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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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  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2006

    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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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Presque Isle, ME, United States 03-31-12
    Cathy Presque Isle, ME, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2010
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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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith United States 02-04-12
    Meredith United States 02-04-12
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    "Adored it!"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 06-24-11
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 06-24-11 Member Since 2008

    Holly

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    "Inconsistent"

    This book started out well. Henry, the time traveler, happens upon Claire as a child and she becomes his stability factor throughout his time travel. They marry and we live with them. The concept is intriguing. Throughout the first half of the book, the author handles the concept extremely well. The reader gets used to the back and forth nature of years as Henry travels for periods of time and Claire waits. They age and life progresses. The novel moves forward at a decent pace with the plot developing nicely. Then we get to the second half of the book. I don't know exactly what happened here except that the author didn't know how to wind it up and began giving us fuller. I don't care about how to make paper. I don't need the sexual content (and neither did the book). I don't need long passages in different languages. None of that moved the plot along and none of added to any character development. In fact, it did the opposite. It served to demonstrate that both Claire and Henry are self absorbed, egocentric individuals who care for nothing except themselves. As the book reached the last 25%, the author attempts to pull the threads back together and in fact does some very stunning writing that actually draws the reader into some of the real emotion of the relationship between the two. But it is inconsistent. I nearly didn't finish it because it got slow and cumbersome, which is a shame since the beginning showed such promise. The narrators read well, but couldn't seem to manage consistent pronunciations. I don't know what that was about. It was irritating. If you purchase the book, read the first half and then fast forward to the last 25%. You won't miss too much. And beware. This book is dead serious and doesn't have a lot of humor. I suggest readers be in a melancholy mood to read it. In the end, it is depressing and sad and as is always true, broken hearts are ugly and not at all "romantic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda albion, CA, USA 11-21-09
    Amanda albion, CA, USA 11-21-09
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    "A bit confusing"

    The story is engaging but this might be better read from a book. Two narrators were used and each one reads both the male and female parts. This was confusing because the story is complex and the characters voices and in essence their demeanor, kept changing throughout. The slow easy masculine voice of Henry read by William Hope is replaced by a nervous, edgy and faster speaking Henry as read by Laurel Lefkow. Ms Lefkow's male and female voices were hard to discern in some places, making the story difficult to follow. All in all this book made it really apparent just how much the narrator can infuse character into a story. I suppose choosing the narrator is almost as important as the story you choose to read. If you want a truly good Audiobook try one of Steig Larson's.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah LubbockUS Minor Outlying Islands 10-26-09
    Sarah LubbockUS Minor Outlying Islands 10-26-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Great for character lovers."

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Austin Texas 08-18-09
    Helen Austin Texas 08-18-09 Member Since 2007

    Reading Raven

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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Southold, NY, USA 08-12-09
    Judy Southold, NY, USA 08-12-09 Member Since 2008
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    "It was a lovely journey"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 08-08-09
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 08-08-09 Member Since 2008

    I love books.

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    "Good read, good listen"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 08-06-09
    Jennifer austin, TX, United States 08-06-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why?"

    I just don't understand. It's not that time traveling paradoxes are so confusing- it's just that I do not get the point of this book. The characters were weird. The relationships between them were bizarre. The ending was creepy. Nothing and no one was likeable here, and all I could do when I finally put it down was think, "why did I just waste all that time?" I do always try to say something nice about any book, and so I will say that the writing itself is actually pretty good. The author has talent, but the story... I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr. D. M. J. Bass
    UK
    11/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So much better than the film!"
    If you could sum up The Time Traveler's Wife in three words, what would they be?

    Brilliant engaging lovely


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It would be a bit much to listen to all at once, but in my free time I didn't put it down !


    Any additional comments?

    This book as read brilliantly, I loved the film, but now in comparison it seems week after reading the book with I followed with keen interest a range of emotions and always thinking 'just one more chapter'
    I would definitely recommend this read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • c
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Amazing story"

    I absolutely loved this audiobook. I hadn't got around to reading it and had be told how wonderful it was. At first I thought the jumps in time would be confusing, but it flowed so well and I fell in love with the characters straight away. I could be convinced this story was real and never wanted it to end. The two narrators worked perfectly together. I giggled, sighed and cried. I even made my car journeys longer just to keep listening. I will be picking up the book next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ann
    HUNTINGDON, United Kingdom
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"
    Would you listen to The Time Traveler's Wife again? Why?

    I would defiantly listen to The Time Traveler's wife again, having a beautiful story read out to you as you draw is incredibly relaxing the time just flows by and you find your ideas smoothly flowing along with the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't really have a favourite character I loved the way that they interacted together, it was there togetherness that brought out the best parts of them!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Enjoy is a funny word, I laughed out loud when he first meets Claire in his time stream because it was such a real response! and I almost cried (except for the fact I was on a train) when you realise that he knows when the end is and tries to protect Claire


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I'm time poor and so sitting for 17 hours and listening to a book is something I can't really afford, equally its a very long time! I did listen to it in fairly long stints because once you get into the flow of a story its hard to break off.


    Any additional comments?

    When I was younger my mother read to me and brought me book and tapes which I wore down through listening to so often. It wonderful that I can still listen to 'adult' books because you get so much from somebody's voice telling a story and this story in particular with two voices is just beautiful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ellie
    DUNOON, United Kingdom
    3/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprise"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Time Traveler's Wife to be better than the print version?

    Thought I would be confused with it jumping about in time-but it flowed ,beautifully.


    What does Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Characterization,reading the book may have confused me who was speaking.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sigrin
    Valdisere, France
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful lovestory"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Time Traveler's Wife to be better than the print version?

    Do not know, but the film I thought was good until I read the book and realised they had only told a third of the story.


    Which character – as performed by Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole – was your favourite?

    Loved them both equally


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I was anxious how this book would pan out with all the time travelling but Ms Niffenegger tells a beautiful and emotional story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kriszta
    Rottum, Netherlands
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice surprise"
    Where does The Time Traveler's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in the top ten.


    Have you listened to any of Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, I haven't, but I found that both of them did a wonderful job narrating the story. As I understand, reading the book it might take a while to figure out who is talking at the moment - with the different voices in the audio book it was of course no problem.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There is a film, but the audio book is much better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • wendy
    Sutherland, United Kingdom
    4/25/13
    Overall
    "Worth a read"

    Good narration and good story , very well read and pleasant to listen to .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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