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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 (5240 )
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4.3 (2480 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Teri Concord, NH, USA 07-22-08
    Teri Concord, NH, USA 07-22-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    4
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    "Clever and intriguing"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Pittsburgh, PA, USA 06-27-08
    Sharon Pittsburgh, PA, USA 06-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the book"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Clackamas, OR, USA 05-30-06
    James Clackamas, OR, USA 05-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    Overall
    "Time Traveler's Wife"

    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.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony 07-25-09
    Tony 07-25-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Star-crossed lovers trapped in time"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith 02-04-12
    Meredith 02-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Sarah LubbockUS Minor Outlying Islands 10-26-09
    Sarah LubbockUS Minor Outlying Islands 10-26-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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
  •  
    Lisa 08-27-09
    Lisa 08-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "purposeless review"

    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.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Southold, NY, USA 08-12-09
    Judy Southold, NY, USA 08-12-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2009

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Crystal Lumberton, TX, United States 08-05-09
    Crystal Lumberton, TX, United States 08-05-09
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    "I could have used a sunnier ending.."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • 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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. D Corry-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!

    2 of 2 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bella
    Somerset, 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.


    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kuriszuta
    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.


    1 of 1 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 .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flint
    7/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Disappointing"

    It was a bit of an ordeal, it is far too long, probably about 10 hours too long! I found the female voice very difficult to listen to which didn't help. There wasn't much of a story and it was very chaotic due to the different voices and jumping around in time. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. When I eventually got to the miserable and depressing end of the book I couldn't care less about the characters, I just wanted it to be over.

    I will NEVER revisit this book, it is the worst and most disappointing book I've ever bought from audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine
    New Malden, United Kingdom
    7/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent and perfect. An exceptional audiobook."
    What did you like most about The Time Traveler's Wife?

    Both narrators worked together extremely well, the story is so well crafted and there really aren't enough ways to say that this really is an amazing audiobook.

    Get it. You will not regret it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret Canning
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Time Travellers Wife Some thoughts"

    I liked the concept although I found myself flitting between continuing with the book or giving it up Some parts describing the time travel were 'samey'
    However worth pursuing to finish to find out how the love story would pan out for Claire and how the author would
    leave us with the 'time travel' concept
    I would recommend this book to other female readers
    I listened to this book on the recommendation of a friend (female)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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