The Accidental Time Machine

Narrated by: Kevin Free
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (907 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Joe Haldeman is the esteemed Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Forever War. Things are going nowhere for lowly MIT research assistant Matt Fuller - especially not after his girlfriend drops him for another man. But then while working late one night, he inadvertently stumbles upon what may be the greatest scientific breakthrough ever. His luck, however, runs out when he finds himself wanted for murder - in the future.
©2007 Joe Haldeman (P)2008 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about The Accidental Time Machine

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cool idea. Tediously told.

Haldeman tells you everything every philosopher imagines about time travel. Over and over and over and... ZZZZZZzzzzzz. Okay I knew the book was 7hrs when I bought it. What I didn't know is that the author magically made it seem like 42 hours... Or at least when I stopped listening it seemed like a trick to mash that many minutes into such a small container... Not an interesting trick.

Hey, if you just want to hear, say, the first forty percent of this book... Well, that part's not bad... Filled with potential. When I pressed 'stop' I no longer cared about the questions raised in the beginning. Kevin Free reads alright, although my wife, who listened along with me on a long road trip, found his female voices weird.

In all... pass on this one.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unexpected Sci-Fi

When I read reviews before buying, I kept reading that it had a twist. How much of twist could a time travel book really have? It's a big one.

The story and characters are good on their own, nobody stands out as amazing, just solid enjoyment. But the twist had me literally going, "Huh? Huh? HUH!"

I stuck it out because I was so curious to see how the author could take me from "OMG No" to "Yay!" And he does.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good time travle Sci Fi. A good fun story!

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

Some Time books can be sort of crushing, all "paradox" this and "I went back to change it all" that.. This story is nice and simple and easy to enjoy. and that's what i did, enjoy it.
It had all the good parts about practical time travel coupled with a nice story.
recommended.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fun, light story

Any additional comments?

I both love and hate time travel stories. I usually hate the ones that allow the protagonist to bop around at will. Especially ones that try to make a suspenseful (race against the clock) story to save the day - when all they have to do is use their stupid time machine and go back... say 12 hours more, etc.... i.e. Heros (TV show).

The time travel stories I love are ones where there are restrictions. This is one of those stories. This grad student, Matt, discovers that a simple device seems to be able to jump forward in time. The restrictions are that the amount of time it moves forward is exponential each time; so a few seconds turn into a few minutes, to days, months, years, etc. There is no going backwards.

So the story turns out to be him moving forward in time, further and further each time. It's a bit light heated but clever. A warning - if you can't handle a story that discusses and rebukes religion then steer clear.

When I first started listening to the narrator I was a little turned off - he seemed young and amateurish. But he actually ended up doing a pretty good job actually and since the story was completely centered around Matt (who is young and a bit immature) , the narrator's voice became totally appropriate and fit perfectly.

In all, this is a quick, witty, funny, and overall fun story. It was not at all what I expected and I was presently surprised.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good contemporary time travel & coming of age tale

Matt is a smart but lazy MIT research assistant who accidentally discovers a time machine. However it will only go forward in time, and will exponentially increases with every jump. While the first jumps are in minutes it will quickly jumps day, years and centuries with no guarantee he can ever get back.

Although I haven't read it, it feels like a modern version of The Time Machine. The restriction of only being able to go forward in time avoids a lot of the typical time travel cliches. Still it doesn't try to ignore paradoxes but faces them head on and discusses the theories in depth.

While the story it does deal a lot with time theory, overall it's really is a coming of age story. We see Matt develop and grow naturally as a person, discovering himself.

I won't spoil what he encounters in the future but at least part of it follows the typical society evolves backwards, or at least to outward appearances. For parts it seem to be predictable and boring but it does become unpredictable again. It has religious themes that some people may take issue with, but since the protagonist is a skeptic we have to remember we're shown the world through his eyes.

The ending doesn't pull any fancy tricks, comes close to Deus Ex Machina but doesn't.

Having a contemporary protagonist gave it a fresh feel and if you like time travel stories give it a read. If you don't like all the timey wimey mumbo jumbo be prepared to skip through parts.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

satisfying and interesting.

I usually buy longer books. But this offered so much.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

It's about time

Science Fiction has been around for about a century and yet this is the first book that bases a story on a Time Machine only going forward in time. While the scenarios are sometimes a bit odd, and the secondary premise is left unexplained, I still feel this is a book worth reading. Something about the characters stays with you long after the book is back on the shelf.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written and Well Read

Don't let the cover picture and title keep you away. A great science fiction selection, hard science with a human side, humorous and compassionate as well.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite time travel books

This is my third listen, as it is so much fun. Joe has a wonderful imagination, and through this book, he takes you to the end of the universe and back, with a sweet love story in between.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I was transported myself!!

If you could sum up The Accidental Time Machine in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing! Fantastical! Addictive!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, I loved the main character, of course, but which version?! I also loved his artist love interest, the "main" one he first re-met.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved his former girlfriend's art show. How cool!!!

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

Absolutely!! I was hooked! Addicted! I couldn't wait to get back to it!

Any additional comments?

This book really did a number on my head, in a good way. I was listening while on a long trip in early November with multiple stops to towns in northern Ohio I'd never been to. As I pulled into the first town I arrived in after I first started listening to this, it was all decorated for Christmas, people were all bundled up, and there was a horse-drawn carriage! I seriously thought for a few seconds (not just split-second!) that I'd entered a parallel universe!!! It ended up being a very early Christmas festival, but was so random and so funny my brain first thought I was in an alternative universe. I really, really LOVED this book! I want more!!!

1 person found this helpful