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The Time Traveler's Wife Audio, Cassette – Bargain Price, September 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor. The expressive, evocative performances of both actors convey the protagonists' intense relationship, their personal quirks and their reminiscences, making this a fascinating audio.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
On the surface, Henry and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he is or what he is doing. It drops him naked and vulnerable into another decade, wearing an age-appropriate face. In fact, it's not unusual for Henry to run into the other Henry and help him out of a jam. Sound unusual? Imagine Clare Detamble's astonishment at seeing Henry dropped stark naked into her parents' meadow when she was only six. Though, of course, until she came of age, Henry was always the perfect gentleman and gave young Clare nothing but his friendship as he dropped in and out of her life. It's no wonder that the film rights to this hip and urban love story have been acquired. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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My quibbles with the story are with Clare, the wife. Much of the story is centered on her, especially when her husband is traveling, yet her character seems underdeveloped. I kept waiting for something, some event, to endear her to me, but it was never to be. It was a missed opportunity that knocked a star from the review.
I’m still glad I read it. It is long, but even if you don’t finish it, the interesting ideas Niffenegger presents are worth a look.
Read The Time Traveller's Wife, then read it again. And again.
I was immediately rewarded. This book engaged me in the first few minutes and never let go. What an amazing and unique perspective on this genre.
This is a great story.
I recommend this book to anyone who has the following characteristics: (1) Slightly nerdy, and enjoys stories having to do with time travel, and (2) Enjoys books with a strong female character and (3) Enjoys fantasies with a hunky male character.
Readers of literary fiction will probably enjoy it. It's a well-written novel -- beautifully crafted and plotted, as well.
But honestly, I didn't really like the characters. In a story like this, that's truly epic in scope, the emotions could be really powerful, the characters our way into the story.
Instead, I ultimately felt very little for either Henry the time traveler or Clare his wife. We learn so little about them and are told lots of things we never quite see (like how much they love each other, etc). Clare is beautiful (we hear it over and over again as well), but we never get a sense of much more about her as a person than that. We know even less about Henry. The people just don't feel as vibrant, or lovable, or alive, as they might.
Ultimately, their lives didn't feel quite real to me -- we are told Clare is an artist, but we never get a sense of what she creates, or why she is an artist, or of what Henry thinks of her art. Their friends are really unpleasant characters, for the most part, who just seem present because the story requires it. When Clare suddenly wants a child, instead of adding dimension or warmth to her rather chilly character, it just makes her more unlikeable than ever.
I guess I'd say I liked the plot, but didn't like the characters. And the plot kept me going even when the characters irritated or bored me. The plot keeps the pages turning all the way to the end -- you definitely do want to keep reading.
It's a good book, ultimately, and the time travel element -- as well as the matter-of-fact way the author treats Henry's malaise -- is fascinating. But it's almost like a writing exercise -- a good story, but a little cold, a little distant.
I did like the book -- I just didn't love it.