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To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last | [Connie Willis]

To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.
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Publisher's Summary

Connie Willis' Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.

When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

Delightfully aided by the perfect comedic timing of narrator Steven Crossley, To Say Nothing of the Dog shows once again why Connie Willis is one of the most talented writers working today.

©1998 Connie Willis; (P)2000 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1999

"Willis effortlessly juggles comedy of manners, chaos theory and a wide range of literary allusions [with a] near flawlessness of plot, character and prose." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2163 )
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4.1 (1348 )
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4.4 (1348 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelly locust grove, OK, United States 03-01-11
    Kelly locust grove, OK, United States 03-01-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seven hours into the book and still nothing..."

    I want to like this book. The premise is wonderful. The narrator is excellent. I keep starting it up on my daily commute and keep finding my mind wandering because the book has not yet captured my attention. After seven hours of listening, nothing much has happened.

    The cat came through the net. The cat went back through the net. The cat was lost. The cat was found. The cat escaped. The cat was captured. And, if we're going to hear about the bishop's bird stump incessantly, please tell us what the heck it is a little sooner in the story. I finally had to google the phrase and that wasn't a great deal of help either.

    I'll give it another try tomorrow, but if something doesn't happen in the 2 hours I have to spend in the car, I'm giving up.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mehturt 02-11-11
    Mehturt 02-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Somewhat tedious"

    I like a comedy of errors as much as anyone. I have the suspicion that "Lady Winderemere's Fan" or some other Oscar Wilde play was to be emulated (great works!). But honestly, if the stupidity of the main character is the driving factor of a story, it soon becomes very tedious.

    I have only finished the first part so far, but I do profess - I'm not looking forward to the rest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Littleton, MA, United States 02-09-11
    Stephanie Littleton, MA, United States 02-09-11 Member Since 2002

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow Connie Willis' historian series are the Best"

    Amusing, witty and charming.
    Connie Willis' characters and plots and twist, in this book, are extremely entertaining.
    And to get a glimpse of these parts in history told by 'actual' characters just makes her Historian books some of the best to read...to say nothing of the dog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 01-07-11
    Margaret 01-07-11 Member Since 2014
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    "This book has just about everything"

    it's primarily an interest thing and intriguing sci-fi novel, but it is international with a fascinating mystery. To say nothing of the dog combines these two genres better than I would've thought possible. It is also naturally historical fiction, but what I really love is the love story. It is a story that will warm your heart and keep you laughing as he combines all the best parts, but not the worst parts, of romance and comedy. Friends and I agree this is a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Granada Hills, CA, United States 11-07-10
    Carl Granada Hills, CA, United States 11-07-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Delightful book, read by an excellent reader."

    This book is part science-fiction, part mystery, part historical novel, part comedy, and part romance--to say nothing of the dog (and cats and fish). The author weaves these elements together into one of the best audio books that I have come across (I have listened to around 100 novels, with around 50 professionally narrated). It was refreshing to listen to a "G-rated" novel that the whole family can enjoy. It is no wonder that it won so many awards.

    The plot was fairly complex (which I like), but it was not too difficult to follow or to figure out parts of the mystery. Even with a seasoned "plot guesser" like myself, it still supplied some surprises. I have a degree in physics and appreciated the thought put into "science" behind the fiction.

    The narrator did an excellent job with the voice characterizations. I hope he continues to read the sequels.

    At between 20 and 25 hours, the length was just right for making the last month of commutes more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Stoessel Niskayuna, NY USA 11-04-10
    S. Stoessel Niskayuna, NY USA 11-04-10 Member Since 2009

    bugbears2000

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    "The audio book is really slow"

    I listened to this while driving to NJ from Albany, NY. I could only stand it as far as Harriman. (~ 2 hrs). The characters were still doing what they were doing at the beginning -- running in fear of some old British battle-ax conducting some esoteric project and yelling at each other. No plot development, no explanation. Truly disappointing.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-04-10
    11-04-10 Member Since 2010
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    "A painfull, trying-to-be-funny and dated story !"

    I hated everything about this book - another case of rushing into it without checking the story line. Who puts the 4 stars on it? It must have been the author! Every joke was pretentiously un-funny, and the story line was ludicrous. Who cares if they find some bit of metal that the bishop uses, buried in a bombed out old church. This is a story that the ladies in a knitting club back in the 40s would have enjoyed. Full of old- school cliches, plumb in the mouth antics back in the cobwebbed times of the 40s and 50s. It is not even well written! Horrible. Could not get past the first half of the first part. Waste of money and time - things that are precious in the world today!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Grayslake, IL, United States 10-23-10
    Jim Grayslake, IL, United States 10-23-10
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    "Entertaining and Brilliantly Narrated"

    To Say Nothing of the Dog is an entertaining if sometimes frustratingly drawn out story. This book is much lighter than Ms. Willis' first book about time-traveling Oxford historians, "Doomsday Book". I thought the first was better: tighter prose and more urgent plot. The real standout of this audio book is Steven Crossley's narration. The narration alone lifted this my review from 3 to 4 stars. His characterizations are perfect. He does a frighteningly good bourgeois Victorian lady. It just shows what a difference great narration can make in an audio book. I intend to look for other titles with his narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Birmingham, AL, United States 09-22-10
    Lisa Birmingham, AL, United States 09-22-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Outstanding"

    One of the best audio books that I've run across in quite some time.

    The story is a lighthearted romp with a time-travelling hero suffering 'time lag' (which bears striking resemblance to inebriation) sent back to do something somewhere... but, due to his time lag, he's not entirly sure that he knows what that is and only belatedly realizes that it involves a misplaced housecat, an absent-minded professor, a lost piece of hideous Victorian art, and a few romantic entanglements gone awry. With a hommages to Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Jerome K. Jerome along the way, the story is historical, comedy, time travel sci-fi, romance, and a mystery... with a bright heroine, an adorable dog, and a disappearing cat along for the ride.

    The narration is good throughout and the plot is lighthearted fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Sarasota, FL, United States 03-21-10
    Paula Sarasota, FL, United States 03-21-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Pleasantly entertaining"

    This was pleasant to listen to, and kept my attention but is not particularly memorable. I could imagine the time machine and I could see that the humor would appeal to most listeners but I think I am perhaps humor challenged. I think history buffs would appreciate the intricate details of historical events and how they all fit together. Basically, its a good story but it isn't my cup of tea.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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