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Time and Chance
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Time and Chance

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A classic novel from the bestselling author of Moloka'i and Honolulu

Before Alan Brennert became a bestselling author of historical novels, he wrote this lyrical fantasy in the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Part love story, part deeply affecting character study, it is a literary tour de force chronicling the parallel lives of two men who were once the same man--until, a...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1990)
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Time and Chance is about the journey rather than the destination. It’s a book filled with conflict, love, tenderness and confusion all propped up by an intense emotional thread that seems to compliment the book well, without ever being overdone. If, at points, the plot did seem to lag, it does pick up and recover, especially during the last third of the book. Time and Chance is an impressive character study, which manages to hook the reader while also forcing them to examine their own lives, and...more
Miss J
I read this book, because I wanted to read a book written by Alan Brennert. His book "Molokai" has been highly praised, unfortunately the public library in my area, doesn't have this book in its shelves. So I opted to read another book by this author, namely "Time and Chance".
This book was written before "Molokai", so my disappointment isn't too great. His writing could've only gotten better since "Time and Chance".

The story sounds interesting; the protagonist could've lived two different lives...more
This is an earlier work by Alan Brennert, the same author of my current FAVORITE book, Moloka'i. This is the sole reason I bought the book. Halfway through it, I was ready to give it only 2 stars. It had an interesting premise (a semi-famous actor switches places with his alter-ego who opted to marry his high school sweetheart instead of pursuing acting), but it just wasn't keeping my interest as the two men sorted through each other's lives. But the last third of the book picked up, and I found...more
One man who becomes two men, Rick and Richard, take 2 paths 13 years before. One man left his sweetheart to persue his acting dreams in NYC. The other married the sweetheart and they built a life with her. Neither man ends up happy with the path they took and wonders "what if". This was an interesting idea and I liked it to the end. Fun summer read.

Cheryl in CC NV
I expect to enjoy this even more than I did Moloka'i.

-------------finally read it.

In one day. It is that good. Of course it's more like Time and Again or even The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde than it is like The Time Traveler's Wife, but I'll agree with the marketing in that the atmosphere is more subtle than the first two, more like the third.

But anyway, never mind comparisons. Read it because it's a good story, written thoughtfully & beautifully & dramatically & simply....more
I am very accustomed to reading young adult novels. This was not a young adult novel. This was very adult and I am not entirely comfortable with what I just read.

So what did I think about this book? Well, the premise of this book is that there are two entities, one man, living parallel lives. It is supposed to be a "what-if" scenario. What if you had made a different choice after college and married the woman you loved and gave up your acting career? What if Debra had never aborted Paige? What i...more
I very much enjoyed both the premise of this book and the actual reading of it. It takes the idea that when we make those pivotal moments in our lives...perhaps the moments that we replay what if over and over and over another reality you actually make that other choice and your life plays out from there. What happens if your two selves from those two separate decisions (but one deciding event) meet. That is what happens in this book.

When I read the blurb, I was actually expecting a...more
This is the story of Richard aka Rick Cochrane, who just so happen to be the same person, but when Mr. Cochrane came to a fork in his life, Richard to one fork while Rick toook the other. Years later for unknown reasons the paths of the two cross. They switch places and see what their lives would have been like. Richard thought he could change things that he had done. But his mother still dies,and his friend is not much better in his life, just different attitude. Do the two of them switch back...more
It was okay from beginning to end. Many have commented on how this idea of getting to live out your parallel life from the path not taken is so original, but it's been done quite a few times and this was not one of the finest examples. Many of the characters were unlikable and some of the choices the main character, Rick, made seemed drastic and didn't make sense. It had good moments, but there were too many points in the book where I was bored at how predictable the story was.

(view spoiler)...more
This is a novel by the author of another novel I enjoyed, Molok'i, but in no way like that novel. This novel addresses the question "what would have happen if I had chosen a different path?" Richard a New York City stage and television actor has a sucessful career but is still not satisfied with his life. Rick is employed by as an insurance claims adjuster, has a wife and two children and has a moderately comfortable life. Richard and Rick are the the same person. They just happen to take differ...more
I loved the author's other books, Molok'ai and Honolulu, so I knew I would appreciate the writing, however this wasn't as riveting. It's an interesting concept to see how one's life would be different had we made different choices. Brennart made me care about his character, and I liked the homage made to Finney, one of my favorite authors of time travel. I do recommend this. It made me think about, appreciate, and occasionally forgive myself for, the choices I've made.
Rachael Kenney
I am giving up on this book. I loved Molokai by Alan Brennert so I thought I would like this book. Nope. I am giving up, and I rarely openly give up. Usually the book sits dog eared on a shelf for ages. This one is going straight to the donation bin. Every minute thus far has been completely predictable and I don't want to spend the 4-5 hours it will take to get to the end and find out if it gets better.
Susan Arena
I like Brennert's historical novels better. This book was interesting in the way that he approached the road not taken in our lives. The characters were hard for me to relate to but the contrast between city and small town life and the pursuit of a career and the giving up the dream to have family was well done. It was interesting but not a gripping story. If you like the author it is worth a read.
A real good read. Somewhat confusing concept, but I decided to just let go of reality and enjoy. It wasn't cut and dried neat. One would expect the Rick/Richard thing to balance out even in the end, or else have the selfish one being the one with the most to learn,but this story was too smart for cop-outs. I like that the author didn't take any predictible or easy way out in resolving this strange plot.
Sarah Renaye
I picked up this book because I loved Moloka'i and Honolulu. With this story the major plot points felt too easy, which made it hard to suspend belief and fully engage in the story. A few of the major characters were despicable and there were too many with brief appearances that blended together.
David Fiore
well written, skillfully plotted parallel worlds tale... has a lot to say about the human tendency (necessary for decision-making) to reduce bountiful possibilities to either/or binaries (which can become debilitating, if clung to in the years after a key decision is made), and says it well...
This was a sort of fantasy, because the character was able to switch places with the himself who had made a different choice in life, but it takes place in the real, contemporary world. Wonderful book.
April Hochstrasser
I couldn't really get into a parallel life, with the same character having a life the other one wanted and then changing for a season. I would like to actually do it, but it didn't seem real to me.
-captivating like his later books
-character development almost as good as Honolulu, not as good as Molokai
-an earlier work, more like a twilight zone episode than historical fiction
Kathy Striano-Preece
A book written by the author of Molakai in the 1990's.

I thought the book had an interesting subject, but I felt the characters were a little flat.
Scott C reviewed this for the Lincoln City Libraries' web site in March 2004:
Danica Lamphere
Not my favorite of his books but an interesting read all together and gives a new perspective of the paths we take in life.
Our book club choice. A science-fiction tale of two men swapping the same life. Very sweet.
Not his recent historical fiction and a story not based in reality, but very interesting.
Lindy Sullivan
I loved brannerts other two books. This one fell flat for me and did not keep my interest.
I loved the smooth story of this book and the way that I was drawn to the characters.
Not crazy about the ending, but it was a quick and easy read. Kept me entertained...
Excellent read! If you like the idea of a parallel universe, you will like this.
Recommended by Aunt Nance 2/13
Recommended by Aunt Nance 2/13
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Alan Brennert's newest novel, Palisades Park, comes out 4/9/2013. Alan is the author of the historical novels Honolulu and Moloka'i, which was a 2006-2007 BookSense Reading Group Pick and won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year. He is also the author of the thought-provoking fantasy novel Time and Chance. In addition to novels, he has w...more
More about Alan Brennert...
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