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The Time Traveler's Wife | [Audrey Niffenegger]

The Time Traveler's Wife

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
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Publisher's Summary

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

Clare and Henry's story unfolds from both points of view, depicting the effects of time travel on their marriage and their passionate love for each other. They attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals: steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

©2003 Audrey Niffenegger; ©2005 HighBridge Company; (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • Alex Award Winner, 2004

"Highly original first novel....Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes....It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with the impression of life's riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5087 )
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  •  
    Deborah 09-19-09
    Deborah 09-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
    ratings
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    2
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    "Did we listen to the same book?????"

    "Fun" "dreamy" "well read"!?.... This book was painful in so many ways. The concept was intriguing and the collection of characters was great. BUT... the author could have done so much more to create tension between the contrasting intimacy of Clare/Henry and his disconnect with so much of life trapped in linear time. Also - Henry's nudity problem in time travel was so tedious and repetitive and distracting I could hardly stand it. Added NOTHING to the story.

    The author's descriptions of the relationship between Clare and Henry alternated between sublime,poetic at some points, and utterly crude at others. One of the terms Clare used in describing her own body is so viscerally pejorative that I stopped liking her then and there. And what was up with the "love scene" in the kitchen with Gomez and Clare? I actually really liked Gomez until this jarringly ugly scene.

    As for the readers - Clare was tone deaf; Henry was gratingly nasal and too often sounded bored and condescending. The biggest problem I had with them though was the amazing frequency of mispronounced words. Where were the editors???? In one chapter, Henry pronounces a word incorrectly the first go-round, then corrects it later on.... Huh? Go back and edit the damned first mispronunciation! It seemed so lazy.

    53 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria farmington hills, MI, USA 08-10-09
    Gloria farmington hills, MI, USA 08-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    3
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    "This is a must listen!"

    I listen to my audiobooks to help me fall asleep at night. With this book, I was fighting sleep and staying awake until 3:00 a.m. to hear more. Very well written, fast moving, an unpredictable and enjoyable read. This is one I'll listen to again and again! A big thank you to the author.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 06-27-13
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    53
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    "Not what I expected - VERY good though"

    If you take a look at my other reviews, you'll find that I generally read Sci-Fi and military fiction books. I grabbed this book based upon its title - without doing any research or reading any reviews about it. I have been utterly surprised. This book is soft sci-fi, we accept things because that is the way they are presented. Henry's time traveling is never fully explained, in my opinion, but it doesn't matter. This book is less about the time traveling and more about the effects of it and how it affects thelives and marriage of the two main characters. Well read, well written and I would buy it again even knowing that it wasn't in its strictest sense my preferred genre.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A truly beautiful love story"

    I had this book on my wish list for a long time because I was so intrigued with the reviews, but the movie came out before I had a chance to read it and I foolishly went because after all it had Rachel McAdams. The movie was such a disappointment that I nearly gave up on trying the book but I am so glad I gave it a chance. The book is so wonderful by contrast. Probably some of it has to do with how easy it is in a book to indicate subtle shifts in time that are just confusing on screen. I think more of it has to do with how a book can delve into the inner reactions and feelings of the characters in more detail. Niffenegger has worked out the issues of time travel in a very satisfactory way. Once you've accepted the premise that leads to Henry's particular problem, all the following consequences are very believably dealt with. And while the particulars of Henry's and Clare's story may be typical in a lot of ways, the time travel aspect gives it all a special poignancy. This is a deep meditation on love and loss and hope for those who are willing to give themselves up to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HeatherFeuer Presque Isle, ME USA 03-31-12
    HeatherFeuer Presque Isle, ME USA 03-31-12 Member Since 2015

    Never too old to try something new

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Forget the Movie!"

    This book is an absolutely MUST listen for anyone who loves a good love story with some flights of fantasy thrown in for good measure. The story is captivating, funny, poignant... and probable.

    I saw the movie trailers for this story and thought about seeing the movie, but when I saw it available on Audible, I decided to give the book a listen first. Now I don't think I ever want to see the movie. I simply don't believe it could ever be as good as the performance given by Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole. Berman and Strole don't just narrate the story, they bring Henry and Claire to life and it is Henry and Claire telling their own story in their own voices.

    I can't imagine a better way to tell this story than through these two voices, so well chosen and well suited to their characters. I can't imagine a better introduction to audible books!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Austin Texas 08-18-09
    Helen Austin Texas 08-18-09 Member Since 2007

    Reading Raven

    HELPFUL VOTES
    263
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    Overall
    "Bittersweet and haunting!"

    This book will stay with you for a long time as the characters are well developed and the story line is great. It is a "power of love" book that draws you in...and you worry and wonder about Clare and Henry. There is great sadness in the story which is the heartbreaking part and a fascinating love story which is joyful and true. Niffenegger takes you away with this book and the narrators did a splendid job too.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 08-08-09
    Laura 08-08-09

    RETIRED LIVING IS WONDERFUL

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    54
    6
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    "Robert and Laura"

    Well, well, well, I have been an avid reader of fantasy/sf since 1952 and I believed I had read the best and there was nothing that would capture and hold my attention again as stories and books did in my early years. I was captivated by the wonderful people and their lives. I was in love again while at the same time I was contemplating my own mortality. What a wonderful surprise
    Thank you Miss Audrey

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mynt Washington, DC 08-01-09
    Mynt Washington, DC 08-01-09 Member Since 2005

    Mynt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "More than just a gimmick - Very enjoyable"

    I adored this book and got caught up in the characters and their complexity. What I most liked about the book is that they took an interesting concept - time traveling - and wove a great story around it. It was a robust and complicated story that would not have worked without the time travel concept and also went well beyond that. I found all of the characters including the supporting ones to be imperfect, intriguing and real. I wanted to know more about each one of them. Finally Niffenegger uses just the right amount of foreshadowing in her book. The readers were delightful. It may be easier to listen to versus read as the narrators give you vocal cues to anchor the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb Irmo, SC, United States 01-24-09
    Deb Irmo, SC, United States 01-24-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Keeps you wondering"

    This is an amazing book that keeps you wondering. I have fallen in love with Henry and Claire and can't tell you how many times I have listened to this book. Beautiful, tender, heart warming and heart breaking...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 10-04-08
    Louise WINTON, CA, USA 10-04-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    51
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    11
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    Overall
    "Simply Wonderful"

    I almost passed on this novel and glad I did not. Henry is married to Claire and he visits her at different stages of her life.
    Within this novel there is humor,sensitive love and tenderness. Most of all the experience is beautiful within this story. And you begin to wish you could travel within time. It seems so very possible to attain this talent.
    I found the narrators to be very very good and hope to find other books they narrate and the characters are from the beginning very well developed.
    Come April I'll most likely be revisiting The Time Travelers Wife

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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