Not since Jurassic Park has Michael Crichton given you such a magnificent adventure. Here, he combines a science of the future - the emerging field of quantum technology - with the complex realities of the medieval past. In a heart-stopping narrative, Timeline carries you into a realm of unexpected suspense and danger, overturning your most basic ideas of what is possible.
©1999 by Michael Crichton; (P)1999 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.
I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this book as I had never previously read anything by Crichton. I was pleasantly surprised. The first part of the book combines real history with (mostly) real science and then, almost seamlessly flows into the fantasy/sci-fi story-line. Crichton slowly introduces his main characters, and he develops them into believable persons about whom we start to form our own opinions. However, it's when the setting jumps from the present back into the 14th Century that Crichton expands our knowledge-base, and the story really starts to unfold. Using well-researched history - social, cultural and economic - Crichton tells a story of another era when life was hard, and often little-valued. Our protagonists race against time to uncover a secret, a secret which might enable them to fulfill their mission and possibly enable them to return safely to the present time. A thriller, which is also educational - very satisfying.
I enjoyed this book more than most, and am now 1/3 of the way through my second listining. I almost didn't start it the second time because of the narrator.
Most of his vocal charactarizations were at least OK, even his Arnold imitation of the Merrik character got the point across that he wasen't an American. To show that he was Dutch, and use Goldmember's accent (Bring out Austin Power's Faaasha!) would have been too much. I can live with this one.
The use of a whispering voice for the Gordon character, who was key for many important science-type explainations, was the most annoying. I listen to AudioBooks while driving, and had to back up and shove my ear plug right up against my eardrum to hear what the character was trying to say. Also, whenever two of the other characters were involved in an 'aside' between themselves (like saying something they didn't want the others to hear), the narrator would actually either whisper, or lower his voice so much that I couldn't hear what was going on.
I gave the book a '4' for content and general listenability. I had to average in the '1' I gave for narration. The narrator should be required to listen to his own performance before being allowed to release this edition to the public.
Otherwise, I found the Quantum theory explainations to be facinating. "If you can explain Quantum Physics, you don't understand it yourself." Its so counter-intuitive, and trashes most or all 'Natural Laws', that explaining it at all was quite a streach. Good job here.
This book is a Cliff-Hanger, Sci-Fi, psudo-historical genre. If you don't like this type of fiction, don't buy it. Of course its going to be somewhat predictable. Naturally its going to be a 'damsel in distress' old movie seriel type of book. Expect it!
I liked especially the descriptions of Medevil France. I've read alot of histories, but none brought across the absolute brutality of this world as well as this author. Life back then was Short & Violent.
Don't skip this book because you didn't like the movie. The book has a good story line and good character development. Enough detail so that you understand the plot (the movie was terrible in this regard). The book moved along at a good pace. It did get bogged down once or twice but not enough to distract from the story. Its not a masterpiece and won't become a classic but it is a good and entertaining book. I would recommend. By the way, the reader was excellent which adds to the enjoyment of the book.
Timeline was a really cool combination of a sci fi thriller and a historical fiction novel. It combined Quantum Physics, Time travel, and Medieval Life very well. Though many of the plot twists were expected, Crichton is very good at keeping you interested in the story. The Characterization was not the best I have read. The only person that really changes in the story was Chris, who starts out as a Sissy and ends up Not-As-Sissyish. The other Characters are pretty flat. I think the most distasteful aspect of the book was the language. Though it was relegated to only a few characters, for those few characters it is fairly pervasive. Overall a good, at times education, and very entertaining listen.
The review has an unlimited field of suspence and diversity. I loved listening to this book, somtimes couldnt put it down. I wish Chrichton would have set it up for a sequal because this book could go on forever.
This book is possibly the reason that i am even using audible, I always thought books were a waste and that hearing them would be even more straining to put myself through, however, that is not the case. This book is possibly the most intriguing and stimulating books that ive finished in years.
This was a fun little story. I was hoping it would not be so sappy. There was a lot of hope for this story to really reach out. But it was entertaining.
I loved the plot set up, but it never really went anywhere. Just lots of action that didn't really make sense. There was also no depth to the characters.
Another note - the reader seemed to think that by having some of the characters speak in a very low voice, it would add to the drama of the story or help differentiate the characters. I found it totally annoying! At a normal volume, the whispered voices were difficult to hear over the road noise.
Because I am certainly in two minds about this book. On the one hand, I loved the "realized history" of life in the 14th century. Crichton obviously did his homework on this one. His opinion (woven throughout the tale, and stated explicitly in the epilogue) that modern man's arrogant assumption of progressive superiority over preceding generations does not stand up to historical fact is right on.
On the other hand, the book--as a work of fiction--fell far short of my expectations. Many other reviewers noted the predictable, repetitive plot turns, immature character development, and a story premise that just lacked compelling interest. It really did read like a treatment for a screenplay; one with lots and lots of extra scenes that could be dropped or rearranged to fit the director's needs.
But to try to make this review constructive, I will take a stab at predicting whether you'll like the book: If you're a history buff who enjoys a well-researched historical novel, and who also likes a swashbuckling, "Perils of Pauline" adventure story, this book is for you. If you're looking for a more nuanced science fiction mind-bender in the style of Bradbury or Heinlein, you will be disappointed.
Having been a fan of the author I bought this book expecting to be excited and a possibly amused. What a disappointment I had. A book has not often failed to live up to my expectation but this one did. It could be the reader who insisted in pronouncing historical names incorrectly and making little effort to vary his rather boring reading style.
One to stay away from?..
Report Inappropriate Content