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Publisher's Summary

Michael Crichton's novel opens on the threshold of the twenty-first century. It is a world of exploding advances on the frontiers of technology. Information moves instantly between two points, without wires or networks. Computers are built from single molecules. Any moment of the past can be actualized - and a group of historians can enter, literally, life in fourteenth-century feudal France. Imagine the risks of such a journey.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Chino Hills, CA, USA
  • 06-24-04

I so wish there were two and a half stars...

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A new interest...

Where does Timeline rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I WILL listen again because of story line AND the narrator/reader. It ranks in the top 3 of my: I HAVE & WILL listen again.

What did you like best about this story?

Again...good story line (I didn't think I could be interested in this topics), and excellent narrator/reader.

Which scene was your favorite?

The "Karma" of the business man who ended up being "sent back" himself.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

In my audiobook can REALLY bring a novel to life with a GREAT reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captain Kirk meets Braveheart

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I listen while walking and it made me walk farther because I didn't want to stop listening. Some of the language was harsh and the brutality was MORE harsh, but it brought Mideaval Times to life.I could smell, see, hear and taste the world the modern scientists were transported to.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Hondo, TX, USA
  • 02-25-05

A decent book

It was a decent listen, However the ending was anti-climactic and a bit disappointing. I was expecting to find the real motive to be more sinister than it was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 09-13-04

Entertaining book, disappointing performance

I enjoyed the story -- fast-moving, entertaining, perhaps a bit far-fetched but, well ... it *is* sci fi. The performance was disappointing, though: the reader uses accents and modulations in tone volume to represent the different characters, and I found this (cheesey) device to be distracting, and often made it difficult to hear/understand. Plan to listen in a quiet place, not (for example) a noisy gym, and try to listen past the performance, it really is a fun book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric T
  • Livermore, CA United States
  • 06-03-04

Pretty good book

It was a good story, but also an interesting application of interesting scientific theories. The author did his homework. It's obvious that such a story is unrealistic, but this is fiction, after all, so it's okay. It is not five stars because I think that the author lacks the ability to paint a detailed picture in my head. There were some imagery that I would have liked the author to explain better. This book is a good use of a book balance credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A MUST read!!!

This is one of my favorite audiobooks ever!

The reader does a great job with the various characters and I enjoyed his voice very much. The dual plot, with events happening both in the present and the past hooked me right away. As usual, Crichton explains his scientific background material in an easy-to-understand fashion.

The characters are well-developed and interesting. This was a page-turner when I read it in print (more than once) and the audiobook kept me hooked (and I walked much farther and put in many more hours at the gym) while I was listening (again, more than once).

The movie was such a disappointment. It didn't do justice to the story and, in fact, changed the story immensely. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys history, anyone who enjoys action, and anyone who enjoys science-fiction.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book was well written, well read; both narrator and author did and excellent job. While listening to this book I found myself sitting in the car after I got home from work or wherever and taken in by the story I was completely content. Maybe it was long but, if you read it yourself it will take you just as long. Also on that note I think that that time actually deepens our sympathy for the characters. I learned a lot. It was exciting. It was easy to follow. I felt like I went on a trip with a few friends. All in all I would say lend an ear. Bravo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Henderson, NV, USA
  • 09-16-03

A great read, looking forward to the movie!

It was a great read; The reader performed the multiple characters excellently, and the plot, though a bit predictable, kept interest very well. Will be interesting to see what Hollywood does with the story, but can't wait to see the imagery brought to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful