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Publisher's Summary

December 1348. What if you had just six days to save your soul?

With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days 99 years after the last.

John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them in further unexpected ways. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the listener travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment, and war. But their time is running out - can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

©2017 Ian Mortimer (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"It's an incredible tour de force, a vivid...evocation of an age that is long-gone yet has been brought to life again in vibrant and robust fashion thanks to Ian Mortimer's impeccable scholarship and pacy writing." (Alison Weir, New York Times best-selling author)

What listeners say about The Outcasts of Time

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointment

If you are into long, detailed descriptions of everything this is the book for you. There is no plot just Rip Van Winkle appearing every 99 years to be amazed at the changes time has wrought. The performance was good, but he had nothing to work with.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful journey and more!

I really enjoyed this book. I am a psychologist and a student of English History and Ian Mortimer has written a story that tells of life from a new perspective. John, the main character has both a limited time and forever to live out the last days of his life. He learns to see humanity, goodness, badness, the very meaning of of a well lived life from his experiences. As he and his brother move through time, they are confused by the deep changes that come about with progress. They have to adapt and understand these changes quickly and the journey is difficult.

It is a pleasure to travel though the centuries with John and William as they struggle and misunderstand the times and are misunderstand by the people around them. The end is spectacular. Ian Mortimer has given John an answer to the problem he has struggled with all of his life that is meaningful to everyone. This is an existential tour de force.

18 people found this helpful

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OUTSTANDING!

Time travel and social commentary - gullivers travels but without the complex political commentary. The story of two brothers escaping the plague in 1300 England and their traveling each day 99 years. A joy to listen to and very thoughtful. Do not miss this one!

15 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

I loved every moment of this book. I could have been walking through history right with them.

14 people found this helpful

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Very Enjoyable Listen

The reason for my 5 Star rating has more to the reason I listened to the book, than to the book itself.
I listened to it while on a 14 hour road trip.

This book kept me entertained the entire trip without being overly complex, while still providing an insight into life thru the ages.
In other words: if I got distracted, I was able to fill in the gaps without feeling lost. But there were times I listened to a section a second time because of how well the story was researched

Basically....not only was I entertained for my whole trip, but I came away with a better understanding of everyday life In history.

13 people found this helpful

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An Interesting journey via a Medieval Stone Mason POV.

Detailed descriptions of the environment and simplistic (initially) perspective of a poor, but capable, stone Mason traveling 1 per century from plague-ridden 14th century England through World War II.
It describes not only his response to the marvels of technological evolution, but also looks directly into such subjects as the plight of the poor, the government and its impacts on the government, relativism and - especially - theological questions pertaining to what is good vs. evil, what man knows of God and God’s will, and what is a worthy life.
As a fan of both theology (all
Religions and cultures) and history (nonfiction) and only recently became interested in historical fiction... and this one was simply wonderful.

9 people found this helpful

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outstanding

didnt expect the way it turned out. enjoyed it throughly from beginning to end. very good.

9 people found this helpful

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A review of history with a moral at the end

Struggle to finish. I expected a journey but got a dry history lesson full of whining.

It was thought provoking; leading you to consider the difference between life in the dark ages and the now, but the story was so dry and dark that it was hard to not want to fast forward.

7 people found this helpful

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Different type of journey

So while I didn’t LOVE this book, it was very interesting and I recommend it. Now it does drag on in places and some parts of it are really slow, but it’s part of the learning process. The journey taken through time is so fast that it allows you to have perspective. You see how fickle man is. How are views of morality drastically change. Etc.

Like I said, this probably won’t be your favorite book you read over and over again, however it’s one of those books that you should read.

4 people found this helpful

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Insightful treatise on religion and history

I would not have read this book as a great deal of it is extreme detail. I probably would have skipped those parts. But listening to it was a great way to hear about the adventures of a devout Catholic man given a chance to live for 6 days during the Black Death. He is dying and is giving a choice to survive for those days, each in a new century, or to die then and there. His exploration of the changing viewpoint of religion in England over those 600 years is very interesting and worth a listen

3 people found this helpful