In the Hugo Award nominee Forty, Counting Down, computer genius Justin Kloster travels to the past to stop himself from making a terrible mistake. But all actions have their consequences.
Then, in Twenty-One, Counting Up, Kloster's college life and romantic dreams are rudely interrupted when the 40-year-old Justin arrives from the future to save him from himself.
©1999 Harry Turtledove; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
An aptly named title.. 2 short stories that are interlinked, yet can be approached on their own.
Both stories run over the "same" timeframe - but from two different perspectives.
The 1st story is about a man's journey at 41 years old, to help himself 20 years ago through time travel... the 2nd about his life as of 21 year old being approached from a man who claims to be himself, but from the future.
Part of yourself is extrapolating very "cliched" variants for the ending - but the twist is familiar yet surprising... won't spoil it, but do be patient.
Only 4 stars - because it would have been interesting from Megan's perspective!
"Forty counting down" was an entertaining and thought provoking story. But after reading it, I wasn't sure I wanted to hear the same story from the younger protagonist's point of view in "20 counting up"--the first story already explained what would happen to him.
This story is short and gets right to the point with not much time for serious plot or character development. It dives in headfirst to the life of the main characters and moves quickly enough to keep you interested. Not a serious page turner but not bad to listen to on a trip as I did.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Made up of two related novellas that tell the same exact story from two different points view, what makes this book work is that the differing points of view are those of the same character at two different ages, who meet when the older version travels back in time to try to retroactively save his marriage. Short and to the point, Harry Turtledove easily makes it all work. The master of alternative history has no trouble mastering a tale of an alternative future, on the small canvas of the future of a single person.
It would be easy to say that there is really only one character, Justin, discounting his two romantic interests, who have very small roles (enough of a role to impact Justin, but not enough to have an impact on us readers). But of course what makes the book fascinating is the differing characters of Justin at age 40 and Justin at age 21, especially when they interact with each other. At first, you want to root for older Justin, intent on saving his marriage. But in an interesting twist, you discover that young Justin is the more sympathetic character.
The fulcrum on which most time travel fiction rests is the consistency of how the changing of the past impacts the future. In the most satisfying versions, like The Terminator, changing of the past forces the future to turn out the way it was always supposed to turn out. Often, when the changing of the past creates unforeseen consequences for the future, consistency is the casualty, and the result is unsatisfactory, especially when the consequences are too broad. Turtledove bypasses this problem by making the story personal to Justin, changing his future, but not blowing that up to anything beyond that. In the end, it is quite satisfying, both for Justin and for the reader.
This was my first Harry Turtledove book and I wasn't impressed. I don't think I'll try another.
I think I'll head back to the Game of Thrones series of books. George R. R. Martin is a master story teller and the voice talent is wonderful.
I felt like I was listening to a middle school boy read this. The inflections were terrible and there was little "acting" taking place.
I don't know.
My biggest problem with this story is that the guy travels back in time to save the marriage that went wrong. However, once he reconnects with the girl (future wife), he behaves in a manner that is completely opposite to his goals. He's stubborn, misguided, etc. Yes, you could argue that he's overcome with emotion by being back with her. But his mission was to make things better and she tells him very clearly and directly that he's not. Also, he pushes her to marry him NOW, but that's not necessary, since they will get married anyway. The marriage didn't fail because they got married too late, that marriage failed because things went wrong or got stale. So, his focus should have been in guiding his younger self to better manage the marriage as it matures, not to rush into marriage right away.
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