From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.
Gleick's story begins at the turn of the 20th century, with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation: The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological - the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture, from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.
©2016 James Gleick (P)2016 Random House Audio
"In his enthralling new book, James Gleick mounts H.G. Wells's time machine for an invigorating ride through the most baffling of the four dimensions. In these pages, time flies." (John Banville)
"James Gleick is a master historian of ideas - no one else can do what he does. Synthesis leads to elucidation leads to stunning, original insight. Time Travel, like so much of his work, is simply indispensable." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
"Magnificent. A riveting history of an idea that changed us so profoundly, we forgot we had even been changed. But Gleick remembers." (Lev Grossman, books editor of TIME and author of the Magicians trilogy)
Would not recommend.
The story seems to be a composite of bits and pieces from Glieck's other books. As a result it meanders. Not something I find enjoyable.
Rob Shapiro is a very good narrator.
Not worth my time.
Overall, Gleick has written another effusively informative and entertaining book, yet much of the many worlds interpretation and finer details of quantum mechanics are coolly glossed over. Sure I'm glad all of my favorite literary references made it, but I was hoping for more background in the science department.
Science fiction has always been at the centre of my love of books, reading and indeed the ways I view my world. Gleick surveys SF for its roles in shaping how we view time, and his analysis is utterly compelling. There is an apt quotation in the book about how hard it is to consider Time and hold it up for analysis. Gleick's Time Travel: A History does just that with grace and an abiding reverence for the creators of our most portable of time machines: the book.
Feels like a survey of literature. I don't think the author added much a list of the best time travel stories in history and genre would have been better.
I would suggest this to anyone who is a fan of nonfiction and the idea of time travel. it was largely interesting, but being a history of time travel means that it lacks any real story line. If you don't care for nonfiction generally, then you may want to skip this one, or pick it up in physical format. I personally enjoyed it and found it interesting, particularly the earlier portion of the book that dealt more with the existence of the concept of time travel.
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