The Outcasts of Time

Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

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

10 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!

9 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 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.

2 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.

1 person found this helpful

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This is different

This is a very interesting story written by a historian. It is not religious. It makes you think. The concept is novel. If you could pick 5 days (but only one in each century) what would you choose? The plague (and war with France), the turmoil of Henry VIII’s reign, Charles I, George II, (are we still fighting France?), Queen Victoria and new technologies, and finally Hitler. It is sort of “a day in the life” of each century for a small town in England. It is not a history but there is historical information. I have listened to a lot of books on the history of England so I don’t know how much that influenced my appreciation of the story. I think someone who doesn’t know anything about English history would enjoy the story. “The story” could be set in another country and still be thought provoking

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Great plot idea, generally well executed

As well as being a story of a time traveler, this is also the journey of a man trying to redeem himself. It bogs down somewhat in the middle (“Days” 4 & 5), but overall the book is very good. The ending is excellent, and very thought provoking.

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Mesmerizing!

All I can say is I absolutely love Ian Mortimer as an author and this book only made that love all the stronger! The storytelling is absolutely marvelous and mesmerizing in every way! If you are interested in historical fiction with a twist I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this book! This is my favorite book of all time and I cannot Recommend it enough!

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Absolutely bloody brilliant!

I found the protagonists slow and steady nature to be refreshing and a reminder that not all heroes wear capes. The historical accuracy was spot on, and the narrator did an excellent job. If you are a history buff, then this is definitely a must read.