17 April 2011

Book Review - 2011 Book Challenge

Hello again!  I am behind on posting my book challenge reviews, so I thought I would get to one tonight.  This time I chose the book through Zeitgeist LibraryThing (Number 9 on the challenge list).  This is a site where top books or most reviewed books are listed.  Also, keep in mind that I chose it from a list about 6 weeks ago, so it may be elsewhere on the list now.

I chose The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.  This also came out a a movie.  I usually choose to read the book or watch the movie, but not both.  I have found in the past that I am disappointed in some way if I see both versions.  Since I never made it to the theater in time to check it out, I was happy to see it on the reviewed list.

This book is 536 pages long and occasionally felt that way.  The story begins with a man (Henry) who travels back and forth through time, against his will, and seemingly without direction or purpose.  The second main character of the book begins the story as a young girl (Clare), and follows her through her adolescence and into adult years.  The two characters meet at the girl's childhood home and interact there on and off through her teens.  She progresses through time sequentially, sometimes having a unique teenage experience.  However, he comes back into her life at various ages and stages.

One of the strengths of this book is that the author breaks down the sections by date and age of Henry and Clare.  The entire book would fail without this clarification.  In fact, it becomes a component of the story itself.  I thought it would be confusing, with Henry constantly changing age or location, but she really makes it work.  The author also tries, maybe a bit too hard, to involve Henry in many of Clare's formative years' events.  I understand she is trying to lay a foundation for things to come, but it does go on a bit.  Once you are into the meat of the book, other characters are introduced, some which are important to the story and some which I felt were tangents that got in the way.

All in all, the concept of time travel was incorporated in a creative way.  Especially when you consider only one of the main characters travels.  I felt the story has a dark undertone, but that could be just my interpretation.  I read this book in stages, mostly due to time constraints in my life.  I think that it helped me absorb each portion, but not lose the flow of the story.  I did not love the ending of the book, but the author does give the reader a little hope of another story with some of the characters continuing on the time travel lifestyle.

(Image courtesy of Amazon)

To find other reviews of books by LibraryThing, head to the #9 Challenge link up here.

Happy Reading, 



justine said...

oh no I really didn't like this book and couldn't bear to see the film, I will wait for your next book choice.

Kala said...

Seems everyone but me has read this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

nanny said...

I agree with your opinion of the book. Got bogged down at times, I did enjoy it overall and it is was better than the movie (in my opinion) I like to read the book before seeing the movie and sometimes I delay seeing a movie til I can read the book....my little hangup/ha
Did you read Water for Elephants? It was so good, I hope they do the movie justice!

black tag diaries said...

i bought this book a while back... but haven't picked it up yet... maybe i'll give it a try.