October 09, 2011

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Ok, I read this book once before and actually hated it. The 2nd time around it wasn't as bad. Still not great, but not terrible either. I definitely don't see what all the hype is about surrounding it.

Henry is a time traveler. This involves just getting plucked out of time randomly and appearing naked somewhere. Needless to say the whole outcome isn't very desirable. He's been this way since the death of his mother in a car accident although it seems to be a genetic flaw. But on some of his time travels he meets Clare, a young girl of six who is destined to be his wife. The book follows them in and out of time as they keep returning to each other at different points. It explores Henry's journeys and tribulations as he deals with the fallout his condition causes him.

Henry I actually like as a character although I feel very sorry for him at times. Clare on the other hand didn't have very many redeeming qualities for me aside from an infinite amount of patience she must have had to put up with Henry. I just didn't see the love between the two despite the numerous descriptions of them having sex. But that seemed to be all they had. I just wish I could have seen more of the tender relationship they were supposed to have had. I wasn't very attached to any of the side characters either. They were lost in the whirlwind that was Henry and Clare and didn't really get too much description of their own except for Gomez, who was a class A jerk.

The plot has an interesting concept, but could have been carried out much better. Niffenegger is a good writer and her words read easily and lyrically, but there's a lot of fluff in the book that was needless. And the name dropping of different bands and places and things I could have cared less about detracted as well. I honestly didn't care what band was from when or who and it didn't add to the story at all. The jumping around in time was definitely interesting and well thought out, but I would have liked more detail on the relationships within the story. Overall, I think the ending is what truly makes this book. In fact, its the reason I give it as high as three stars.

An interesting book but not as good as its popularity makes you think it is. I would probably read other stuff of hers, but I'm in no hurry to do it.

The Time Traveler's Wife
Copyright 2003
536 pages

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