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
"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)
audible listener!! :o)
Be careful listening to this in public... you will laughing out loud, guffawing, and chortling every few minutes.
This is a comedy of manners, sci fi, delightful Oxford romp, whodunit, and more all wrapped up into one. Only Connie Willis could make all those disparate elements work together in a tale that is as engrossing as this one. As icing on the cake, you will grow to love and root for the heroine and here here, two time traveling Oxford history students from the future, as they travel through England in WWII, the Victorian Era, the 1930s and more in search of the missing Bishop's Bird Stump.
If you've never listened to Connie Willis before, this is a grand introduction.
I picked up this audiobook a while back during a sale because of the whimsical title and quirky-sounding premise, and was blown away by how great it was. It has become one of my favourite novels of all time, worth multiple reads/listens to catch all the clues to the mystery.
The narration is delightful. Crossley does a great job of bringing the characters to life and his delivery enhances the humour.
Despite its being 20 hours long, the story zips right along.
I am not a great fan of science fiction, but this was fascinating and funny. The narrator was very professional and believable, except perhaps for his cat meow!
What is wonderful is that felines are once again back in the world at the end! A must-read or listen for all cat lovers! And dog lovers!
This is one of those books that is both a historical novel , sci fi and satire, and mystery . I have listened to it 4 times over 7 years . Still love it for different reasons
Humour, good stroyline, great plot, continued mystery -
Obviously the narrator
Too many to mention
Mmmmmm, maybe, but it is a long book so it would become tiring I feel.
Give me more from this authoress
The premise was interesting, and I had such high hopes for this book. The tedious writing, however, left the story on the sidelines. This book is probably both funny and interesting to those who have suffered through a bachelor's degree in Victorian Literature, or those who think anything said in a British accent counts as comedy. Had the author made any attempt to move the storyline along at a pace greater than a boat outing on the Thames, I might have been able to stick it out. Between puzzing over archaic quotes and wondering whether each scene would ever end, I could not even make it to Part 2.
Very entertaining and funny book. Loved the detail and the characters, especially the descriptions of the dog. Connie Willis can sometimes lose my attention with too many details, but this time travel tale has just the right amount.
I loved this quirky odd book with it's timeline complexities and strange character encounters. At times it is slow, but still really funny.
Part Scifi, part historical novel, totally full of humor and brilliantly narrated, this book truly is a 5 star read.
But my husband and I decided to give this book a try as we took a driving vacation from Boise, ID to Boston. We are certainly glad we did. We were completely charmed, entertained and in love with the way the author wove pieces of the past and the future into a beautiful, seamless vision. We continue to search for Connie Willis' works on Audible and have not yet been disappointed.
"Not what I expected but good,"
It took me a while to get into as it is not really science fiction as I would have expected. I nearly gave up at an early stage but I'm glad I didn't.
I would describe it as a blend of historical mystery and romance, with satire and some rather amusing characters. Plenty of clues are given out as the well thought out plot develops. The story moves at a good pace and at all stages there is a lot going on, but I never lost the thread. It is witty with many twists and surprises.
A mixture of genres and not the sort of thing that would normally appeal to my taste, but good enough to keep me entertained.
"The best Sci-fi since the time travellers wife"
If you like mystery stories (Agathe Christie) and Sci-fi this is the best book
"Time and tide waits for some!"
I love this book so much it is going to take its place with my desert island books. The narrator is fantastic. I didn't want it to end. I fell in love with all the characters, especially Cyril!
"Not to be missed"
This is light hearted and really amusing whilst also having a good storyline. I loved the author's turn of phrase and the wonderful world and characters that were created. Definitely a book not to be missed.
"Too many Americanisms for easy listening."
Either Connie Willis bowed to pressure from her American editors ,which I doubt, or she shows a disdainful attitude to both her American readers (by assuming they are uneducated) and to her British readers (by dismissing them as unimportant).
With all the research she has obviously put into this book, she must have known how many words and phrases she has included that would never have been used in Victorian England, and are unlikely to have crept into our language in the future.
'Rowlock', 'drapes', 'Postal Office', 'sailboat', 'gotten', 'fishing pole', 'exclamation point'.
We don't go 'down' to London - we go 'up' to London. We don't 'meet with' people - we 'meet' them. 'Infirmary' takes the definite article.
And as for Tossie's frequent use of the word 'cunning'!
These errors would perhaps be forgiveable if the narrator was American, but hearing a British voice reading those words grated on my nerves.
Otherwise, a pleasant book that deserved its Hugo win.
Why are this book and Doomsday not movies already?
Well worth the money and I will read them again.
"Remarkable detailed narrative"
Thoroughly enjoyable story. Enjoyed the era and the quaint, humorously drawn Victorian characters. Another winner!
comedy?.... victorian slapstick or comedy of errors.? Probably neither, not funny in any event.
It must be me cos it got a hugo.....naw, it was actually very poor. Huge let down.
"Time travel adventure romance - for starters!"
Stick with the first couple of chapters, where you'll be nearly as confused as the narrator, Ned Henry. He's a Historian who is suffering from Time Lag after being sent back to 1940 to search for an artifact known as The Bishops Bird Stump). Action, adventure, comedy, rowing, art, jumble sales, croquet, Victorian manners, Oxford, Coventry, the Blitz, Spiritism, a cat addicted to goldfish, a dog called Cecil and a butler who can out-buttle Jeeves…. prepare to be gloriously entertained.
Clever, funny, romantic and exciting... loved it from beginning to end (especially the phrase "kissed her for 169 years").
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