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About Time: 12 Short Stories Paperback – February 19, 1998
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About the Author
Jack Finney (1911–1995) was the author of the much-loved and critically acclaimed novel Time and Again, as well as its sequel, From Time to Time. Best known for his thrillers and science fiction, a number of his books—including Invasion of the Body Snatchers—have been made into movies.
Top customer reviews
That said, "About Time" is definitely a fun read. The stories reminded me of Twilight Zone episodes. "The Face in the Photo" in particular was my favorite where a detective finds his most "at-large" criminals in pictures and newsreels from the past.
I was rather surprised at the tone of the stories. They were all, how can I say, rather light and gentle. Whimsical and slightly humorous at times. If you excuse the irony, they were quite dated, and I thought, "I haven't read anything like this since I was a kid..." I checked to see when the stories were first published and the dates of 1957 etc. put everything into perspective.
As a previous reviewer remarked, I could also easily see how many of these stories were exactly on par with many vintage Twilight Zone episodes; same vibe, same pace. Which is certainly not a bad thing.
The current price is $12.99 and, if I'd paid that much for it, I'd have been very disappointed. However, I bought my kindle e-book for a few dollars on a special offer which seems reasonable to me.
These 12 stories are a lot of fun. While I think Finney, writing circa 1950s, excelled in the novel(la) format because he could fully indulge his gift for description, these shorts are enjoyable because they make great reads when you have less time -- in more ways than one.
These stories were originally collected in two anthologies: The Third Level (1957/1976) and I Love Galesburg in the Springtime (1962), though those collections may be difficult to find. All are great, but my favorites are: "Such Interesting Neighbors", about the rather strange Hellenbek family who lives next door; "Lunch-Hour Magic", about the lengths one will go to find love (or lust); "The Face in the Photo", about a novel escape for criminals; and "Of Missing Persons", about getting a second chance at Paradise. "The Third Level" is a classic that you may well have read in other anthologies, and "The Coin Collector" was later expanded into novella-length "The Woodrow Wilson Dime" -- a treatment most of these wonderful stories could sustain. The latter features a wonderful passage about books written by authors, including Mark Twain, who lived longer in the alternate reality in which the narrator finds himself. Each story ends with a twist that would roll off Rod Serling's tongue.
If you enjoy time travel stories (though not hard sf), great storytelling or endings with a wink, this is a collection you must have. Finney is a marvel! Give yourself a treat!
Most recent customer reviews
That one story is worth the price of the book.Read more