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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
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    3,756
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Good Time Travel Story

Would you listen to The Time Traveler's Wife again? Why?

Good presentation. I'm glad they elected to use two different narrators for the two protagonists in the story. Bonus points for avoiding most of the "brush with history" cliche plus the author actually laid down the rules and followed them for the time traveler.

Any additional comments?

First audible book I listened to.

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  • Arlene
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 02-17-14

I'm The Time Traveler's Groupee

I love this story. The movie, of course, was not nearly as good as the book. But, that's not unexpected. I love how this story unfolds, enveloping me in it completely. I love how it is not a-b-c-d linear; it goes where it wants to go and brings me along every time. Time spent with the Time Traveler and his Wife is time well spent for me.

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When you think it ends... it's a whole new story!

Really well written, keeps you hanging in there every bit... An unusual book for demanding readers!

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  • Charisma
  • Tecumseh, OK, United States
  • 02-01-14

Break out your tissues!!

Any additional comments?

I LOVED this book. The timeframes could be a little confusing at first, but once you sort it out its smooth sailing. One of the sweetest and heartbreaking stories I've listened to.

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  • Roswatheist
  • Dexter, New Mexico, United States
  • 01-17-14

Bait and Switch

The one I bought in 2009 was narrated by William Hope and Laurel Lefkow. I highly prefer the previous performance to this one. One of the upgrades wiped it and replaced it with this.

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  • Alex
  • CA, United States
  • 12-04-13

Excellent Piece of Literature

Audrey Niffenegger has written a phenomenal story. I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this book! The book, like so many others, is a million times better than the movie. Worth the credit!

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  • Cheimon
  • New York, NY USA
  • 11-25-13

Not worth 17 hours - cute short story, no novel

This book takes a very interesting premise and turns it into evenly paced irrelevance. It is pleasant, but absolutely not worth 17 hours. It could have made a great, much shorter story, but it does not sustain this length.

There is hardly any arc, story or character wise - with the exception of getting older, neither Clare not Henry change very much at all during their relationship. Or if they do, we wouldn't know - there are no choices for them to make, so personal growth wouldn't be discernible. The premise of the story, though fervently denied, is predetermination. There are no difficult decisions to test them.

Yet the book does not deal with the existential questions it poses, the way good science fiction should, but stipulates them away. Clare and Henry rebel once, early on, but pull back at the last minute. We are mysteriously warned of a huge calamity averted, but we never find out what that calamity might be. So why care?

The novel turns out to be a series of vignettes which may be moving, funny, sometimes sad, but you don't look back and see a masterful whole. The time travel doesn't propel the story forward at all, it is random and the episodes hardly even tie into each other. So much time is spent on establishing its marvel, yet, most of the time, it is just a prop, a nuisance they live with. And that's what the book feels like - "living with it". Shrugging along.

Even the characters' unquestioned love for each other, which is at the center of the book, seems to have no basis in their characters or personalities. It was (pre)determined by Henry's travels to Clare's childhood while he is already married to her... and this loop settles it. Their love is beautiful and convincingly written, but in its essence, it remains a random, meaningless coincidence, because there is no alternate path, but no discernable design either.

The narration though is absolutely EXCELLENT and the split between the two voices works extremely well.

(Minor point, the books is completely PG-13, except for a number of entirely unnecessary vulgarities. I have no problem at all with strong language, but here the author uses four letter words suddenly and without any reason, where something more poetic would have been much more appropriate and consistent with what we are to believe of their relationship.)

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Surrender yourself to the story

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

Yes, it carries you into an unbelievable story in a very believable way.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Time Traveler's Wife?

So many... lets see... when Henry visits Claire's family during Christmas.

Which character – as performed by Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole – was your favorite?

I especially enjoyed Kimmie, Henry's Asian nanny. All of the characters are performed beautifully.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of Henry's awkward "reappearing" moments made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

Usually I avoid any sort of fantasy story. After reading reviews, I took a chance on this one and am so glad I did. It has been one of my favorite audiobooks. I was so drawn into the story and characters, I was sorry to see it end. Fabulous narrators.

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Enjoyed it BUT...

Where does The Time Traveler's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not the top of my list but still a really good listen and worth the credit.

Which character – as performed by Fred Berman and Phoebe Strole – was your favorite?

Henry's character. Clare's characters just sounded like a little girl no matter what age she was.

If you could rename The Time Traveler's Wife, what would you call it?

"Here's everything I eat while waiting for my husband"

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book but there were a couple of things that distracted from the good story.<br/>Why describe every single meal down to the smallest detail? Seriously, there was SO much of it that it was ridiculous. At times it read like a menu. Seriously pointless.<br/>And there is too much “name dropping” with bands. Was this a love story or a music novel? <br/>I did enjoy that the story was told from both characters points of view. I wish there would’ve been more about Alba though. I was happy yet disappointed with the ending. If you read the book you will understand why I say this.<br/>I don't know how to review this one. I loved it and cried at the end. But there was an excessive amount of useless information that could've been left out and takes at least 1 star away from the rating.<br/>

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Full of Emotion

This book was like nothing I had ever read. The narration was wonderful and the duel narrators for the two main characters made the story much easier to follow along. A story full of emotion both happy and sad, and much waiting.

I read the book before I saw the movie and I am happy for that fact. The movie did not spoil much however as the book and movie end WAY differently. If you loved the movie you will love the book even more, take the time to listen.