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Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Time Traveller's Wife, Reviewed.

The Time Traveler's WifeImage via Wikipedia
Occasionally, though by no means often, I finish a book and think, 'I wish I'd written that!'  Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife is one such book. As a major movie has been adapted from the novel, it came with the baggage of exaggerated claims from the movie industry publicity machines. But I have not seen the film and was, in fact, initially introduced to the novel via that excellent readers' website, Goodreads.
I was interested from the opening paragraph, intrigued by the end of the first chapter, mildly concerned it might be too long somewhere around the middle, revived very shortly afterwards, and then compelled to read to the end.
The story is different, clever, fascinating, well-told and satisfying. I will give no clues (most are in the title) to those who have neither read the book nor seen the film) but simply suggest you read this book.
The characters are wonderfully drawn; real people who live extraordinary lives against a landscape which is superbly described.
The relationships are crafted with empathy and understanding so that I read on an emotional roller-coaster (if you'll forgive the slip into cliché).
Rarely do I come across a book in which all the elements are good. In this one, I discovered them to be as near to perfect as you can hope for.
And, rather sneakily (though in line with the need for authors and publishers to promote their wares in this world of too many books) the publishers have included a taster of this writer's next book, Her Perfect Symmetry, and this has now been added to my 'to read' list. But, unfortunately, it will have to wait until I have re-acquainted myself with the set texts my daughter is studying for her upcoming A level exams, as that is time sensitive.
As for The Time Traveller's Wife, I hope I've made it clear I not only enjoyed this book but admire the writer's craft and artistry. If anyone reading this has both read the book and seen the film, I'd appreciate your comments so I can decide whether the film is worth viewing. I recommend the book without qualification.

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