For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong. When an accident leaves Kivrin trapped in one of the deadliest eras in human history, the two find themselves in equally gripping - and oddly connected - struggles to survive.
Deftly juggling stories from the 14th and 21st centuries, Willis provides thrilling action - as well as an insightful examination of the things that connect human beings to each other.
©1992 Connie Willis; (P)2000 Recorded Books
"Ms. Willis displays impressive control of her material; virtually every detail introduced in the early chapters is made to pay off as the separate threads of the story are brought together." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope....The best work yet from one of science fiction's best writers." (The Denver Post)
I wasn't expecting a great deal from this book, but ended up completely bowled over. What a nice surprise. Great characters, interesting and well written story. At the very beginning I wasn't too sure about the narration, but soon, as you get into the book, the reader begins to develop her characterisations marvellously. The reading adds greatly to the listen. Well done Jenny Sterlin... I'll certainly look out for more read by you!
The time travel component of this book was intriguing. The details about the modern-day epidemic dragged on.
More about time travel and the heroine's experience in the past; less about the modern-day epidemic.
Well-developed characters. I liked Mr. Dunsworthy's thoughts, which he kept to himself. Funny!
Doomsday Book would be an excellent movie. Lots of material to work with.
I could tell that the narrator was British by the endearing way she sometimes didn't pronounce her Rs when imitating an American accent. She was perfect for this book, with a voice that seemed to capture the essence of the Middle Ages.
Really enjoyed Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis - possibly because I enjoy books on WW2 and particularly The Blitz. Unfortunately this one could not hold me and I found it tedious and repetitive with an almost static story line. I kept going as long as I could but decided that life is to short for this and gave up a third of the way through - not often I do this! Perhaps an abridged version cut down to about 10 hours would be palatable
Can't think of any - sorry!
The story is intensely interesting, funny in the right places, and deeply affecting. Connie Willis is a masterful writer with a quirky sense of humor, a love of history, and a deep enjoyment of Christmastime. The reader makes the characters come to life, with voices that match up with what I imagined reading the book in print.
Listening to the story brings out new details and a greater sense of longing and sorrow than I had noticed reading it, as the characters stuck in the present (our future) and the Middle Ages wish to go home, wish to help, and are thwarted in both; but ultimately the story is about love, redemption, and finding your way home.
It's long, it's tragic, it's funny, it's hard to stop listening.
One of the best books I've listened to on Audible.com. Engrossing, well written and terribly sad (as it should be). There are some slight problems with believing it is based in 2060, but given the book was written in 1992 these aren't too glaring and don't spoil the story at all.
I think Kivrin - her strength, humanity and passion. Father Roche as well
No. Although it totally sucked me in, it was an intense read and I needed to come up for air!
Enjoy the adventure
Follows the adventures of a graduate student as she travels back in time to visit a quant English village during 1320. Of course there is a glitch and she ends up in the middle of one of history’s greatest tragedies. Basically, a story about having a bad day that keeps getting worse.
The Doomsday Book is a gorgeous tapestry of a story, woven with fully dimensional characters and a deeply moving plot. It challenges and satisfies your mind and heart every moment of its 30-some hours. I never wanted it to end.
Part of Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel series, the Doomsday Book tells the story of Kivrin, an historian in the year 2048, by when time travel has been invented but not perfected. Kivrin travels back to the 13th century, but a wrinkle in time travel thrusts her in a position of terrible danger. Meanwhile, back (forward?) in 2048, her colleagues are facing their own dangers and plagues while trying to figure out a way to save her.
I've read other time travel books that were fascinating and inspiring, but this one stands out because just about every character is fully realized and multi-dimensional, whether they are in the 13th or the 21st centuries. Love and loss and longing live in all the characters, from a little girl who captures Kivrin's heart, to Kivrin's mentor who has to face his demons to help her. I cried hard during some parts of this book, and smiled my way through others, and I only do that because Connie Willis made me believe in the characters and care about what happens to them -- quite a feat when none of them lives in a world I recognize.
The narrator is nuanced and subtle, and draws you further into Kivrin's experiences. Her delivery is feeling and emotionally rich without being cloying, and she gives each character distinctive voices. She keeps you believing all the way through this long book.
Listen to this book even if you are not a fan of the time travel sub-genre. If you've already read Blackout and All Clear, like I had, it will clear up some sort of fuzzy backstory. But in any case, it's a winner in every aspect and one of my all-time favorite reads.
I like the story but did not enjoy listening to it. See below.
Dunworthy. Besides being the main character he was such a noble character. He kept fighting to save Kivrin even when everyone else was ready to give up and leave her in the past.
Yes, since I think the fault was not her reading but the way it was written. See below.
Other than another adventure in the past there is nothing to follow up.
Part of the problem with the book being read was a flaw in the writing. There are too many "he said" "she said" "he said". I gave up on listening and bought the book to read. Reading it myself I was able to skim over the "he saids" where you can't do that while listening and it really got to me. Not the readers fault but the authors.
The first ten hours of this book were very slow going, but eventually the beauty of the story and characters unfolded. For much of the story I couldn't fathom why the author gave her characters from the year 2054 the dialogue of English people from the 1950s. Eventually it became clear that it was all part of subtle humour, which probably failed to hit the mark.
What saved this book is the depth of the characters, and the emotion of the situation they faced. The author deserves praise for the research that obviously went into establishing the context of the story. Overall a worthwhile listen, although it was a ponderous story for many hours.
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