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I read this book early last year and still think about it often.
The Time Traveler's Wife
OK, it's not a model of fine literature.
It's also not a well-crafted work of science fiction.
If those are the reasons you're looking at starting this book, never mind, you probably won't like it.
It's a love story (although not a sappy, bodice-ripping Harlequin Romance kind of thing). It a beautiful, involving, original tale that stayed with me for a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been one of only two books I've recommended to my reading friends in the last year.
I found The Time Traveler's Wife, although quite original in concept, to be one of the more boring, contrived, and melodramatic love stories I have read to date. I was bothered by many aspects of this novel---the convenience and ease of their wealth, Clare's excessively blue-blood upbringing (the setting of her childhood home could just as easily have been a southern antebellum plantation, replete with slaves), each character's entry read like a middle school journal, and the dating of each entry, along with giving the various ages of the two lovers at the time, got more and more tedious and confusing as the novel progressed. I do not see what all the fuss is about. I only hope that I can soon forget the names Henry and Clare.
Porno Sci Fi
Pornography meets science fiction.
Self-absorbed, self-indulged protagonists slog through their meaningless lives accented only by binges of alcohol, drugs, oral sex, and punk-art.
Hope comes only in knowing that Henry really will die and that Clare (who care nothing for Henry, but only for the fantasy of him during his absences) will live on in loneliness. Ugh!
Well written if the author's desire is for us to wish Henry and Clare a classic No Exit existence. BTW Dasein is seriously misunderstood in this novel. Of course, so is punk, but likely the author is just hoping nobody noticed.
To be fair, the author did not promise us characters that we would like or even care about. She delivers well on that non-promise.
Could have been reduced to a short story with no content loss.
Some people are literature snobs and will criticize this book. I've heard it - too much petty detail, too much sex, too little development of Gomez or Charisse or Ben.
I Was So Sad When I Finished This Book!
And I can see that. And I don't effing care.
This is a beautiful book that, if you let it, will affect you so strongly you won't be able to forget it. I like the writing style - its sophisticated without being pretentious. You feel as if you are in Henry or Clare's mind, rather than having it be told to you with censors. The story therefore leaves a lasting, raw impression.
My friends and often comment we "want a Henry". But Henry DeTamble isn't all that fantastic. He is very flawed. What we want is the undeniable, time-leaping connection he has to Clare...so honest and natural and true.
You will fall in love with their love. Its like no other love story you have read. Despite the fantastic plot, it rings completely true. That's the important part of the story. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
I literally missed Henry and Clare immediately upon finishing this book. The character developement was incredible ... I felt like I'd known these people my entire life. I was right smack dab in the middle of their relationship. BRILLIANT! It is truly beyond me how Audrey Niffenegger developed the timelines, the plot, and the connectedness between these two people. I mean, a little girl meeting the man she will marry, and falling for him ... without it ever feeling innappropriate? Amazing! The only times I have ever cried this hard after reading a book are when I was 10 and read Where the Red Fern Grows, and last year when I read the Kite Runner. And I read voraciously! Easily the best love story ever written. And I must say this ... I was concerned that it would be sci-fi because of the title. It's NOT science fiction for those of you that aren't sure. A must read.
The Time Traveler's Wife captivated me straight from the start. I finished reading it tonight and already I miss the characters, namely Clare and Henry. In the last 100 pages, I had to force myself to slow down as I did not want the story to end. Very often I found myself hanging on the author's every word, either breathless or in tears. The story is engaging as it is emotional. Curiosity, surprise, enchantment, joy, sadness, annoyance, understanding, loneliness, worry, wonder, anger,fear, anguish, hope, and relief are only some examples of the feelings I felt when reading this amazing novel.
This book is possibly one of the best books ever written. Just the sheer thought that someones mind can work in this way to be able to write such a story is amazing. Audrey Niffenegger is a very clever woman and it would be interesting to see a sequel to this book, involving Henry and Clare's daughter. I have read this so many times, that I can know pick this book up and open at any page and know where I'm at and what's happening. Anyone with any doubts as to whether or not to read it, don't hesitate!! You'll love it!!
Ignore Brad & Jen! super read!
I wasn't even going to write a review of this book until I saw the review by Beth referring to the fact that Jennifer Anniston & Brad Pitt had purchased the rights....and then I thought to myself...."Dear God in heaven, reading that may dissuade people from reading this totally fabulous book, how can I prevent such a thing?" I'm sure JA & BP are ever so smart, in their own ways....but, if I had read such a thing (review) before reading this book, well, I might not have read it.
I started reading with high expectations, and they were met....the story swept me up from the get go and, I'm almost ashamed to admit, I fell in love with Henry early on. But, and I would take this as a huge compliment to the author, I was not in the least jealous of Clare. In fact, I loved her, too!
The characters were fantastic, the plot, well thought out, the setting made me want to visit Chicago & the Great Lakes area. The only criticism I can muster is that the secondary (or even beyond secondary) characters perhaps should have been played down or, less well-defined. Some of the characters were distracting, especially the 'extraneous' members of Clare's family - but only because they were not given more time to develop.
All in all, this book rates an A+ from me, despite Brad & Jen!