Sara (fernmariposa) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 7

7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Published: 2003
Pages: 536

I was excited to read this book because I am fascinated by time-travel. I loved "Timeline" by Michael Crichton and the "Back to the Future" movies and "Quantum Leap" TV show. The premise for this book sounded interesting with one of the characters, Henry, being a time traveler and going back in time to when his wife, Clare, was younger and before they met in real time. The novel started out promising, but by the time I finished it, I felt greatly disappointed.

The book is told in first person by both Henry and Clare. Now I wouldn't have any problem with this, except for the fact that both of their voices are exactly the same. There is really no difference between the way they're written. She should have just stuck with Henry's POV and called it "The Time Traveling Husband".

This book is over 530 pages, but it could have easily been condensed. There are many scenes that could have been cut as they don't move the plot along at all. These include the scene where Henry and Clare are playing up their pretentious game they made up with their friends, a scene with Henry talking to two young teens about his thoughts on music, etc. There are better examples, but those are the first two I could think of.

Also, what's the point of being a time-traveler if you can't change anything about your history? I can't remember if Henry really can't do anything to change his past, or if he just doesn't want to fuck with it, but if he knows somebody he loves is going to die, why not try to warn them when he's older? Hell, and while you're at it, why not try to stop 9/11? Okay, I know it would've been a completely different book if this took place in a parallel universe where 9/11 never happened, but it probably would have made for a better story!

There's also the really creepy plotline where he goes back in time and sees his wife between the ages of 6-18. In all of these excursions, he's usually in his 30s, sometimes in his early 40s and finds himself attracted to Clare when she's 13 or older and has to remind himself that she's not his wife yet. It's very creepy and uncomfortable, especially when they have sex on Clare's 18th birthday when he's 41. Maybe people find this romantic because she eventually becomes his future wife, but I felt like I had to take a long, hot shower after reading that.

I'm kind of curious to see the movie, though

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