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)
Different, engaging, quirky
nursing the ill
bringing the plague to life
I accidentally downloaded this one, go figure. Turns out to be a really good book. Totally apocalyptic. (quote from the book)
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
I found Connie Willis because Bellflower was on sale; moved on to To Say Nothing of the Dog - enjoying them both very much - they are definitely in my "2nd listen" category mainly because of their sharp descriptions and quirky characters.
Blackout and All Clear had several interesting characters, suspenseful situations, and a sense of being well-researched which made up for them being somewhat repetitious and a bit too long.
As to Doomsday Book, as I said, go find Mr. Neilson's review. Or trust me and don't waste your credit.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain
In a not to distant feature historians travel to the past to report first hand accounts of history. Both future and past settings are in Oxford, England. Kivrin Engle is the protagonist, a historian traveling to the 14th century. Her trip suffers a fateful "time-slip", and buth future and as past experience influenza outbreak, as Kivrin's mentor Mr Dunworthy struggles to locate Kivrin.
This novel can be long winded at times, but author Connie Willis needs the time to build the reader's understanding of historic England and time travel. A long book, but well worth the read, and/or listen.
This story will be more entertaining if you have some knowledge of the geography and history of Oxford; some light reading on Wikipedia will bring you up to speed.
Note: the title "Doomsday Book" is related to the 11th century manuscript compiled at the order of William the Conqueror with the goal of reacording what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth.
I decided listening to Doomsday Book when I learned that "To Say Nothing of the Dog" -which I listened first and loved- was book number 2 in Willis' Oxford Time Travel series.
I wanted to read more from the author and maybe get to know a bit better the series universe. Alas, "Doomsday Book" doesn't have anything I liked from "To Say...", which is: memorable characters, humor, and scene tension.
Instead, Doomsday Book is a long story (way too long) filled with repetitive dialog spoken by uninteresting characters and a poor sci-fi setting for a plot leading nowhere.
When I say uninteresting characters, I'm not saying they're plain. Willis does an excellent job depicting a wide variety of personalities, motifs and communication styles. You can perfectly picture each of the characters in the novel and they will all have a special uniqueness to them. The flaw resides in that the reader (or listener) cannot identify with any of them, or care about them when bad stuff happens. You will simply not get engaged with the characters, not even with the heroine (if you can call Kivrin that).
Talking about Kivrin, you will never understand why travelling to the middle ages was so important to her. And throughout the story she never evolves... except at the very end when, for some reason, Willis makes her act so out of character that you feel a bit betrayed.
The story itself is not bad; it's just too long and repetitive and it really does not deliver any satisfaction when you're finally done with it. Also, the sci-fi side of the novel is really soft/loose. There is no explanation for the time travel mechanics, rules or "paradoxes", only statements for them (like when a character tells someone else "they're not rules, they're paradoxes. We couldn't break them if we wanted")... that's about the deepest it gets.
The performance was pretty good. I enjoyed listening to Sterlin's different voices and intonations (even if other reviewers are right about American accent not correctly pulled out). I was amused at her ability to interpret kids and old people; and was surprised at how male characters sounded great too. Her latin is not good though.
In brief... I don't recommend this to sci-fi or adventure lovers. Maybe only to non-fiction history lovers. On the other side, if you're looking for a good laugh with a bit of time travel, go for Book 2.
I didn't start listening to this series at the beginning which may be why my rating isn't a bit higher. I enjoy the time travel premise very much and enjoyed the parallel plague stories.
Dragged on a bit for me, but I will listen to the rest of the series.
Very well written and performed. Gritty. I felt like I was actually there and that the time travel was really possible. After reviewing the further books in the series though, I think I will stop at this one. Not much into wartime stories.
I doubt it
The story itself was interesting, but the writing was slow and some of the characters repeated things so often it was annoying. A futuristic time when people can travel back to a time as a historian is an interesting idea. the narration did match the pace of the story. the story just didn't grab my interest until almost the last 3/4 of the book.
In the middle of good audiobooks.
Pleasing voice and character voices.
We'll get it right… next time.
I am in love with James Alexander Malcom Mackenze Frazer.
just couldn't get behind the characters. I feel when someone get sick but I don't want to spend hours listening to one person after another getting ill and then the death. Not for me.
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