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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

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  •  
    Mountain Mom Truckee, Ca 06-05-10
    Mountain Mom Truckee, Ca 06-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    "Not my thing"

    Too weird. Kept waiting and waiting and waiting...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-28-10
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-28-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    Overall
    "Delightful in every way."

    On one level, Ms Neffenegger's book is about Henry -- a time traveling librarian -- and his artist wife, Clair, who he first met on a jump into the past when she was still a toddler in her parents privileged home.
    Even the most casual reader will find great good humor and charm in these people. Time travel is non-voluntary. At any moment, Henry can find himself in an unknown date and time. When he time- travels, it is not possible to bring clothes or money. So people often panic when he pops into the scene, nude and defenseless.
    To cope with the problems of time travel, Henry learns to fight like a tiger and trains to outrun those who would harm him while he is on a journey. In the grip of the space-time continuum, and the harsh reality of genetics, Henry and Clair form a deep and unbreakable bond of love and trust. Even death cannot destroy their shared devotion. I was charmed by the poetry of their love and thrilled with openness of their love-making.
    To me, The Time Traveler's Wife was a truly wonderful listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 05-08-10
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 05-08-10 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Great premise, not as moving as it could have been"

    Not normally a fan of love stories, but the premise of this one intrigued me. I liked the idea of a couple that could "meet" twice in different years, each meeting the first for one person but not the other.

    Niffenegger does a skillful job managing the strange chronology of a time travel story without confusing the reader, conveying both the moments of poignancy and unexpected ordinariness that would emerge from a decades-long relationship with such an issue at its heart. Sometimes Henry's coming unstuck in time leads to interesting moments of insight, sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's frightening. She also gives Henry and Clare distinct, believable voices, as she does with the secondary characters. And I found the ending moving.

    However, the book could have used more tension. Henry and Clare aren't terribly absorbing characters (why must the young Henry renounce being a bad boy so quickly?), and the fate of their relationship is never in much doubt. They fall in love and stay together because, well, they're in love and together in the future. Nor is enough done with the book's supporting characters. There are flashes of drama, but they aren't developed enough to add much emotional weight to the main story. And some plot choices are rather unconvincing -- why, for example, does Henry's condition make so little apparent splash in the scientific community? The author makes an attempt to wrap up some loose ends in the closing chapters, but her treatment of them feels cursory.

    Niffenegger is a capable writer and I did like this book, but found it a little sloppy and underwhelming for such a widely-hyped novel. The audio readers did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steamer.ssf Baytown, TX, United States 04-24-10
    steamer.ssf Baytown, TX, United States 04-24-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    18
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    "Could not finish"

    This was the first in over 300 audio books I could not finish. I found it very slow moving, characters uninspiring and unnecessarily vulgar. I would not recommend.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Glenview, IL, USA 04-16-10
    Michael Glenview, IL, USA 04-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The time traveler's wife"

    Outstanding! Just loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Wu 04-08-10
    Allison Wu 04-08-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    17
    6
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    "Story is good but Narration is a little confusing."

    I guess I'm more comfortable with the kind of narration that each role has the same voice throughout the book. This book keeps changing narrators because of the different views of the roles so the voices of each role differ by the narrator and it's kind of confusing for me, especially when the story itself has a very complex timeline...(well, it's a time traveler's story..) I think this could be dealt better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Marshall, VA, USA 04-06-10
    Catherine Marshall, VA, USA 04-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
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    Overall
    "Oh Hum."

    I have enjoyed all my downloads (usually classics like the Fountainhead or the Count of Monte Christo with a sprinkle of fun in between, short novels like Pi or the Gospel According to Biff or The Help). This was a story I could not connect with and neither its narration or story line (was there one? I am unsure...) kept my mind from drifting off. Perhaps I will give it a go in print but not any time soon, there are too many other wonderful audible titles to choose from to listen to on my long DC commute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 03-30-10
    Beth 03-30-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    5
    Overall
    "Powerful love story"

    The first few minutes are not indicative of the quality of this book. Keep going and you will be hooked. My husband enjoyed it as much as I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glorianne Broomfield, CO, USA 03-19-10
    Glorianne Broomfield, CO, USA 03-19-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Rich and enrapturing with an indie touch"

    I did not expect to like this book. Maybe enjoy it, but guiltily, in the way I enjoy chick flicks and chick lit. But I did enjoy it immensely and was thrilled by the little touches that show the writer is more punk than easy listening. The characters, for example, love punk music and attend concerts. The main character is an artist, creating paper-molded masterpieces. Above all, however, the story, with its skips through time, its nonlinear resonances and its consistent characters amid an inconsistent time structure, is somewhat challenging but so worth it. In some ways, the audiobook may be easier than the book, since the male and female characters are voiced by different narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Yakima, WA, USA 02-25-10
    Eric Yakima, WA, USA 02-25-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    This is a well crafted story which can be easily listened to by both men and women, but I would not recommended it for younger persons, under 18 years of age, as there are some adult matters.
    I actually saw the movie first, but liked it so much I bought the print book and this audiobook, and they are both as enjoyable as the movie!! I recommend this story very much!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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