Reader reviews and comments on The Time Traveler's Wife, plus links to write your own review.

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The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2003, 518 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2004, 560 pages

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There are currently 51 reader reviews for The Time Traveler's Wife
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JW (10/01/05)

The Time Traveler's Wife
I finished this very satisfying "read" this evening. The author handled the potentially confusing shifts in time and point of view with technical mastery, especially given the speed and frequency with which they occurred. I found myself double checking that the author was a woman about midway through the book because it occurred to me that Henry's character was drawn with much greater dimension and precision than was Clare's; Gomez' more strongly defined than Charisse's. Through the first two-thirds of the book, Henry's time traveling is entertaining, even charming, and an integral part of the love story between Henry and Clare. As the book's climax approaches, the author's deft foreshadowing injects a darker note and the essential tragedy of the story become more apparent. I found the ending poignant and inevitable. I will watch for other books by this very promising author.
DJ (07/18/05)

Utterly charming and absorbing
There are only a small handful of books I've read where I've become so absorbed by the story that I look up to see I've missed my subway stop - this happened more than once! The Time Traveler's Wife is one of those books. It has captured my heart one hundred percent.

I recommended this book to a friend and he became as engrossed as I did - we spent hours discussing Henry and Clare as if they were friends of ours. They stay with you long after the last page is read...to this day I often find myself wondering about them as if they are real people.

The only criticism I have is that some of the more peripheral characters in the book (Helen, for example) speak in the same "voice" that Henry and Clare speak in as adults - not something you expect from the mouth of a sixteen-year old girl. That was the only thing that took me out of the story, but only for a moment. I still wish I could have Henry and Clare over to dinner!
Lynda (03/01/05)

This is a book which will appeal to educated readers, while those who skim the surface and read the novel purely for its story of love and time travel will miss a great deal. The book is replete with references to art and literature, wonderful additions adding depth to an already interesting and entertaining narrative. After all, Henry is a librarian, so the references and quotations fit naturally into the novel. For those who have not read "The Money’s Paw" or "The Moonstone," seen Turner’s paintings, or know what "Tabula Rasa" is, the book will be just another good read. But to those familiar with world literature and the arts, the narrative has great depth and is rich with meaning - a remarkable story they are likely to remember for quite a long time.
Evi Greece (02/03/05)

This is a truly overwhelming book...i discovered it by accident on the internet and i ordered it right away, once i started reading it, i couldn't put it down. The utterly unconditional, strong and everlasting love of Clare and Henry makes your heart break, i cried so much my parents thought there was sth wrong with me...even chrono-displacement seems so ordinary, so convincing, you cannot help feeling that this couple could actually exist...The way they accept the truth, their effort to lead a normal life, the way they are bonded to each other through thick and thin is extraordinary, you are completely sucked into this book and you feel as if you know Clare and Henry and pray that it will work out for them. Read this book and you will never forget it!
Maryellen (01/31/05)

High concept, uneven execution. cardboard characters, too much surface detail about what music they listen to and what they eat, nothing about the events of the eras they live through. Henry the time traveler is not interesting enough for all the attention. He learns nothing from going back and forth and neither do we. Other authors have done much better with the potentially fascinatining time travel concept: Jack Finney in Time and Again, Kurt Vonnegutt in Slaugherhouse Five, and the screenplays of Back to the Future, and Groundhog Day, for examples. Basically this book is a soppy piece of chicklit with a twist that does not really redeem its banality.
Beth (01/27/05)

I decided to read this book when I learned that the movie rights had been purchased by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. It sat on my shelf a good six months before I got around to reading it, but once I started, I coud not put it down. It is the best book I have ever read. The story is compelling on so many levels. It was exciting, funny and most of all a very touching love story. Pick a weekend, schedule nothing, and curl up with The Time Traveler's Wife (don't forget a box of Kleenex) and you will be mesmerized. Attention Brad and Jennifer, if you are indeed going to turn this lovely book into a movie, how about Clive Owen as Henry - he'd be perfect!
JWH (01/25/05)

I miss Henry and Clare. That is the sign of a good book.
jlp (01/21/05)

What if you disappeared occasionally, to another time and place, spontaneously, randomly? What if you were married to a man to whom that happened? This is the story of Henry deTamble, who suffers from Chromo-Displacement Disorder, and his wife, Clare, who first met him when she was six and he 36, and married him when she was 23 and he 31, and their attempts to lead a normal life while always expecting the unexpected.

What an amazing book! Niffenegger grabs you and holds you for 500+ pages. I read this in 3 days, the writing is so compelling. I don't ordinarily like books that are written in the present tense, but in this book, narrated by both Henry and Clare, it is absolutely right.

For me, the book carried the added attraction of referencing people and places I know about, including the mention of an organization to which I belong. A good part of the book takes place at the Newberry Library, one of my favorite places. (One error that could have been avoided if the author shared her character's disorder: the two guys who sold libretti at the Opera House retired, and by the time of the episode in this book had been succeeded by two young women.)

If you don't like science fiction and so are avoiding this book because you've heard it's about time travel, pick it up and read it. It's not science fiction, it's not fantasy, it's a finely crafted piece of literature about life and love, about dealing with crisis and with day-to-day living. You really all need to read this book.
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