Connie Willis's time travel epic chronicles the experiences of three twenty-first century historians in early 1940s England. The protagonists have travelled back more than a century to explore wartime England and find themselves both unable to return and increasingly anxious that their actions are, contrary to theory, altering the course of history.
Set chiefly in London during the Blitz, the novel contains some utterly gripping passages describing conditions as the city is bombed, night after terrible night. The native Londoners ("contemps" to our heroes) are portrayed vividly and the true horror of the events is effectively and movingly described.
If the protagonists occasionally come across as naive and vacillating - well, they are university students, and their youth may also explain their apparent ability to function for days at a time without sleep. These are quibbles - the more substantive complaint is that the novel (itself only the first half of the story) is too long, obsessively following every minute of every day of the characters' experiences (or seeming to, at times). This, of course, is a widespread fault in this age of 1,000 page shelf-breakers.
My only other complaint is with Katherine Kellgren's narration, which is, at least at times, too breathlessly emotional for this listener's taste. However, none of those faults stopped me listening to the end and neither will they stop me downloading All Clear when a credit is available.
I like science fiction and time travel. I bought this book hoping for some of both. Turns out it really a historical fiction novel with a smattering of science fiction. Thats OK though - I enjoyed the historical aspect of it. What I didn't like was the fact that the book should have been about 1/2 as long. So much of the dialog was repetitive it became annoying. A good editor would have made the book much better.
What i also don't like is that there is no conclusion or wrapping up of the story. The book does not stand on its own. If you want the conclusion of the story, you must listen/read ALL CLEAR.
The performance was very good.
This was another good and interesting read from Connie Willis, continuing in the tradition of Domesday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. A very interesting take on historical fictions, exposing the reader to the suspense, drama and fear of the Blitz in WWII London. I enjoyed the reader and the various character voices she brought to life.
The only beef on the book, however, is the same one that many other reviewers have expressed. This is not a two-part book. This is one book split into two and the buyer should be prepared to be buy both parts or face the reality of listening to a good cliffhanger without much sense of closure.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
I simply couldn't stay with it. I kept waiting for it to get started.
This book could have used a good editor. The 18 hour story could have been told in 6 with no loss of character development. And the worst part is that at the end of 18 hours nothing has been resolved, all the characters are in the exact positions they were on page 20 stuck in the past with no way home. A bore from start to finish and no resolution till the end of the second book almost 40 hours later.
I am addicted to Audible!! I have my earphones in listening to my books all day. Others comments sometimes influence my purchases.
I always finish a book. ALWAYS! But this is the one to receive the honor of being deleted without completion. The premise is interesting, but it missed the mark.
For some reason I really hate books where the protagonist is stupid. And this case of 'students from the future' would have failed out of any grade school in the world. Since when is the color or a skirt more important that the buildings that will be destroyed. Specially if you plan on being in that building.
And if you want to contact the future, send a letter, with an 'open on' date (Back to the Future style).
I was rather hoping they'd all be killed.
This is not a novel. It is half of a novel that should have been condensed down to about 5 chapters. It takes until the end of the book for any genuine suspense to build and then the book suddenly ends.
It honestly felt like someone's college history research paper turned into a novel. It seems really well researched, but very little of the historical detail adds anything to the story.
The premise, of time traveling historians visiting WWII England, is good. The author provides more than enough interesting detail about life during WWII, and too much intrusive time travel tropes that are not needed to carry the story. In fact it is hard to find a story or to follow it. Which is unfortunate given the great material the writer had to work with.
Need I say more? How about Repetitious Aggravating Maddening Extremely Boring Moaning. She repeats almost verbatim the same whining conversations and idiotic choices made by the characters over and over and over and over and over and over... Yet I did listen all the way through (mostly). And still want to know what happened in All Clear. I just do not know if I can make myself listen to an even longer book which according to other reviewers is more of the same. Spoiler anyone? The narrator by the way is excellent. 5 Stars to Katherine Kellgren. And to Connie Willis, "Girl, you need a better editor or perhaps need to listen to the one you have." I am not an editor but I have read and listened to a huge number of books in my life and really Connie this one is just not OK. Good story but execution poor.