As a fan of hard-science style SciFi, I was fascinated by the 14th century perspective on technology. Crichton's descriptions of the advancements of that age were astonishing. I found myself on the internet doing additional research on several historical events before I finished the novel. Well written by Crichton, and well read by the narrator. I enjoyed every minute of the 15 hours.
I like time travel novels/audiobooks, IF they are done well. One of the fallacies with this genre is that MANY authors sink into the bottomless mire of explanation as to how their version of time travel "works." Surely the reader wants to know the scientific details, right?
Look at the movie "Looper." Not a single deep word about time travel theory. You only see the time machine once. ONCE. In a movie about time travel. And it WORKS. Even with a few loopholes in the movie, it STILL is a very good story.
Then, there's Timeline. Time travel is like a poorly aligned FAX MACHINE? Basically, we're cheap copies that are worse each time trip, with blood vessels that eventually don't line up, and further trips in time develop internal fault lines within our bodies that eventually kill us?
Geez, Mike. Come ON.
When the time travel explanation in novels, as in Timeline, is a bad one, and leaves holes, issues, and sounds silly, the author has just disqualified all of their hard work.
Why am I frustrated? Because once Crichton takes us back in time, the novel SHINES!
He captures the true feel of the medieval period, from warfare to midst, from beggars to kings, Timeline's period history is a joy to read, and leaves one rejecting the modern day world. Wonderful. Descriptive. BELIEVABLE.
In fact, the more I read/listened, the more I wished that Michael had covered time travel by stating, "The portal swallowed them. Darkness, then blinding light. And suddenly...they were THERE!"
Sorry Michael. Jurassic Park, you NAILED.
This, not so much.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
In Michael Crichton's Timeline, he uses the principles of quantum physics to take characters back in time to key points in human history. Robert Doniger has created a technology that can travel between multiple, almost identical dimensions to bring people to other times in history. His goal is to create theme parks, and he's invested billions in the technology and in archaeological investigations at sites that will become tourist destinations in his grand scheme. Everything begins to fall apart when some of his scientists travel back in time too many times, leaving clues that are found by the modern-day archaeologists. Professor Edward Johnston pays a visit to Doniger to find out what's going on. He's sent back in time to 13th century France so that he can see for himself, but something goes wrong and he's trapped there. His team is recruited by Doniger to go back and rescue him, and they have 37 hours to do so. Of course, everything goes wrong once they travel back in time and it comes down to the last few seconds before we find out if they get back out.
Like many of Mr. Crichton's other books, Timeline takes a topic of contemporary research and creates an alarmist premise around it. Similar to other books about time travel, this one creates situations that just can't be explained away; no amount of logic applied to it makes sense. In spite of that weakness, Timeline is an exciting romp through history that kept me turning the pages to find out how everything was resolved.
John Bedford Lloyd did a good job with the delivery of the story
I admit that the movie adaption to this story is crap. BUT, I had faith that Crichton being such a smart guy, could provide the detail and character enhancment that the movie so sorely lacked. I am happy to say that the unabridged version exceeds my expectations. The characters were real and easilly visual. The story had lots of punch, while still slowing down for a convincing backstory. A few times while hiking the story actually made me stop and curse. I was very much inside the story. I cared about the people. Loved some of them, hated some of them. I had opinions throughout of what I would do in that situation. I was involved! I cared.
It's not often that a story comes alive like this. I find myself sad that it had to end. If it had had another dozen disks, I would have been totally okay with that. I'm sad only that it had to end. It's too bad that the movie didn't capture the story I heard here. But that's Hollywood for ya.
Great book. It combines perfectly history, science, and science fiction. The story looks very believable. Attention to details makes this book a most read. I have bought the hardcover, the e-book and the audible version. All are very good. I really like to read while listening to the audible version. I have noticed some differences between the audible version and the book. But this makes audible more interesting.
Writing was poor, story was worse. Really bad. Plot lines dropped, major logical failures, predictable. Narrator wasn't awful given the atrocious material. Nothing like the quality of other crichton books. I don't think he actually wrote this.