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Michelle

Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveller's Wife

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I finished this book earlier today. I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about it. On the one hand I thought it was beautifully written and a great story but another part of me was a little confused at times trying to keep up with what was present day and what was the past. I found it a fairly easy read, and I did enjoy it but I wouldn't say it gripped me as such.

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I finished this yesterday and overall I liked it. I didn't set my world on fire nor would I say it's the best novel I ever read, but I liked it. The end had me almost in tears which meant that the characters had meaning for me; I think this is really important for any novel. The story was well constructed and nicely ( if a little simply ) written. I thought the novel got better and better as it went on. My first reaction on reading it was "it's ok" and then about half way through I thought "this is good" and then by the end I was thinking "this is really good" Would I recommend it, yup, but have the tissues ready at the end unless your nick name happens to be 'ol stoney heart!

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I really enjoyed the first half of this book, in places the prose was good, funny and clever, the characters were strong and so believable that they immediately pulled you into the story. The choreography of Henry’s journeys was done with such ease that you were able to sympathize and accept the joys and traumas of time travel, more or less as Henry, a genetic defect that needed to be cured. The references to poetry and art were also a bonus. So far, so good.

 

Spoiler..

 

Then, a little over half way I began thinking "oh that as well...".. Think about them. The lawyer wasn't only a lawyer but a lawyer for abused children, then Ben with aids, Ingrid’s suicide, his father a great violinist becomes an alcoholic on and on and then six miscarriages. Although I appreciate that the birth of the doctor’s son had to be extraordinary as were the miscarriages, and, some would say life’s like that, but there was just too much of it, too much heartache and that, for me, turned what could have been an excellent book into just “a very sad one”.

 

 

Sorry if I sound heartless, I did shed tears.

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I agree, it ended on a happy note, however I sobbed for the last 50 pages.

 

One can only hope to experience the true, forgiving, unwaivering love that Nora has for Henry.

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*****SPOILERS!!!!!*****

You have been warned, ppl.

 

 

I really enjoyed this book.

 

Like Freewheeling Andy mentioned earlier in this thread, quite early on when it begins to establish its space-time structure, I went running to LexiePiper (it's her favourite book and she recommended it to me) and I started listing off the implications of what the book was saying, how it was implying a block universe of time and appealing to determinism and so on. And then later in the book, Niffenegger actually starts using and explaining those terms! I've never seen a fictional non-sci/fi book do that. She really got her theoretical facts straight and almost always abided by them.

 

My only problem was this:

There seemed to be a recurrence of 'should I tell about event X or should I not?' and the usual resounding answer was, 'I can't, because person Y doesn't already know about X.' But if Henry's daughter aged 10 can tell him he died five years ago, why can't Clare aged whatever tell Henry that she lost her virginity to him years before? Her reason for not telling him was, 'I couldn't, because you didn't know.' He didn't know about his death either, but he was told. This happens in other places too.

 

 

I'm just wondering, did I miss something there?

Edited by Maureen
Roxi, I've added the spoiler tags for you

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*****SPOILERS!!!!!*****

 

 

No you didn't miss anything, I think it's just a fact that Henry and Clare always have that "don't tell" thing with each other, and Henry even says further on to Alba (about older Alba) "tell her not to tell you things like that", I just think that, it was such an event for older Alba to see Henry that she couldn't control her emotions and remember that you're not meant to tell anything, and plus she's so young that she maybe doesn't grasp it as much as the others. I just think it's choices not to tell rather than not being able to or whatever.

 

Reading through the thread, someone mentioned about the relationships being bleak and I'd never really thought about it until now, but how true that is! I mean Gomez is pining after Clare, and would drop everything to be with her if he could, Henry is here there and everywhere, and then dies so young. I just feel sorry for Charisse, I couldn't have married Gomez knowing he was in love with Clare, there would forever be that worry of would he leave :(

 

 

Edited by Maureen
Lexi, I've added spoiler tags for you

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*****SPOILERS!!!!!*****

 

I just think it's choices not to tell rather than not being able to or whatever.

 

 

That's not what Henry saaaaaaid! :(

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*****SPOILERS!!!!!*****

 

Did he not? I don't remember him saying anything relating to telling about things, I just thought he couldn't change situations

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SPOIL... you get the idea.

 

Well if that was the implication it was badly written. Clare stated, 'I couldn't tell you about (the virginity thing) because you didn't know.' Not 'I didn't want to tell you coz we agreed without telling the readers we wouldn't.' I'm sure there was another occasion where something was omitted for the reader because a person 'couldn't know.'

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*I think we can safely say there will be spoilers from this point on and if you haven't read it...what the hell are you doing in this thread?! :(*

 

Ahhh, well then I'm not sure how she was able to say :roll::(

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Earlier in the thread everybody was talking about it without spoiler tags, just with 'Do Not Read' written at the top, including yourself.

 

I thought in discussion group threads spoilers were inherently to be expected? I don't know, obviously, I rarely post in them.

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I think the confusion has come because we have changed the way that the reading circles work. In the past, people were reading during the month, and so posters were careful with spoilers, as teh discussions went along. With the new changes, it is expected that you will have read the book once you come to the discussion.

 

It was a point worth raising, I think I'll make it clear that whilst reviews and general discussions shouldn't contain spoilers, the reading circle discussions will. :lol:

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Just finished reading this last night (well 2am today).

I thought much of the book was brilliantly written, from about half way on it really started to grip me.

 

There were definately a few surprises (Henry being there when Ingrid commited suicide, and the incident when Ingrid had obviously worked out that the little girl looking for her father was Henry's daughter, allough she never really told him).

 

I did shed some tears. Henry meeting his daughter for the first time was really touching, as was the great lengths Claire went to for Henry's birthday, including the moment when she played the recording of his mother singing.

 

At the start of the book, as has been said, the almost detective like discriptions were a bit unusual, nobody recalls that much detail.

 

As the book was reaching its end I got really concerned about how she would write the ending. I knew Henry was going to die and I knew that there was an earlier scene (the shooting) to be tied in, but surely it wouldn't be that simple. I like an ending that I didn't see coming.

 

The way Henry died, just vanished, disturbed me, and I was left quite depressed by the end, even the slightly uplifting meeting years later didn't change my mood. For this reason I won't be reading it again in a hurry, but I would definately recommend it and will be lending it out to friends, then probably send it bookcrossing.

 

I look forward to the movie.

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I actually found Henry's death kind of confusing. Although I knew he had been shot it seemed unclear how it had happened. It made me very sad, but it's still a favourite book of mine. Whether Henry dying added anything to it I'm not sure, but I suppose it was inevitable.

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Six years after the publication of her blockbuster best-selling novel, “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” Audrey Niffenegger has sold a new manuscript for close to $5 million, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. It is an especially significant sum at a time of retrenchment and economic uncertainty in the publishing world. After a fiercely contested auction, Scribner, a unit of Simon & Schuster, bought the rights to publish the new novel, “Her Fearful Symmetry,” in the United States this fall. The book is a supernatural story about twins who inherit an apartment near a London cemetery and become embroiled in the lives of the building’s other residents and the ghost of their aunt, who left them the flat.

“Her Fearful Symmetry” is set to go on sale at the end of September, and will coincide with the British publication by Jonathan Cape this fall. The film adaptation of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, is scheduled for a February 2010 release.

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I loved this book, one of my favourites. It's one of the few to make me teary and choked. I await her follow-up novel with some trepidation, because of my experience with Donna Tartt. With her, I had read The Secret History and could not wait for the second one to come out (ten years later!!!) and was sorely disappointed. I hope this doesn't happen here. I'm looking forward to the film. I think Eric Bana's mostly good (he appeared a little one dimensional and wooden in The Other Boleyn Girl) and Rachel McAdams is certainly easy on the eye. I think I saw her in Red Eye with Cillian Murphy...:shrug:

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Rachel McAdams is too 'pretty' to be Clare I think. I always got the impression Clare had a very understated beauty, emphasised by her red hair.

 

Then again, when they couldn't even be bothered to pay attention to the one physical feature about her mentioned time and time again, why should I be surprised? :shrug:

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Or maybe they went for an actress that can portray Claire, can actually act her? Or maybe they're dying her hair? *gash* The devils of modern cosmetics industry! Hair color that can be changed!

 

Seriously, it was mentioned, yes, but what really was the role of that hair? Yes, it was pretty, yes, I'm all for red hair, after all, I had it for 13 years, yes it was mentioned a lot. But why? Why does it matter?

 

I really don't get this obsession with adapted movies having to be exactly like the book. I personally much prefer a good movie with a story that flows and actors that can do their job, to a precise, boring and clumsy film of a story with actors whose biggest achievement is "looking the part". It's adapted, for heavens sake!

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Hmm I know I am more than a tad late in replying here but I only just joined this cool place, and can't help but feel a need to get my viewpoint in :)..

 

I struggled to get through this book, read it about 3 months ago. Then the last half of it really impressed me and I cried real tears at the end (something a book hasn't made me do in ages).

 

Regarding the film, ever since I saw Eric Bana playing Henry VIII in 'The Other Boleyn Girl (what an appalling attempt) he barely said three words in that movie, it really put me off him so I didn't enjoy the TTW movie.

 

Also thought it was so far removed from the book (as movies go) that it wasn't nearly as touching as the novel.

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I saw the film first, and did like it a lot, for most parts. Both Bana and McAdams did great but for a film called the time traveler's (anyone know why there's only one l?) wife it focused very much on Henry... Of course lots more happens to him and all but still..

 

It took me quite som time to get used to her writing, I found it to chopped up and describing and the most stilted way, not flowing at all. but after awhile I guess I got used to it.

 

Because of the travelling there's so much info told early in the book that explains things later when I no longer remembered it. it's a book that needs to be read again, I feel.

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Difference between American and British English.

 

Americans use only one l in many words in which Brits use two ls, including traveler/traveller. The book is actually called The Time TRAVELER'S Wife. As, presumably, is the movie, for this reason.

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