- Series: Oxford Time Travel
- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (December 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553575384
- ISBN-13: 978-0553575385
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 699 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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To Say Nothing of the Dog Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1998
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"The most hilarious book of its kind since John Irving's The Water-Method Man and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole."
--Des Moines Sunday Register
"An utter delight. Ms. Willis's unique, engaging voice will carry you off to a place where chaos theory makes perfect sense, time travel is a REASONABLE mode of transport, and safeguarding the fate of humanity is a respectable day job."
"Willis effortlessly juggles comedy of manners, chaos theory and a wide range of literary allusions [with a] near flawlessness of plot, character and prose."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"I have long thought that Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat is one of the highest points of Inimitable British Humor. I chuckle; I gurgle; I know those three men--to say nothing of the dog. And now I am convinced there was a woman concealed in that boat, too: Connie Willis."
--Laurie R. King
From the Inside Flap
From Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, comes a comedic romp through an unpredictable world of mystery, love, and time travel...
Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump. It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier.
But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past. Now Ned must jump back to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right--not only to save the project but to prevent altering history itself.
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The other thing to note about this book is that although it's technically sci-fi (the fluffiest and lightest of hand-wavy science sci-fi), the sci-fi/futuristic aspects are used mostly as a framing device. The majority of the book ends up being set in Victorian England around 1880, taking up such activities as a boating vacation on the Thames, dealing with a fishing-addicted history Professor, trying to save a cat from being drowned by a possibly nefarious butler, trying to prevent the wrong couple from getting married, and tracking down the bishop's bird stump. It's basically historical romance wrapped up with a sci-fi bow. Luckily I love both those things!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
This is one of her "time travel" historical / science fiction novels and it picks up where DOOMSDAY BOOK leaves off. In this book we are introduced to a group of Historian/Scientists who are delving into the infancy of time travel. They are exploring the possibilities of time travel when it comes to replacing priceless works of art that have been lost, or being able to restore animal species that have gone extinct. They are also coming to terms with the dangers of time travel. All while living a first-hand experience of a place and time that has gone almost 150 years into the past.
Unlike the deeply serious subject matter of DOOMSDAY BOOK and BLACKOUT / ALL CLEAR, the very witty TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG is a lighthearted story that pays homage to Jerome K Jerome's classic comedy/travel guide, THREE MEN IN A BOAT. Our two time-travelling Historian / Scientists wing their way back in time to the Victorian era to find a lost treasure and solve a historical mystery. Along the way they find themselves in all sorts of scrapes and also they find that a "spark" might be igniting between them.
Will they ever find the Bishop's Bird Stump that was lost to history? Will they find True Love? What did the Butler do? Will people in the second half of the 21st century ever know the joy of having pet cats? Just read the book to find out! ;-)
This is a time travel book, and although I'm not a big SciFi/time travel reader, I loved this one. Once again, there are three men in a boat, to say nothing of the dog, in Victorian England, mostly. There is a cathedral to be rebuilt, and the Bishop's Bird Stump to be found, and a taskmaster who insists that everything be done NOW, no matter how much time travel is required.
It did take me a few pages to get into the travel thing, to understand what was going on, and there was, to my taste, a little too much about time travel slippage. However, the characters are funny and endearing, and travel along the Thames brings adventures, often rather soggy ones. The dog and the cat in this story are wonderful. Altogether, a delightful story.