The first quarter is slow going with two-dimensional characters brought out in bewildering numbers, only to provide background for a plot too quickly revealed. It gets better and provides some insight into the Holocaust and current events in Europe and the Middle East. But hey, this is supposed to be a spy thriller. On that ground, it wobbles slightly then peters out. Better than some on the market but can't hold a candle to Le Carre' or many of the other tried and true.
Plenty of insider experiences vault this life story over more hurdles than most Hollywood stars face on or off the screen. Sidney Poitier's childhood and early life would make a decent movie but even Superman as director couldn't reveal the steel in this man's soul. Poitier's rich voice delivers one of the best autobiographies to come along in ages.
The narration of this book weaves between so many different realities that the reader senses first-hand what chaos the time traveler and his wife must experience on a regular basis. At first, it was a challenge to sort out what was happening, to whom and when. But a few pages into the book, I just relaxed and let it roll. I won't give away the plot. It is much too fine a book for that. I'll just say it is a bittersweet tale of enduring love that also contains surprise, humor and insight. The book lingered in my mind for weeks, which is my own way of determining whether a piece of writing is excellent or just another quick literary fix. After you put "The Time Traveler's Wife" down, you may have very different views on recent genetic experiments.
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