Timekeepers: Book summary and reviews of Timekeepers by Simon Garfield

Timekeepers

How the World Became Obsessed With Time

by Simon Garfield

Timekeepers by Simon Garfield X
Timekeepers by Simon Garfield

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About this book

Book Summary

As managing time becomes the greatest challenge we face in our lives, this multi-layered history helps us tackle it in a sparkling new light.

Not so long ago we timed our lives by the movement of the sun. These days our time arrives atomically and insistently, and our lives are propelled by the notion that we will never have enough of the one thing we crave the most. How have we come to be dominated by something so arbitrary?

The compelling stories in this book explore our obsessions with time. An Englishman arrives back from Calcutta but refuses to adjust his watch. Beethoven has his symphonic wishes ignored. A moment of war is frozen forever. The timetable arrives by steam train. A woman designs a ten-hour clock and reinvents the calendar. Roger Bannister becomes stuck in the same four minutes forever. A British watchmaker competes with mighty Switzerland. And a prince attempts to stop time in its tracks.

Timekeepers is a vivid exploration of the ways we have perceived, contained and saved time over the last 250 years, narrated in the highly inventive and entertaining style that bestselling author Simon Garfield is fast making his own.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Sunday Times Culture Book fo the Year 2016
Observer Science Book of the Year 2016

"Starred Review. Exhibiting dry wit and fizzing with insatiable curiosity, Garfield collects enough eccentric characters, places, and ideas to entertain every reader." - Publishers Weekly

"Delightful." - Sunday Telegraph (UK)

"Time well spent ... Simon Garfield has made his name as an author who can spin fascinating narratives out of subjects that seem, on the face of it, narrow to the point of being dull." - Financial Times (UK)

"Engaging ... Engrossing." - Mail on Sunday (UK)

"Entertaining... jaunty... Scholarly but jokey, with a magpie's appetite for glittering trivia, Garfield is as eager to amuse as to inform, and achieves both." - Daily Telegraph (UK)

"In this book, brilliant cultural historian Simon Garfield assembles a host of intriguing characters who have tried to bend time to their own rules, and questions how we came to be ruled by something so arbitrary." - Elle (UK)

"Delightful ... Gloriously funny ... Garfield has an astonishing capacity for meticulous research and a wonderful ability to select the best stories to entertain us." - The Daily Express (UK)

"Thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating ... Stuffed with fascinating material." - Observer (UK)

"Garfield's anecdotal, science-friendly book explores the tyranny of time and our desire to control it." - Saga (UK)

"A sort of museum between hard covers. Timekeepers is as good as pop history gets." - The Sunday Express (UK)

"Digressive, gossipy, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining ... Simon Garfield is an exuberant truffle-hound of the recondite and delightful factoid." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"An eclectic collection of explorations of our relationships with time ... Very readable." - The Times (UK)

"There could be no better guide than Simon Garfield for this journey into time and its meaning for our lives. From the assembly line to the French Revolution, he covers the quirks of the clock with insight and wry enthusiasm. A riveting, educational read." - Daniel Pink, author of Drive

The information about Timekeepers shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Simon Garfield Author Biography

Simon Garfield was born in London in 1960. He won the Guardian/National Union of Students "Student Journalist of the Year" award In 1981, and the same year became a sub-editor at the Radio Times (a UK guide to what's on TV and radio).

He wrote scripts for BBC radio documentaries in the early 1980s, and wrote for Time Out magazine (where he was acting editor from 1988-1989).

He has written for newspapers such as The Independent on Sunday and The Observer. He was named Mind Journalist of the Year in 2005. The award celebrates exceptional writing on mental health issues in the local, national, trade and consumer press.

He is the author of a dozen books of nonfiction including Just My Type, published in 2010 in the UK and 2011 in the USA.

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