Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Time Traveler's Wife

A few years ago I read The Time Traveler's Wife. I always saw it on the B&N Recommendation shelves and my Amazon recs would always have it listed, too. I'm not really into Sci Fi, and this book felt Sci Fi-ish to me. But I checked it out and it was worth it. Actually, my appreciation for the book has grown more over the years.

The main character, Henry, can travel through time - both into the past and into the future. He doesn't realize his powers until he's in his 20s - however, once he starts traveling, he makes his way back to the same girl several times. So, here's this girl who has a time-traveling friend throughout her life. Amongst the time traveling aspect unravels a love story between the two (nothing pedophile-like, they fall in love at the appropriate ages in present day). Henry can't control when he's going to travel, so this affects his life in many ways. Plus, he never knows where he'll end up, when it will be, and he's always naked. He spends a lot of time, while traveling, trying to fend off enemies (people he creeps out by appearing out of nowhere) and the cops (he has to steal to cover himself, eat, get around, etc.). The story follows Henry through the past, present and future, but also follows his love, Clare, through her life chronologically.

For me, the story felt complicated and I had to concentrate very hard to understand how time traveling could actually work. I was a huge skeptic, which unfortunately took away from my enjoyment of the book, I think. If I would've just relaxed and gone with the flow, I would've ended up with a better feeling of the book. But, like I said, as time passed, I now see the brilliance of the story and the creativeness of author Audrey Niffenegger. I borrowed the book to my mother-in-law and she loved it, too.

My appreciation for the story is probably why I'm very into Journeyman on NBC right now (Monday nights 10/9c). The TV show has a very similar storyline to The Time Traveler's Wife. Dan, the main character, suddenly discovers he can travel through time - unwillingly and only to the past so far. (Fortunately for him, he's fully clothed when he arrives.) Each episode has him helping someone in the past, which keeps episodes contained week to week, making it easy to miss it sometimes or come into in the middle of the season. Of course, time traveling can't be all fun. Dan's wife and child are the only ones who know he can do this (which causes problems itself), while his brother and boss are just wondering what the heck is going on with him. It's a very good show. I don't think I would have thought this if I hadn't read The Time Traveler's Wife and gotten over my need to figure out the "how."


willikat said...

dude, i am reading this RIGHT NOW.

A. said...

Come back and tell me what you think of it.

Was it confusing for you starting out? The jumps between the present and past, or present and future, were hard for me to get used to.

Emily said...

Hi guys - A., I love this blog. It is like a book club! I read this book a few years ago, and really liked it. I was also confused at first. I don't want to give anything away, but the ending also annoyed me.

A. said...

I hear you, Emily. And I think it definitely says something about us as readers that while certain parts of a book may be confusing or frustrating for us, we can still enjoy it in the end.