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Publisher's Summary

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

Clare and Henry's story unfolds from both points of view, depicting the effects of time travel on their marriage and their passionate love for each other. They attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals: steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

©2003 Audrey Niffenegger; ©2005 HighBridge Company; (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

Critic Reviews

  • Alex Award Winner, 2004

"Highly original first novel....Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes....It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with the impression of life's riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,754
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    364
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    274

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
  • Jere
  • Rock Springs, WY, USA
  • 05-19-09

A must read

It took me a while to finally get to time to read/listen to this book, and it was well worth the wait. It kept me wanting more as the book went on. The characters are so well developed, I felt that they were good friends of mine. I was not too sure about the time travel/jumping around, but Audrey Niffenegger made it seem seamless.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 09-24-12

A truly beautiful love story

I had this book on my wish list for a long time because I was so intrigued with the reviews, but the movie came out before I had a chance to read it and I foolishly went because after all it had Rachel McAdams. The movie was such a disappointment that I nearly gave up on trying the book but I am so glad I gave it a chance. The book is so wonderful by contrast. Probably some of it has to do with how easy it is in a book to indicate subtle shifts in time that are just confusing on screen. I think more of it has to do with how a book can delve into the inner reactions and feelings of the characters in more detail. Niffenegger has worked out the issues of time travel in a very satisfactory way. Once you've accepted the premise that leads to Henry's particular problem, all the following consequences are very believably dealt with. And while the particulars of Henry's and Clare's story may be typical in a lot of ways, the time travel aspect gives it all a special poignancy. This is a deep meditation on love and loss and hope for those who are willing to give themselves up to it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Star-crossed lovers trapped in time

This is a 5-star read categorized as science fiction. However, Audrey Niffenneger's writing is so intelligent, characters so well developed and the plot so compelling I could not put down this "genie in a bottle". It has it all, a story, characters, humor, love and the heart rending sadness that lingers for days. This is a MUST READ. I will not go see the movie (coming out in Aug. '09) as there is no way it can capture this wondrous, detailed and never dull read as we walk through the lives of two people, and those they love, trapped by something which cannot be tamed - time.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting Premise

I like reading (listening) to unabridged versions of books because I don't like others deciding for me what I should or shouldn't be exposed to.

That said, the premise of this book was very interesting and the story quite compelling. However, I was very put off by some of the language and what I considered to be gratuitous sexual content. In my view, it is simply unnecessary. Many fine and outstanding books have been written without ever putting a foul word or sexually explicit scene on paper. The difference between the unabridged and the abridged versions is more than five hours. Honestly, five hours of tripe is a tad excessive. Let this serve as fair warning.

I also admit to being somewhat put off by some of the mispronunciations by the narrators but, other than that, the narration was quite good. It was appropriately emoted.

As for the story itself, it was quite interesting. What I kept hoping for, but never got though, was an explanations as to why the individual travelled in time. Or at least, why he went back to the times that he did. After all, how did he end up in the meadow in the first place if he'd never been there before?

Overall, an interesting story with a fairly fresh premise. As a love story, it is wonderful. As science fiction, not so much.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Clackamas, OR, USA
  • 05-30-06

Time Traveler's Wife

I danced around getting this book, but the other reviews were just too good, so I down loaded it. It's a book you can't put down and then your sad when it comes to an end. The caracters got into your soul until you felt what they felt. The readers were the icing on a well written book. I have been a member for 3 years and have heard some very good books, but this is the first I have reviewed, I liked it so much.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

So. I will begin by saying that this is one of my absolute favorite books. I've read it at least 4 times, if not more. Each time I've read it, I find new details and become emotionally attached to all the characters and plot line. And yes, end up ugly crying in despair and in happiness over the last 1/3 of the book. It is a book I consistently recommend to my reader friends.

Needless to say, I was excited about the audible version so I can experience the story again during my commute and free time. I couldn't put my finger on what I didn't like about the book. It's the same book, same words, etc. yes I'm older now (last time I read it was 5 years ago) so maybe I'm experiencing it from a new stand point, or something. I don't know. But I'm sorely disappointed. And sad that it is such a disappointment.

The narrators are awful and I'm wanting the book to be over so I can start a new one. I've been spoiled by Davina Porter (The Outlander series) and Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice) in their narrations over the past 395 hours of listening. The narrators of The Time Travelers Wife grate my nerves. "Claire" is obnoxious and annoying and "Henry" is a complete jerk, not just in his 20's stage either, and makes me hate his character. They may be great and wonderful narrators (clear voices and pronunciations are wonderful) but not suited for this story. Sorry.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful

This book is beautifully crafted and beautifully written, quite possibly the most touching love story I've ever encountered. I'm not normally a fan of romance, and this is definitely not that, so the love Clare and Henry share at multiple points in their life was intriguing and magical to me. The audible version is very well read and produced and I am sure this is one book that is enhanced by the listening and the performance of the readers. When I finished the book, I started it right over to remember how it began. Beautiful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A cubist romance novel.

I don't read romance literature, which this certain is. I am a big Sci-Fi reader though and I'm particularly interested in time travel, which is a notoriously difficult thing to write. So top marks to the author for really thinking through the emotional aspects of it, if not the scientific. She uses the tool of time travel to fracture and rebuild a linear love story, constructing many poignant, clever and tragic moments by overlapping the characters lives in a telling, if sometimes too artful, sequence. The determinist universe is pretty much a necessity when doing this kind of story and that provides much of the drama, but the authors primary concern isn't the time travelling, it's the 2 central characters and their relationship.
If I have a criticism it's that the relationship is a bit too fantasized at times, depending a little too heavily on the forced pathos of piecing together a fragmented narrative, rather than on real character based drama.
I enjoyed the narration, though the female side of the double act ( Ms Strole ), while she has a pleasant and engaging voice, lapses into a slightly sing-song, wishy washy longing. While that may well have been suggested in the writing, I can't help but feel that a slightly edgier performance would have helped give Claire some backbone. Mr Berman was good, he has a fine ear for accent and inflection. He gives the young Henry a cocksure strut and the older one a feeling of weight.

Criticisms aside, I enjoyed the heck out of this book. It's a page-turner ( or whatever the equivalent of that is in audio terms )

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Adored it!

Brilliantly narrated, with a compelling story and rich characters. Absolutely fell in love with this book. I'm not much for romance or sappy love stories (Nicholas Sparks makes me cringe), but this book managed to weave a love story from a fantastical concept, mysterious plot line, and genuinely interesting characters. Gorgeous work by both the author and narrators.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sarah
  • LubbockUS Minor Outlying Islands
  • 10-26-09

Great for character lovers.

I love books that are character driven.. this is one of those books. I enjoyed each point of view and loved getting to know the ins and outs of each one. Bursts of action followed by long periods of inner dialogue... keeps you guessing. I saw the movie before listening to the book and as usual, the book is vastly better!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kim
  • 06-18-17

Brilliant, a Must buy!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, i have read the book before and was lovely to hear with a narrator, both the voices made it easy to follow and both very very good. highly recommend.

What did you like best about this story?

the story it's self if amazing

What about Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole ’s performance did you like?

Their voices were perfect for the roles and they put a lot of heart and passion into it, wasn't a boring listen.

Any additional comments?

Buy Buy Buy!

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  • Mr
  • 05-24-17

Classic romance with a twist

The time traveller's wife has always been a favourite of mine, a beautifully written story exploring an interesting concept. This romance novel is easy to read/listen to and you become quickly swept up into the story without effort.

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  • JaneyKay
  • 05-17-17

All the emotions are touched

If you could sum up The Time Traveler's Wife in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, flowing, heart-wrenching.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There's really 2 main characters in this and I won't be giving anything away by saying they are the time traveller and his wife. 😀

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All the scenes are special because the fact they exist at all is only due to chance ... each scene could be interrupted at any moment, and the moment is broken. That's the beauty and pain of this story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, but if I say I give away 2 plot points !!

Any additional comments?

It's a beautiful story. I read the book about 12 years ago and decided in a re-read via Audible as it touched me so much. I think the Audible version is really well done with 2 voices and that makes the story easier to follow. This is in my top 5 of books ... I very rarely re-read books..

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  • Mrs
  • 05-13-17

Alternative love story

Great love story. Stands out from the rest with the time travel and its issues.

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  • kat
  • 05-09-17

5 stars

IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.
I CRIED SO MUCH!
I found the voice actors to beautifully express the characters better than the actors of the film. I highly recommend to listen to it rather than watch it to grasp the full effect of it. It was adorable how they adapted to Alba's voice and overall just superb.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-17

Clever

Not my normal choice of book it was a daily deal I went for and so glad I did. Well laid out and with all the comings and goings I was surprised I didn't get lost as it was cleverly put together. Recommended

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  • danieldiver
  • 03-22-17

Loses pace at the five-hour mark

More tedious than I remember. I must have skipped chapters when I read it a decade ago. Scenes with Claire seem to read like filler between Henry's more dynamic journey.

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  • Sarah
  • 03-09-17

Outstanding!

This is my favourite book. I have read it many times in paper copy so was cautious to listen to the audible version in case they ruined it (like the film). However, it was brilliant and I loved it just as much. Enthralling characters and great plot. Love it!

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  • Anna Haighton
  • 03-08-17

amazing story- terrible narration!

I LOVE this book- I've read it 5 times. the performance by the female narrator has ruined it for me- especially the very last part of the last chapter. What a shame- it just didn't do it justice.

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  • anonymous
  • 03-02-17

Engaging, moving, and cleverly written

I enjoyed this book a lot. The time travelling is dealt with skillfully. In essence it's about trying to lead a normal life under abnormal circumstances that mix foreknowledge/inevitability with destabilising uncertainty. Ultimately a very human story