Customer Reviews


1,989 Reviews
5 star:
 (718)
4 star:
 (506)
3 star:
 (330)
2 star:
 (261)
1 star:
 (174)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, but...
Like many of the other readers who have ventured to write a review of this book, I found it to be a fascinating read, one in which I literally could not put down the book until I realized it was well past my usual bed time. The subject of time travel, backed-up with just enough (if not too much) scientific reasoning to support the belief in its eventual or imagined...
Published on November 29, 1999 by Admanc

versus
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A typical Crichton fun-ride
Let's face it... Michael Chrichton is never going to win the Nobel prize for literature. But for pure escapist reading, he's hard to top. And who but Chrichton could make scientific and technological subjects not only interesting, but even fun, for all us technophobes out there? TIMELINE (complete with a bibliography containing 80 references on the Middle Ages and...
Published on December 27, 1999 by JLind555


‹ Previous | 1 2199 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

95 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, but..., November 29, 1999
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
Like many of the other readers who have ventured to write a review of this book, I found it to be a fascinating read, one in which I literally could not put down the book until I realized it was well past my usual bed time. The subject of time travel, backed-up with just enough (if not too much) scientific reasoning to support the belief in its eventual or imagined possibility, is a thrilling concept. Add to this, the chance to visit an era in which knights roamed western Europe and people lived in and around castles, all described vividly by Crichton as if he had been there, himself.
That said, once the cast of main characters arrives in the High Middle Ages of France, their interactions with the medieval citizens and the non-stop action provides for quick page-turning; however, this is also the point where it begins to get a bit too much to swallow (having swallowed so much already to get to this point). This cast of characters is like a team of superheroes, each one with individual talents, strengths and fatal flaws. One is an expert rock climber, another is nearly fluent in several medieval languages, dialects and weaponry usage, and the last one is a scholar of medieval technologies. As can be easily predicted during the introductions and characterizations of this cast, all of these strengths will certainly come into play later on in the book, and they do. Again and again and again. Sometimes, you wonder when one of them will suddenly sprout wings and say, "Hang on, I learned this cool flying trick while I was an aviation major back at Yale...before I switched to history."
Still, despite the tremendous leaps in superhuman skill and a never-ending supply of luck that Crichton liberally grants his characters, I truly enjoyed the fantasy that oozes from the book and found the imaginative departure from our modern world to be refreshing. I would definitely recommend this book to friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A typical Crichton fun-ride, December 27, 1999
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
Let's face it... Michael Chrichton is never going to win the Nobel prize for literature. But for pure escapist reading, he's hard to top. And who but Chrichton could make scientific and technological subjects not only interesting, but even fun, for all us technophobes out there? TIMELINE (complete with a bibliography containing 80 references on the Middle Ages and ten on parallel worlds) tells a story of a group of scientists who step into a time machine and travel back to France in the 1300's to rescue a friend who preceded them and got stuck, in a world which proves to be a far more violent and frightening place than Geoffroy or Christine de Pizan ever wrote about. They have 37 hours to find their friend and get him and themselves safely back to the present. The ensuing day and a half turns out to be a typical Chrictonian roller-coaster ride and we know pretty much how it will turn out (and, yes, the villain gets his, and a good job, too), but if you take the book for what it is, it's fun and enjoyable. And some of his references are definitely worth pursuing (check out Michio Kaku's 'Hyperspace', for one). Say what you want about Chrichton's deficits as a writer, he gets you wanting to know more about what he writes about, and that, by itself, makes him a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read But Not Great Literature, December 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
I haven't read a Crichton book in a while but had seen many of the movies made from his previous novels. And reading this book I felt like I was reading a future screenplay for "Timeline" the movie. The book had incredible (actually impossible) feats of strength and daring by 20th century characters in 14th Century France. Many times I felt that if this were true to form the people would most certainly be dead...but miraculously they survive...again and again and again and again. On a more positive note, the book moves along at a good clip and the science behind the technology involved in transporting the characters back to 14th century France was intriguing. All in all I would say that this is a fun book to read but not a mind boggling novel that keeps you thinking after your done. It is pretty much mindless fun with unusual science.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Knight to Remember, August 4, 2000
By 
"kewlbreezes26" (Glendora, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
Having taught Medieval history, I am well aware how infrequently the era is addressed in popular culture. In spite of the cult of Creative Anachronism who recreate this era, few people seldom get it right. It is obvious that Crichton has done his research well. His tale is fascinating and accurate. It has high adventure and great suspense. It is not a classic by any means but it is a highly enjoyable read. It is further amazing that Crichton combines high technology and science with Medieval lore and culture. It is a highly appealing mix and he handles them both very well. This is a perfect light read for anyone who wants to take themselves into another world. My only criticism of it is that it seems to be written towards a screenplay format...so the movie shouldn't be far behind. It would have been nice if it had more of a literary feel. But that is a minor complaint. Mount your steed and charge into this book with abandon. You won't be sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reading it was an emotional and educational experience, November 26, 1999
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
The application of the Quantum Physics theories was fascinating with its contrasts of "then" and "now".The time of knighthood sounded about as raw as it probably was! The characters were larger than life but also believably vulnerable and imperfect.(I wondered who his models were?)I couldn't stop reading and when I finished I felt like I had been through a Raiders of the Lost Ark experience!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed story compounded by improbable characters, May 30, 2000
This review is from: Timeline (Audio Cassette)
Michael Crichton is usually effective at taking the improbable and making it seem plausible through some far reaching scientific explanation. Not this time. Crichton seems determined to write an dubious medieval story and have it masquerade as science fiction.
Both the science and the history were obviously well researched. The start of the book was excellent, but as time went on it seemed to deteriorate, as if Crichton's mind were suffering from cumulative transcription errors. As it progressed, more and more glaring flaws presented themselves.
There is a fundamental flaw in the explanation of multiversal travel that renders certain events illogical. Gordon explains that this isn't travel through time, but to another parallel universe that exists simultaneous with our own universe. This other universe exists at a different point in time in its own history (specifically the 14th century) and thus, by being transported there, we can view history without time travel. If we accept that premise, we have to assume that this second universe has already cleaved from our own and is on its own timeline. If that were true, nothing one did there would have any effect on our history, yet we have a message from the professor written in this seperate parallel universe arriving as a historical artifact in our universe, not to mention the artifact left by Andre Marek. Either it wasn't explained well, or I missed something, or Crichton just ignored the illogic of it.
Also implausible is the fact that a bunch of geek historian academics and students get thrust into medieval times and are able to stay alive more than 20 minutes in the middle of a battle of rival kingdoms and their knights. Most incredible is how supergeek Andre Marek kills half of Oliver's soldiers single handedly in sword fights.
This all could have been somewhat more believable if our heroes made more frequent use of their superior knowledge of history and science, but Crichton was content to let them slug it out with the locals, giving them only gunpowder incorporation, universal translators and mace as occasional technological advantages.
So while the story itself was engaging, it had too many plot flaws to be up to the standard we expect from Crichton. Worth picking up only after you are current on any other fiction you were thinking of reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeline-Read it in No Time!, February 1, 2000
By 
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
I started reading Timeline Friday evening, stayed up until 4:00 a.m., quickly went through my Saturday chores so that I could immediately get back into the journey Timeline had taken me on! I stayed home Saturday night literally going through every event in the story, as if I were a character, and did not leave this house until I had completed the book and truly was sad to see it end! I was exhausted at the end, feeling like I was a part of this story. On Sunday, I met with friends and discussed this high energy, mix of history, and adventure story and we cast the roles for a hopefully up coming movie! This was a fabulous book. I wanted more!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indaina Jones meets King Arthur, November 30, 1999
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
Timeline is a decent, fast read, but wasn't at all what I was expecting after seeing Matt Lauer interview the author on Good Morning America. I love an historical novel, but this doesn't qualify. It had a healthy dose of "Jurassic Park" and somewhere in the middle I got the distinct impression that Crichton wasn't writing a novel at all, but was more interested in a screen play.
If you like Indiana Jones type action, buy it now. If you think you're getting a thinking man's novel, wait for the paperback.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Crichton's Best, November 23, 1999
By 
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
Crichton is such a master of blending science, history, and fantasy into such a rich tapestry, that it's hard to distinguish what is real and what is fancy. I found some of the science hard to follow, especially since the scientists in the book refer to the tramsmission to another universe as akin to sending a fax. I thought that was a bad analogy given that when a fax is sent, the original document remains at the point of origin, and is not sent over the wires. But don't let a bad analogy keep you from this book. The book brings fourteenth century Europe to life so exquisitely, that you, indeed, are transplanted to Medieval France. Critchon describes the people living, working, fighting and, dying with great detail and color. From the cold sore on the sleeping soldier's lip to the lice crawling about the mad knight's beard to the stench of the market square, Crichton descriptions are telling without making one's eyes glaze over. The story itself is novel and the ending very powerful and sweet. It's amazing how a good author can stir one's mind into seeing and feeling all that the characters see and feel. I probably will never get to visit modern day France, but after reading this book, I feel as if I have lived in fourteenth century France and witnessed all its beauty, brutality, and wonder.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeline, by: Michael Crichton, October 21, 2002
By 
Sean Hedges (Westminster, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
I think the book Timeline is a great book. It is about a group of people who get asked to go back in time with some other scientists to see what people did in the 1700's. Everything is going well until they get spotted and a few of the people are killed. If you want to figure out what happens to the rest of the scientists you are going to have to read the book. I would recommend this for people who like science ficton and for ages 12 to 15. It does have a little bad language, otherwise it is a very good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2199 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Timeline
Timeline by Michael Crichton (Paperback - November 4, 2003)
$14.95 $11.66
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.