Summary and book reviews of Killing Time by Caleb Carr

Killing Time

by Caleb Carr

Killing Time
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2000, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2002, 288 pages

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Book Summary

The year is 2023 and Wolfe's life and everything he knows are turned upside down when the widow of a murdered special-effects wizard enters his office. Killing Time combines future history with mystery and thriller elements to create a suspenseful novel.

Meet Dr. Gideon Wolfe, expert criminologist of the new millennium. A professor at New York's John Jay University in the year 2023, he lives in an era that has seen plague, a global economic crash, and the 2018 assassination of President Emily Forrester. In this turbulent new world order, Wolfe's life and everything he knows are turned upside down when the widow of a murdered special-effects wizard enters his office.

The widow hands him a silver disc from her husband's safety deposit box, hoping that Wolfe's expertise in history and criminology will compel him to track down her husband's killers. The disc contains footage of President Forrester's assassination, the same video that has been broadcast countless times on TV and over the internet-with one crucial, shocking difference: This version shows that before the video was released, it was altered with sinister special effects.

This explosive discovery will lead Gideon Wolfe on an electrifying journey from a criminal underworld of New York to the jungles of Africa and on a quest to find the truth in an age when all information can be manipulated. With this novel, Carr has boldly established a new genre - future history - combining the best elements of mystery and thrillers with unique historical insight. Breathtakingly suspenseful, Killing Time unfolds as the work of a master novelist.

Chapter One

Somewhere in the Mitumba Mountain Range of Central Africa, September 2024

We leave at daylight, so I must write quickly. All reports indicate that my pursuers are now very close: the same scouts who for the last two days have reported seeing a phantom airship moving steadily down from the northeast, setting fire to the earth as it goes, now say that they have spotted the vessel near Lake Albert. My host, Chief Dugumbe, has at last given up his insistence that I allow his warriors to help me stand and fight, and instead offers an escort of fifty men to cover my escape. Although I'm grateful, I've told him that so large a group would be too conspicuous. I'll take only my good friend Mutesa, the man who first dragged my exhausted body out of this high jungle, along with two or three others armed with some of the better French and American automatic weapons. We'll make straight for the coast, where I hope to find passage to a place even more remote than...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

George Magazine

Caleb Carr's mindblowing Killing Time has ruined the future for me. Now I'm going to spend the next 25 years waiting for the world to turn out exactly the way Carr eloquently imagines it in this twisted, hilarious, touching yarn that involves so many mysterious threads that I'm reading it again. Killing Time is an intimate family drama told against a global backdrop, from a born storyteller who's invented a new way to write.

George Magazine

Caleb Carr's mindblowing Killing Time has ruined the future for me. Now I'm going to spend the next 25 years waiting for the world to turn out exactly the way Carr eloquently imagines it in this twisted, hilarious, touching yarn that involves so many mysterious threads that I'm reading it again. Killing Time is an intimate family drama told against a global backdrop, from a born storyteller who's invented a new way to write.

Publisher's Weekly

This book is as much didactic essay as novel, filled with preachy talk. Characters are broad but memorable, and there's some brisk action, but the suspense relies too much on forebodings and cliffhangers--no doubt because the text originally appeared as a serial in Time magazine.

Publisher's Weekly

This book is as much didactic essay as novel, filled with preachy talk. Characters are broad but memorable, and there's some brisk action, but the suspense relies too much on forebodings and cliffhangers--no doubt because the text originally appeared as a serial in Time magazine.

Kirkus Reviews

Carr whizzes quickly through this entertaining nonsense in a hit-or-miss manner that's perhaps a little too compressed, especially at the rather hurried close, which (just barely) manages to suggest that Malcolm—far and away the most potentially interesting of the book's paper-thin characters—had actually succeeded in his quest to conquer time. Fun, but awfully sketchy. Carr seems more at home in the past than in the future.

Reader Reviews

chris

Good book

Maria DiDanieli

A comment on 'Killing Time'
I love Caleb Carr's ability to combine historical fact with compelling stories while offering insight to our times, our nature and our role in the world's chronology. I feel he does this in 'Killing Time' while also cleaning up his tendancy to ...   Read More

Dave

This book was good

CWWJ

Read Only if You Have Time to Kill
I am a Caleb Carr fan. His turn-of-the-century New York thrillers "The Alienist" and "Dark Angel" are marvelously inventive, fast-paced and suspenseful, and populated with fascinating fictional characters interacting with real historic figures in ...   Read More

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