I almost didn't finish this book. I found it very long winded. And I like long winded stories. I loved all 44 hours of the name of the wind. The saving grace for this book was 1.5 playback speed. At that speed I waiting around to get into the story.
A very slow, simmer, that ultimately builds to a charming and moving story of time travel and the immutability of human foibles and of caring. Ms. Willis, in her quiet, stately way, is so assured in her command of her story and so committed to her characters that she lavishes time and time and time on the daily confusion and struggle in trying to communicate with the people around you, whether in a near-future or the distant past. People of all ages and in all ages are subject to pettiness and misunderstanding. The author deftly runs the broken-connection stories in interesting parallel. There are no super-heroes to be found in The Doomsday Book, and for long sections, several significant characters are sick with fevers and worse. Ms. Willis allows her characters to repeat themselves, drifting in and out of lucidity while all the while critical discoveries float just out of their reach. And those not ill wear blinders of status, and of academic and professional resentments, with the Doomsday Clock clicking ominously away all the while. The Doomsday Book is rich with deadpan humor, resignation, frustration and ultimately truly heroic resolve.
Yes this book is pretty slow and the science is dated. But the characters really develop and really bring the human element to history. Really hits you in the feels at points.
Doomsday Book is a quality story with a developed theme and good production.
I think one of my favorite things about the book are the parallels with the Christmas story and the parallel characters from "real time" compared with the historical period.
She does a good job with narration and listening to the story allows me to follow the book even when driving in the car.
This is not a book for one sitting. It is lengthy for one thing, and the material especially toward the end is heavy and difficult to process all at once.
There are pros and cons depending on what you are looking for in a book--
1. The lengthy portion at the end of the book revolving around graphic images of death was difficult for me to process. I have worked in a hospital setting for over 25 years so I am not squeamish but this section of the book pushed beyond what I would have liked. I'm sure to some extent, the purpose of the author is to push the reader beyond comfort level. Some readers may not be bothered by this aspect of the book, so each reader can make their own personal choices.
2. Again, a matter of personal choice. The ending is not wrapped up neatly with a little bow and complete resolution. This is not necessarily a con for all readers and adds to emphasize the difficulty and complexity of the time period. But this incomplete resolution may be difficult for some readers after the lengthy death portion at the end of the book.
1. This book would be great for a book club discussion. There are developed parallels between the stories in the book and the Christmas story (the time period in which it was written). As the story develops, the reader will be able to connect the holy days with what is happening in the story. For example, the feast of the slaughter of the innocents parallels the plague. Many other parallels exist and would make for ripe discussion.
2. There are other parallels in the book that are worth discussing such as the parallel characters of Mrs. Gadson and Hermione (sp?)-- the need for blame, and the parallels of the bells.
3. The addition of the younger boy Collin was important for lightening the end of the book. I really valued his presence at the end.
Overall a good storyline, and I really did enjoy it. Very slow paced in parts, and it took a long time for the story to progress. I thought it was well worth sticking out the boring parts though. I left feeling a littany of emotion, and gained perspective on historical events that I was not expecting.
Lover of books and fictions reads.
Every single character seem to have no common sense, too much or too little tack and deeply in denial.
The main problems 'where the drop is' and how did Badri contracted the disease, could be easily solved if they were to sit down and have a think instead of panicking.The 'Cut Throat' character was guessed early enough due to many mentions, and no appearance. The real person who really knows where the drop is was guessed when main character seems fixated on that one character who was never there. Naturally, it's the guy who's there till the end.The disease's origin could be guessed when the anti-hero spouted on and on about how the it came from the past and conveniently enough somebody's excavating a grave site.Perhaps I read too much Holmes, but these people are Historians! Historians are detectives who tries to uncover truth from long dead times. And by long dead not 20, 30 or even 50 years!! Why are they so incompetent!Perhaps the Flu had scrambled their brains.
British, varied, consistent
Detachment, I can't bring myself to care what happened to anyone except the Acting Head of History, who died in a most inconspicuous way. It' a real let down.
Where WAS Basingham?
Tell us about yourself!Omnivorous catholic reader who especially enjoys unusual mysteries and thrillers
Great story with excellent narration.....great historical detail and accurracy.....great insight into the daily lives of people of the medieval period......GREAT READ!
I get frustrated with a story when one of the primary plot devices is people not saying/explaining themselves and not listening to each other. It set in 2055 and they can travel in time but still use a phone system that describes like it was built 100 years earlier.ok it has video but still it sounds like the video phones as envisioned in 1968. it was written in 1992, almost 25 years ago, before cell phones really existed so I guess I should forgive that lack of technology.