When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son, Shel, discovers that he had constructed a time-travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time - or worse - Shel enlists Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.
Their journey through history takes them from the Enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil rights upheavals of the 20th century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations. Yet the elder Shelborne remains elusive. And then Shel violates his agreement with Dave not to visit the future. There he makes a devastating discovery that sends him fleeing back through the ages and changes his life forever.
©2009 Jack McDevitt; (P)2010 Tantor
"As the paradoxes begin to pile up and their luck in dodging some of history's villains runs out, McDevitt ingeniously handles a tricky denouement that will leave readers satisfied." (Publishers Weekly)
just not that good. tagline for this could read 'an exceedingly dull romp through time' two guys bounce through time, hitting all the high-spots in history, but never with enough happening to make it interesting. at all. seriously. not interesting at all. when the climax in the story comes, it induces a yawn and some gratitude that the book must be coming to an end.
the narrator gives it the college try, but without much to work with, he comes off as trying too hard. don't waste your time or credit.
i suppose this book might be interesting to very young readers, or if it were still 1952 and time travel were a brand new idea in fiction. but it ain't.
Say something about yourself!
I'm only a few chapters in but this has been the most difficult to understand of any of my audio books. Is it the narrators diction? Is it his technique? Is it the sound engineers? It just seems that the end of words and sentences just drop off and I find myself having to up the volume to an uncomfortable level to make sure that I'm not missing anything. Make sure you have a sample listen before you purchase to make sure you can tolerate it. I like Jack McDevitt's work just not this narration.
I made the mistake of listening to this after an elegant piece of literature (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet). The story line is extremely simple bedded in a rambling series of excursions into the past to participate in first-person experiences straight out of a textbook (civil rights march, Ben Franklin, Greek figures, presidents, authors, etc.) This is good fourth grade entertainment. I did manage to make it through the book, but the never-ending series of 'he said' and 'she said' combined with lusterless reading made it a trial.
This has to be the worst audio book I've bought. Maybe the story is OK but the narration is DULL: staccato and monotonous, it detracts from the story. I've never stopped listening to a book before the end - this one is a test.
A different narrator
Story Line was good
Sounds like a 2nd grader learning to read
I think this book has tons of potential. The story line is good and the book seems to be well thought out and written. This is a perfect example of a book that would be a really good listen if the narrator didn't make me want to ram an ice pick through my ear.
I sure wish I had read the reviews before I wasted a credit on this book. I'm not sure which was more annoying, the amateurish writing, or the exceedingly boring narrator. The performance was irritating to say the least, and the story just not compelling. Actually the story reminds me of something I may have written in creative writing class in university. I wisely decided not to become a writer. Too bad this writer came to a different decision.
Long time book listener on the left coast. I work outside and spend many hours per day with a good book in my ear. Love Science, History, and above all Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Time Traveling has been played a lot; Maybe more than SciFi. This book is fun. So many new twists on what could you do with a time machine. I never stopped listening and still laughed with a satisfied smile as the last sentence of the book was read. A great ride with no disappointments. Never boring.
The narrator reads like he's doing an imitation of Paul Harvey's 'The Rest of the Story'.
Example: He called Helen....and asked.....if he could come over..........."Sure".............she said.
It's very annoying. It's too bad, because the author didn't do a bad job on the story.
Some of the adventures of Shel and Dave were interesting. Never once did the two want to visit with people who changed the world such as Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Moses, Ghandi, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Solomon. They did visit with some of the great philosophers, playwrights, authors, and other significant historical figures, and some who were of little importance.
The story became repetitious, even boring. Traveling back to meet this philosopher, that painter or scientist. At times, I couldn't wait until the book ended.
Some people will like this story regardless. I'm wondering how my wife will view it.
Not if it's going to be more of the same.
I'm a mental health therapist, a fan of Writers' Retreat Workshop, and am working on writing paranormal suspense novels.
The narration was simply awful. I should have believed the other reviews and not wasted my credit!
Regarding the story itself: I found myself unable to care about the characters or what became of them, and the disjointed forays into various historical moments were not at all compelling. The few scenes that had the possibility to engage my interest were suddenly dropped and, without warning, we were elsewhere.
No, I have always been enthusiastic about time travel stories. However, I am now most definitely turned off to stories by Jack McDevitt.
The narration was almost unbearable. It was monotone, full of long pauses in the wrong places, and I couldn't even begin to identify which character was speaking. (Compare this to the superlative performances by Therese Plummer!) I finally used the book to help me go to sleep at night, and got through it that way. I will never buy another book read by Paul Boehmer.
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