Book review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Nyet has already fleshed this one out at the Ballad, but I was gonna read it anyway, and now I can throw in my two cents.

As the back cover suggests, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife is “a most untraditional love story.” Something I would argue is that authors’ first books are generally their best. Though, I will await another work by Niffenegger, I am not sure it will be as well thought out, inventive, and riveting as TTWife. The premise of this story is fantastic. Following the life of Clare, a normal, if dependent, girl as she falls in love predeterminately with a Chrono-Displaced Henry had me reading this book way late into the night. Actually what made this book for me was the prose. The ending is given away pretty much in the first 100 pages, but that’s not the point. Each step through time comes with a new twist, emphasized with a strong writing style.

I agree with Nate about Gomez being a bit, er, out of place? His character seemed better fit to The Highlander than a tender love story. However, I actually thought the punk rock references to be just right. What better in a story of a man lost in time than to have him be a fan of a genre lost in time: Punk. Now I know that punk isn’t dead, I revere my Velvet Underground and Ramones albums, but it is lost to the ages. No radio gives punk any play (though this isn’t so true of Satellite Radio).

This was a good book. I was really sad to put this one down when it was over, and I look forward to reading more from Niffenegger.

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One response to “Book review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

  1. Another twist on the time-travel topic: The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times Book Review. I rate it highly recommended:

    THE fountain of youth has been an unusually fertile myth in the history of our age-averse species, serving as inspiration for everything from the early exploration of Florida to the greater part of the unsolicited e-mail that assails my in-box every day. But few people have taken the myth to quite the conceptual extreme that Andrew Sean Greer has in his second novel, ”The Confessions of Max Tivoli.” For one thing, Greer’s protagonist needs no arcane elixir to erase the ravages of time; the process of youthing happens to him naturally. It also, however, happens to him involuntarily, giving the hopeful old fantasy a dark new twist: born with the appearance of a 70-year-old man, Max must pass his entire existence regressing, with steady, year-by-year regularity, to a state of physiological babyhood. ”There is no name for what I am,” he explains at the start of this alleged ”found” manuscript about his life. ”Inside this wretched body, I grow old. But outside — in every part of me but my mind and soul — I grow young.”

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