Enjoy the adventure
Follows the adventures of a graduate student as she travels back in time to visit a quant English village during 1320. Of course there is a glitch and she ends up in the middle of one of history’s greatest tragedies. Basically, a story about having a bad day that keeps getting worse.
The Doomsday Book is a gorgeous tapestry of a story, woven with fully dimensional characters and a deeply moving plot. It challenges and satisfies your mind and heart every moment of its 30-some hours. I never wanted it to end.
Part of Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel series, the Doomsday Book tells the story of Kivrin, an historian in the year 2048, by when time travel has been invented but not perfected. Kivrin travels back to the 13th century, but a wrinkle in time travel thrusts her in a position of terrible danger. Meanwhile, back (forward?) in 2048, her colleagues are facing their own dangers and plagues while trying to figure out a way to save her.
I've read other time travel books that were fascinating and inspiring, but this one stands out because just about every character is fully realized and multi-dimensional, whether they are in the 13th or the 21st centuries. Love and loss and longing live in all the characters, from a little girl who captures Kivrin's heart, to Kivrin's mentor who has to face his demons to help her. I cried hard during some parts of this book, and smiled my way through others, and I only do that because Connie Willis made me believe in the characters and care about what happens to them -- quite a feat when none of them lives in a world I recognize.
The narrator is nuanced and subtle, and draws you further into Kivrin's experiences. Her delivery is feeling and emotionally rich without being cloying, and she gives each character distinctive voices. She keeps you believing all the way through this long book.
Listen to this book even if you are not a fan of the time travel sub-genre. If you've already read Blackout and All Clear, like I had, it will clear up some sort of fuzzy backstory. But in any case, it's a winner in every aspect and one of my all-time favorite reads.
I like the story but did not enjoy listening to it. See below.
Dunworthy. Besides being the main character he was such a noble character. He kept fighting to save Kivrin even when everyone else was ready to give up and leave her in the past.
Yes, since I think the fault was not her reading but the way it was written. See below.
Other than another adventure in the past there is nothing to follow up.
Part of the problem with the book being read was a flaw in the writing. There are too many "he said" "she said" "he said". I gave up on listening and bought the book to read. Reading it myself I was able to skim over the "he saids" where you can't do that while listening and it really got to me. Not the readers fault but the authors.
The first ten hours of this book were very slow going, but eventually the beauty of the story and characters unfolded. For much of the story I couldn't fathom why the author gave her characters from the year 2054 the dialogue of English people from the 1950s. Eventually it became clear that it was all part of subtle humour, which probably failed to hit the mark.
What saved this book is the depth of the characters, and the emotion of the situation they faced. The author deserves praise for the research that obviously went into establishing the context of the story. Overall a worthwhile listen, although it was a ponderous story for many hours.
Yes, but I am a big fan of audio books; however, it makes you "listen" to every word and not skip ahead.
Time travel and the problems involved. And more of the series to come. I have read/listened to the others. They stand alone well, but this book does lay the foundation for the books that come after.
No! No specifics as I won't give the storyline away.
The basic storyline was intriguing. I normally love time-travel stories and historical novels. I couldn't escape the clear impression that the author had studied the socks off her time period and was trying to fit all the interesting tidbits about life in the middle ages into the story, with a tedious result. As "Science Fiction" it lacked courage to fully imagine a world in the future capable of time travel and enduring dreaded worst case scenarios, but without cell phones or any other forms of communication not already in place in 1970. Bells are used as a literary device, but it becomes pedantic about midway. Agnes seemed to painted with a single brush as self-gratifying and demanding, resulting in a rather caricatured portrayal of children, many of whom are capable of far more emotional and moral complexity--especially in crisis. Catherine grew in complexity with her relationships with Agnes and the priest however. I was glad to see that religion was not completely judged by post-Enlightenment standards, and Father Roche was a sympathetic character who invited respect by the end. The woman reading terrible passages from the bible to the patients was archaic --as though she had time traveled from a Civil War infirmary to that time! Once I figured out how to advance the speed to "1 1/2x" the tedium became more bearable. Would love to see this story rewritten with a ruthless editor with a passion for making stories move with motivation and the courage to remove even half of the "donkeys on the stage." (being details that contribute nothing to the forward movement of the story, balk and distract from the story, and draw attention away from the paid actors!) The available nominations for the Hugo award must have been paltry that year for this one to have won it.
I can understand they want to keep the main struggle a surprise, but reading a whole book about a desease epidemic in 2 times is not what I expected. The story focuses on such mundane bureaucratic nonsence of an epidemic in the future and such lame miniscule details of the past.
To be fair, I haven't finished it yet, but I've made it through way more boring stuff far easier than this - perhaps I'm just not a fan of prolonged epedemic/delerious illness; it reminds me too much of visiting the hospital.
Things that were glaringly obvious to me were painfully difficult for the characters to uncover. This made the book feel slow and drawn out.
With that said, I enjoyed the story and the characters.
If you like time travel books, give this one a try.
Narrator was fine. Story was not intriguing.
Maybe. Her later books in the series have high ratings.
I'm a Joyful Vegan/Artist-Photographer who has become passionately addicted to Audible.
It's definitely in the top 5
My favorite character is Kivrin. We experience it all through her eyes
I'm addicted to audible because work and commuting leave me little time to read. Audible makes my commute a joy. It brings the books to life, and I'm there.
No spoilers, but at the end I cried real tears
I intend to read all Connie Willis' books. She's one amazing author.