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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

4.0 (4243 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (1629 )
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Story
4.3 (1606 )
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 (177)
2 star
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1 star
 (34)
Performance
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  •  
    bjkim Keaau, HI United States 06-19-06
    bjkim Keaau, HI United States 06-19-06 Listener Since 2006

    bjkim

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Interesting but . . ."

    After reading the summary and the reader's reviews, I thought it was going to be a very interesting and moving story. I thought the mix of sci-fi and love story was very clever. I think the writer tried to make the characters believable. Well, with any time-travel stories, there are several logical problems and paradoxes with time-traveling in the story, such as free will vs. determinism. Some of these illogical connections in the story made it difficult for me to follow the story.

    I felt that many parts of the book were not much useful or helpful in developing the characters and plots. Much of them could have been left out, I think.

    I did find the blending time-traveling with love story was very interesting. However if you are not very much into romance novels, this may not offer any deeper levels of relationships and life.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 09-03-13
    Lulu KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    704
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    915
    154
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    217
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost Too Sad to Finish"

    It took me several years to buy and listen to this book. It just never sounded that interesting to me. I finally purchased it when it was on sale. I am very happy I did. I can't say I enjoyed the book, because it seemed obvious from the start that it would not end well. But I can say that the characters quickly caught my attention, and won my sympathy. I loved that he was not a moralistic hero. He was a very human man with very human failings struggling in a situation that no human ever faces. He learned to survive and survival wasn't always pretty.

    I became emotionally invested in the characters, even though I knew the ending would be much harder to bear. By the time I finished I wished I had stayed detached. There was nothing "feel-good" about the end to me.

    The story moved quickly, I sometimes had difficulty tracking with the time periods and who was what age when. I don't know how that could have been avoided though.

    I did not finish this book with a warm feeling of satisfaction. But I can still say it was well written, because the author took a totally unbelievable situation and made me believe in it enough that I felt the heartbreak that her wonderfully crafted characters felt.

    The narration was good. Both narrators gave very believable performances.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 06-10-13
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 06-10-13 Member Since 2012

    Wandah Panda

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    58
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    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is one star rating I have no problem with."

    In essence this book is a love story.

    An epic one.

    The paranormal aspect is used only to highlight, to enlighten and to enhance that every epic love story has a sad side.

    A dark side, a side with graves. But the good side is really good and the epic status comes to pass when one can live without the other but not thrive. I got tears in my eyes when the story started to play out and I knew.

    This author has a truly original plot. She also has a voice all her own. One I loved to share, she engaged me. She enthralled me.

    Tha narratos did an excellent job in making the story come alive for me.

    WaAr

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Dickinson, TX, United States 05-22-13
    Carol Dickinson, TX, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somebody please end the misery"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would shorten the story. I was bored with book several chapters into the story.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Breakfast with Buddha


    What three words best describe Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole ’s performance?

    Complimentary, clear, feeling


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Erie, PA, United States 02-26-13
    John Erie, PA, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story but full of bad language and immorality"
    Would you try another book from Audrey Niffenegger and/or Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole ?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Audrey Niffenegger’s story?

    The plot was good but the story used the F*** word frequently and the characters have no morals at all. It is unfortunate because the story line could be very good. As the characters mature in age the foul language gets worse so I stopped about half way through.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kit Edgewood, KY, United States 10-03-12
    kit Edgewood, KY, United States 10-03-12 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    31
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but far too long."
    Any additional comments?

    Interesting premise, good narration, and while difficult to follow the time line (for obvious reasons), very entertaining. That is, until I got to about half way through the second part. It really started to drag. I so wanted the author to end Henry and Claire's misery. When it FINALLY did end, the way it ended was so disappointing. It's not my place as a reader to dictate the final bow, and it's not that I mind being left wondering a bit. It's that this grand tale deserved a rich ending. That just didn't happen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    denise clayton, CA, United States 08-30-12
    denise clayton, CA, United States 08-30-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to follow"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I counldn't keep up with what time zone they were in


    Would you recommend The Time Traveler's Wife to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. First book I didn't listen to the end


    Was The Time Traveler's Wife worth the listening time?

    No


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DMT Santa Monica, CA United States 05-03-12
    DMT Santa Monica, CA United States 05-03-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wish I Loved It"

    First of all, Phoebe Strole should make a career out of reading audio books. She is pitch perfect.

    I am a HUGE space time continuum fan, and I really wanted to love this story...but I didn't.

    My main issues are these: 1) I understand that Henry had no control over where and when he went, but I found all the jumping around tiresome after a while. 2) I wish the author would have chosen EITHER bi-locating or time traveling for Henry. There was no sense to what was happening. 3) *Spoiler alert* Having Henry come back at after he had been killed just didn't make any sense at all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebel Burleson, TX, United States 10-31-11
    Rebel Burleson, TX, United States 10-31-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    143
    7
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    1
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    Story
    "Touching and Heart Warming/Heart Wrenching Story"

    This was my FIRST audible purchase. The only reason I dind't give Time Traveler's Wife 5 stars overall is the book's reminiscence of punk music genre throughout. I've never been a punk fan, and found it sometimes difficult to connect with those references. But the story as a whole was extremely touching. The loving relationship that develops between the primary characters is unique. His peculiar condition presents some most interesting scenarios, and I really like the way Niffenegger approached time travel. Making it a genetic mutation rather than a technical advance added a level of familiarity to the story, brought it to the level of us non-techies. Thoroughly enjoyable yet tragic story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Ellington APO, AE USA 07-28-11
    Laurie Ellington APO, AE USA 07-28-11 Member Since 2010

    musicalmom1

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Sappy, unfulfilling, disappointing"

    Once you understand the central device of the book and get past the "that's a cool idea" moment, the book does not deliver anything more interesting than that.

    I felt she could have gone much further with the story, but instead stayed on the well-trodden ground of this boring love relationship. Sure, it was refracted by the jumbled timeline, but was ultimately as unfulfilling as a meal of iceberg lettuce and white bread.

    Furthermore, I found nothing charismatic, interesting or even likeable in the central characters.

    If you like more literary writing (Geraldine Brooks, Barbara Kingsolver), skip this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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