I enjoyed the first 2 books, Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. But I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the way the story dragged along in Blackout while the characters hunted each other down. I thought I would scream if I heard one more character worry about the "slippage", find one of their fellow historians, and then run away from each other. I am going to move onto All Clear and give the last book a chance.
Good character voices.
Quite some time ago I read the author's earlier book "To Say Nothing of the Dog ...". I thought that it was very clever and well written. Blackout and All Clear are a two book set that follow on from that earlier book. Together they are something over 40 hours. While they follow the same 'time travel' principle, and the story is still creative, I was disappointed overall for several reasons. Much of the drama in the story was brought about by several of the main characters struggling over what seems would have been very 'basic concepts' about time travel. I found it hard to believe that time traveling historians would not have previously contemplated such things long and hard. In addition, much of the complication was based on these same historians consistently lying to each other to protect each other from havings to worry. That also was hard to believe from professionals historians who should have been working together toward a common goal. In summary, this could have been much better if edited carefully into a single book at half the length with much of the excesses left out.
The concept itself is intriguing enough. Anyone who cares about history would love this, even with the sci-fi twist. The research had to be grueling, kudos to the author for making such details exciting and interesting at every turn.
This is not a stand alone book--it is a two volume novel which should be read as such. Go ahead and buy them both!
I really enjoyed Blackout and definitely rank it in the top 5 audiobooks I have listened to so far.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book because I am not the biggest fan of science fiction novels. Although this book uses time travel, it does so in a way which enhances the story line and you see the war from the viewpoint of someone from a generation much like our own.
This book brings the civilians of the 1940's to life and makes you feel like you are walking the burning streets of London with them. It helps you imagine what it must have been like to have to survive on rations, live in bomb shelters and be grateful that they have just found penicillin!
The battle of Dunkirk was one of my highlights. I had no idea how involved the civilian population was in the evacuation.
Katherine Kellgren is a wonderful narrator and I think the various British (& American) characters she manages to bring to life with her wonderful accents added a wonderful dimension to the story.
This book has made me want to read up on WWII and I must admit that I have been telling everyone I meet about all the interesting details which Connie Willis has managed to dig up (after many many hours of research I'm sure!).
Blackout drew me in right from the beginning and made it almost impossible to put down. Well narrated and a good story. A nice blend of fiction and nonfiction. A note to the listener - be sure to download All Clear at the same time....you will not want to wait even a moment to start the second book!
I very much enjoued this book. I am very fond of time travel stories and their intricacies.
One of the best moments in Blackout was when Polly tries to go home and finds that her portal does not work. Also when the windows of the Department store are blown out and they think they are seeing multiple bodies in the debris but find that they are really the store window mannequins.
I loved the performance. The accents were wonderful.
Yes, but it is very long and I had to break it up into several days.
People who are interested in the day to day life of WW2 London.
The book needed to be shorter. It was way too wordy. The same idea was expressed day page after page and chapter after chapter with little change. I get it already.
The performance was OK, but the accent got to be annoying after a while. Especially grating was the bratty kids. I felt like I was actually there and wanted to punch the narater.
Frustration. It just dragged on.
I realize this was book one of two, and I have not read the second one yet. I generally love reading a series. In this case, I'm not sure I will even get the second book.
Yes! The book is very boring and tedious (there is literally 5 hours of a woman taking care of poorly behaved children) and then there is no ending to the book! It just stops and basically says, "Buy my next book also to see what happens with the lady and the bad kids". I wish I had my time back!
Yeah, because the stupid thing didn't have an ending!
It's a wide open experience of the time period with vignettes of ordinary people performing extraordinary acts under the duress of circumstance. Anyone who has listened to first hand accounts by veterans or home front survivors would be entranced by this kind of storytelling that weaves some of the greatest known events into personal sensations involved in the time period.
The vivid tableau of a firsthand historian witnessing VE day becomes the centerpiece of this 'doubledecker' novel and successfully builds this story into a multi-faceted mystery with a resolution Agatha Christie could be proud of: it's a prodigious blend of chaos and common sense.
I have followed Connie Willis' Oxford Historian series and marveled at her projection of primary source research onto contemporary characters' values and moral ethics. Ms. Willis covers extremes in humanity from dire to whimsical in "The Doomsday Book" and "To Say Nothing of the Dog". In this paired novel, "Black Out" and "All Clear" she spans the same depths and heights, but they combine it into one gloriously solid work that fits seamlessly.
If you're interested in completing one of the best time travel experiences available before Oxford comes up with the real thing, read Connie Willis' paired novels "Black Out" and "All Clear".
do you think people in 2060 will really need to pick up a phone to get ahold of each other? I actually liked the historical stories that is the main part of this book, but without the time travel element, I don't think there is much to hold this book together. And a second novel to complete this farce? Please.