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Publisher's Summary

Connie Willis' Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.

When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

Delightfully aided by the perfect comedic timing of narrator Steven Crossley, To Say Nothing of the Dog shows once again why Connie Willis is one of the most talented writers working today.

©1998 Connie Willis; (P)2000 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1999

"Willis effortlessly juggles comedy of manners, chaos theory and a wide range of literary allusions [with a] near flawlessness of plot, character and prose." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 08-20-12

Hilarious and charming from beginning to end

Jerome K. Jerome and time travel with a mystery and a spoof of all the appropriate period literary genres. How could anyone not love this book?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • larry
  • miami beach, fl, United States
  • 08-13-12

excruciating

Would you try another book from Connie Willis and/or Steven Crossley?

No.

Would you ever listen to anything by Connie Willis again?

No.

What does Steven Crossley bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

He gives life to the characters and captures the sensibilities of the era.

You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The paradoxes of time travel and the social etiquette of the relevant time period are well done.

Any additional comments?

The chapter introductions ruined the suspense to the extent I took the earphones off and guessed when they ended, the endless interruptions whenever a character had to say something or do anything to advance the plot rendered the listening painful. One vignette that drove me to distraction was the back and forth exchange with the lockmaster asking whether the boat went up or down the Thames. Then there were the same hackneyed phrases and observations over and over again. I was relieved wen I finally finished listening to the book. Never again!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kathy
  • Ledyard, CT, United States
  • 07-27-12

Loved it!

I found myself laughing out loud during several parts of the book. The characters, the plot twists and the historical details combined nicely. I'm not as much into the science of time travel as I am into the "what would it be like to live in another time" aspects, so this book was perfect for me. I truly enjoyed the performance, his voice was perfect.

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Great fun!

If you could sum up To Say Nothing of the Dog in three words, what would they be?

What a hoot!

What other book might you compare To Say Nothing of the Dog to and why?

Can't compare apples to oranges. Maybe some of Terry Pratchett's humor though nothing like Discworld.

What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

Excellent narrator. Great expression and character differential inflections. Will definitely look for other books he has narrated.

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

Moved me? Laughed out loud too many times to count.

Any additional comments?

When you finish a book and can't wait to listen to it again, you know it's a winner. This book was just great fun.

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Entertaining from beginning to end

I was first introduced to Connie Willis when I read The Dooms Day Book. It was such a dramatic adventure involving time travel and the dark ages. I was mesmerized. When I realized that Willis had continued the series, I immediately purchased "To Say Nothing of the Dog." Although this novel was just as entertaining, I find it a bit of a stretch to call this a continuation of the series. The time travel element and professor Dunworthy were the only tie overs. Unlike The Dooms Day Book, this novel is more comic, clever and light-hearted. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the novel and will continue on with the next book in the "series."

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A delicious and fun romp

Any additional comments?

2nd after "The Doomsday Book", but a separate story - do not need to read "The Doomsday Book" first. A lighter read, fun story involving time-travel. One of the few books I try to get all my friends to read because I enjoyed it so much.

I've read this book twice, and now just finished listening to the audio version. I love this story. It has time-travel, Victorian England, London during the Nazi air raid, literary references, historical references, humor, romance, a bit of mystery, a dog, a cat, a comedy of errors, what more could a person want?

The story-telling is delicious. Ned - the character who narrates the story - has a dry, witty sense of humor and a lot of heart. His comments had me quite often chuckling at his jokes. The Victorian era, viewed through the eyes of 21st century time-traveling historians, pokes fun at some of it's silliness but Ned and Verity treat those they meet, including the dog and the cat, with good-humor and affection. Ned's interaction with the pets, particularly the dog Cyril, is touching, talking to him humorously as though he were nearly a person.

Ned and Verity together, attempting to correct a temporal incongruity, are delightful. But this story never gets sappy or sentimental. There is no "ick" factor here.

Every time I join these characters in their story I thoroughly enjoy my time spent with them. I wish there had been further stories of their adventures. This book is definitely on my list of all time favorites.

The narrator of the audio version, Steven Crossley, did the job to near perfection.

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pure fun and adventure, laugh out loud funny

Where does To Say Nothing of the Dog rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

among the best

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ned Henry because I can image him as myself

What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

range of characters voices, Excellent narration

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beware of Cat

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Time Travel and Dogs Go Well Together.

Would you consider the audio edition of To Say Nothing of the Dog to be better than the print version?

Can't say because I have only heard the audio version which I l thoroughly enjoyed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of To Say Nothing of the Dog?

Definitely anything involving the dog. Okay the seances were amusing too.

Have you listened to any of Steven Crossley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He also narrated the original "Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing About the Dog)" and they were both equally excellently done!

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

I was pleased that it was a longer book and I enjoyed all the small details about victorian daily life that were included and the side trips the plot took. The book did meander and wander a bit (rather like a boat trip on the river) but it was diverting, amusing and cheerful all along the journey!

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book as light, cheerful fare. No underlying meanings, just glimpses into victorian daily life and an amusing bit of time travel as well.

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  • Clare
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 05-06-12

Time-Travel Romantic Comedy of Errors

I loved it. Connie Willis is such a talented author. This is part Victorian Farce (oh my - the croquet scene - hilarious!) and part delightful romantic time travel. The character of Ned who is sent, suffering from time lag (like the worst jet lag ever) to a period of history he has not studied, who has not heard his instructions, who stumbles around trying to right apparent anomalies - it is pure joy.

A light novel (compared with say Blackout/All Clear) but a delightful comedy of manners. I do wish Ms. Willis would write another novel with more Verity and Ned.



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  • Gena
  • hendersonville, TN, United States
  • 04-10-12

So funny, a good romance and great sci-fi to boot!

If you could sum up To Say Nothing of the Dog in three words, what would they be?

Dry
British
Humor

What was one of the most memorable moments of To Say Nothing of the Dog?

Tossie baby talking to the bull dog Cyril and to her cat Princess Arjumon

Which scene was your favorite?

The time lag scenes, both with Ned Henry and with Kindle (Verity).

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

NO NO NO, it is meant to be savored and thought about!

Any additional comments?

I love sci-fi, and this is that plus so much more! HOWEVER, if you do not appreciate dry subtle British humor, you may not find this funny! I was smiling for days thinking about the scenes in this book. hilarious!