're exhausted by all the travel!
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Format: Hardcover
I stumbled across this book by mistake and hesitated to read it simply because it was 518 pages. To my surprise, I devoured this book in a few days and felt a pang of sadness when it was finished. The author crafts a story of something that is quite unbelievable and yet deftly makes it so very believable. I was hooked after the first chapter. Niffenegger managed to suck me in to this story so that I felt emotionally bound to the characters and their plight. It's a tragic story that weaves so much love/pain/joy/disappointment that it fairly bursts with emotion. Read it!
4 Comments 191 of 220 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book gets two stars for being an engrossing page-turner with a surprising amount of coherence, considering the format of jumping back and forth between the past, present, and future. As others have summarized, The Time Traveler's Wife is a love story between a man who involuntarily is transported into the past and future, and the woman he loves. However, in addition to the romantic aspect, this novel raises some interesting questions regarding free will vs. predestination, actions and consequences. Henry, the Time Traveler of the title, interacts with many people from his present life (i.e. his wife, his parents, his friends, even himself), when they are younger, in many cases before they even meet Henry in real time. While this is a little hard to follow at first, Neffenegger does a nice job of tying it together quickly before it becomes too confusing.

What is interesting is that during these encounters, Henry makes a conscious effort to avoid saying or doing things that would change the course of the future. But by his very presence, he of course IS changing the course of the future. One such example has Clare as a younger girl drawing a picture of Henry. She begins to sign and date it, when Henry stops her: it's not signed, he tells her, it's on the wall of our house and there's no date. But in an exercise in free will, Clare decides that she WILL sign it. When Henry returns to his present and discovers the picture unsigned still, Clare explains that she erased it shortly after their past encounter, fearing something that small and insignificant could somehow have a catastrophic effect on their future.

That being said, the book has some scenes that drag on way too long (Christmas with Clare's parents, the Violent Femmes concert).
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12 Comments 125 of 146 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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