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.
"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)
I enjoyed this book overall. The time travel angle was unique and new and utterly believable. Clare and Henry were both people I liked for the most part and I truly enjoyed the literary references throughout the book. I agree with a previous reviewer that the use of the C word was jarring and took me out of the story each time I heard it.
I also struggled with the last quarter of the book. The very end was lovely and up lifting, but the last quarter before that was noticeably different in tone than the first 3/4 of the book and felt awkward and unnecessarily negative and dark.
Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it - with a warning.
Like many other reviewers, I found myself riveted to the story. I kept putting off listening to it until I knew I'd have enough time in the car to settle back into the story line and listen for awhile. I LOVED the whole concept, and the love story between Henry and Clare was woven adeptly around the startling premise of time travel. LOVEDLOVEDLOVED it. Contrary to some reviewers, I didn't think the occasional "bad" language was out of place. That's how people talk in the real world. (though her use of the "C" word from Clare didn't ring true to me.) I also thought the descriptions of the sex/lovemaking scenes were a good combination of graphic and tender and that didn't bother me in the least.
BUT- eventually Laurel Lefkow's narration of Clare's perspective began to grate on my nerves almost beyond endurance. All of her male voices sounded the same, and they all sounded forced and awkward. I got a mental picture of a woman with her chin on her chest, forcing her voice as low as possible- and as a result, none of the male characters had any notable inflection, or changes in tone or expression. I found myself wishing that her part would be soon over- talking back to my mp3 player saying "PUT THE GUY BACK ON!!!" It's for this reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5.
Other than that, I absolutely loved this book. This is actually the first review I've written- done because I enjoyed it that much. I was left wishing there was more- wishing the story could go on, sad that it was ended.
I danced around getting this book, but the other reviews were just too good, so I down loaded it. It's a book you can't put down and then your sad when it comes to an end. The caracters got into your soul until you felt what they felt. The readers were the icing on a well written book. I have been a member for 3 years and have heard some very good books, but this is the first I have reviewed, I liked it so much.
This is a 5-star read categorized as science fiction. However, Audrey Niffenneger's writing is so intelligent, characters so well developed and the plot so compelling I could not put down this "genie in a bottle". It has it all, a story, characters, humor, love and the heart rending sadness that lingers for days. This is a MUST READ. I will not go see the movie (coming out in Aug. '09) as there is no way it can capture this wondrous, detailed and never dull read as we walk through the lives of two people, and those they love, trapped by something which cannot be tamed - time.
Brilliantly narrated, with a compelling story and rich characters. Absolutely fell in love with this book. I'm not much for romance or sappy love stories (Nicholas Sparks makes me cringe), but this book managed to weave a love story from a fantastical concept, mysterious plot line, and genuinely interesting characters. Gorgeous work by both the author and narrators.
I love books that are character driven.. this is one of those books. I enjoyed each point of view and loved getting to know the ins and outs of each one. Bursts of action followed by long periods of inner dialogue... keeps you guessing. I saw the movie before listening to the book and as usual, the book is vastly better!
So, it does seem somewhat pointless to write a review about a book that so many others have already written about. My hope is that other people will also write purposeless reviews, so that if their taste seems to match mine, I can follow their recommendations.
Time Traveler's Wife is really a love story, in fact, awfully similar to the original "Love Story," with some time traveling literary license. Problem for me is, the characters are somewhat unbelievable, and the story is way too long. I say this despite the fact that I live on audiobooks, and happily devour 100 hour sagas on a regular basis. This one is purposeless at times, with rare artsy descriptions and digressions that are annoying and seem completely separate from the rest of the narrative. Other than these, the author's main descriptive power seems to be in the endless insider naming of streets and bars in Chicago, most of which are mispronounced by the narrators. In fact, this is also a major downpoint to the book; audible and other publishers are making millions on these books, but the narrators can't seem to garner enough effort to actually investigate words they're unfamiliar with. Street names, along with words like "tra-PEE-zoid" and "vi-CO-din" appear with alarming regularity, and are distracting from the listen. Otherwise, it was ok, but I am confused by the rave reviews.
This book was very well written,and the narration, done from the perspective of the two main characters,and so with two different voices,was completely engaging. I feel like Henry and Clare Detamble are two old friends. This is a story of love and separation, but also makes time travel seem feasible. For the two weeks it took me to read it during my commute, I actually looked forward to going to work!
I love books.
I liked this book when I read it, and enjoyed it again when I listened to it. My only complaint about the narration is that some of the Chicago places and streets were mispronounced. If you are not from the Chicagoland area, this is probably a non-issue. Very enjoyable overall.
I know every book cannot be all smiles and joy. This one had a lot of happiness, but a lot of sadness mixed in. I was honestly baffled by the complex nature of his time traveling, but it was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.
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