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A Bridge of Years

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  834 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Tom Winter thought the secluded cottage in the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect refuge—a place to nurse the wounds of lost love and happiness. But Tom soon discovers that his safe haven is the portal of a tunnel through time. At one end is the present. At the other end—New York City, 1963.

His journey back to the early 1960s seems to offer him the chance to start over
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ebook, 384 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Orb Books (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sandi
Jan 12, 2012 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audiobooks, 2012
I kind of got this by accident. I really enjoy Robert Charles Wilson’s books and saw this available for pre-order on the Nook. I waited for months for the release date, then decided to get the audiobook because a credit cost less than the ebook. I was a bit surprised that the Audible Frontiers version was released in 2009, but just thought that the ebook version was new. As I’m listening, it seemed a bit dated. The current-day events in this time travel story occur in 1989. I did more research o ...more
Nathan Coops
Jan 26, 2016 Nathan Coops rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nathan by: Time Travel Group book of the month club read.
Shelves: time-travel
I love science fiction stories that let you know what you are in for and then deliver on their promises. A Bridge of Years does that and more. I listened to this book on audio and loved it. The narrator was excellent and the writing style really captivated me. I had recently read Stephen King's 11/22/63 and wasn't sure I wanted to dive into another "time tunnel" book, but Wilson has a unique style and worked for me on a variety of levels. For one, he lets you know you are reading a sci-fi boo ...more
Mary JL
Jan 31, 2012 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found while browsing
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
The premise is pretty neat. Tom Winter buys a house in a isolated rural area--and mysterious things begin happening. He eventual tears down a basement wall--and discovers a tunnel that ends in New York City, 1962.

The story is well told. I really liked one point--we do not remember everything after decades have passed. When Tom is in 1962 he remembers the 'big names' of course--Kennedy, Kruschev, Castro and so on. But many of the other times he had forgotten--he was only ten years old in 1962. Ev
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Willy Eckerslike
I have an image of Robert Charles Wilson as a kindly, well turned out gentleman of independent means sitting at his escritoire carefully penning a few well chosen words while the log fire burns cheerily and his over indulged cat lies curled on it’s favourite armchair. This gentle novel has done nothing to dispel this pleasant vista. As with all Wilson’s work that I’ve read, his character based style is heavily rooted in the earlier classics of the genre making for a pleasant and deeply satisfyin ...more
Heather(Gibby)
Jan 15, 2016 Heather(Gibby) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book which time travel enthusiasts will enjoy. It has a bit of everything, science, paradox, love, travel to the past, travel from the future etc. The type of time travel is a time tunnel, but there is also some advance technology from the future which is explained enough to satisfy the reader, but not in so much detail to bore the pants off of those of us who don't eat up the scientific theory side of time travel novels.

The story follows several paths which are intertwined, and
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Paul
Jun 16, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A very enjoyable book. This novel is a good display of RCW's smooth writing style. By the title you know going in that the book deals with time travel, and I was impressed with how effortless RCW tied different stories together and skipped around in time without confusing the reader. The novel has the common save-the-earth theme, and is chock full of 1960s nostalgia, and while I personally would prefer less of that stuff and more sci-fi, this book is easily four stars.
Althea Ann
In 1989, fresh from a traumatizing divorce, Tom Winter moves back to his hometown, buying a house on the outskirts of the woods. He notices the house is in remarkably good condition, considering it's supposedly been empty for the last 10 years, but then he discovers stranger things - robotic bugs performing maintenance and a time-traveling tunnel that leads to the New York City of 1962, hidden in the basement. Escaping the present and shacking up with a nice 60's beatnik girl seems like a good i ...more
 Jessica
Jun 18, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Fun read! It was creepy enough to give me a few thrills, but not creepy enough that I felt uncomfortable or freaked out reading it alone in a hotel room while out of town on a business trip. Also, it's set largely in the Pacific Northwest, which I have newly acquired firsthand knowledge of (there is a teeny tiny passage featuring a hummingbird that drew me completely into the book/moment - love it!). The time travel aspect of the book has the potential to be like Every Sci-Fi Book Ever (blah bla ...more
Samantha Glasser
Aug 18, 2015 Samantha Glasser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book opens with a bloody bang and slowly unravels to reveal a tormented future and the way a man from the late-80s used a time tunnel to escape his problems. The characters are adequately likeable, and the villain is more complex than most are made out to be. The effects of the future are just as important to the story as the scenes in the past, if not moreso.

One of my favorite things about time travel books is the thing this book is lacking, a hyper-detailed overview of the time-traveler'
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Joe
Sep 12, 2008 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although science fiction, this time-travel book explores the personal experiences of the travellers. How does the experience sit with those who travel? What is its impact on their live? Do they really want to spend their time in a different era? Add a brutal mercenary from the future running from his own conscription, and another level is added to the story; moving the plot along at a breakneck pace.
A quick read, and a fascinating study in one's realizations and actions when confronted with the
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Anthony Haden
A fun sci-fi, time traveling adventure. Brisk and inventive.
John
Jul 02, 2010 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joshua
Oct 06, 2016 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital, audio
I thought this was a really novel take on time travel. RCW also does a pretty great job with characters whose motivations actually make sense.
Mr
May 28, 2015 Mr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A BRIDGE OF YEARS is an older title by Robert Charles Wilson (1991) but one I had somehow overlooked or missed over the years. It’s similar in my mind to both 11/22/63 by Stephen King and one by the great Clifford D. Simak so old that it must be out of print (?)--WAY STATION. Simak’s classic was about an ordinary mortal (albeit a Civil War veteran still living as a young man in the 1960s) who was tasked by with the protection and maintenance of a portal to other intergalactic worlds. The portal ...more
Alex Telander
Bestselling author Robert Charles Wilson’s book, A Bridge of Years, recently re-released in paperback, has an interesting play on the idea of time travel, but remains true to its “rule” that there are always repercussions when one plays around with time travel, even when someone thinks they’ve been given a second chance.

Tom Winter has made a right old mess of things, now without a job and a wife who’s left him; he’s hit rock bottom. With some leftover inheritance money he buys a simple little ho
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Jim
Jul 03, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A time travel story written in 1991 by one of my favorite SF authors, Robert Charles Wilson. One of his earlier books, it's about a man with nothing to live for in 1989 who then finds a way from his house back to the past. Not the distant past, but 1962 and also in New York. And he decides to stay there, not realizing a terrible threat to his life exists there.
Would you go back to the past to live if you could? And what era and place would you choose? New York-particularly bohemian Greenwich Vi
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Colleen
Oct 06, 2012 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I hate the concept of time travel. I loved the TV series Star Trek Next Generation, but every time they had an episode that involved time travel, I'd groan loudly and pull my hair out. As soon as they mentioned a "rip in the time continuum" or a "paradox", my brain would slowly implode!

So why choose a book about time travel? I guess to overcome my fear! I'm just trying to expand my book horizons a bit. I survived The Time Travelers Wife a few years ago, so I thought I'd take another stab at it.
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Jack Pramitte
Jan 08, 2016 Jack Pramitte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Publié en 1991, À travers temps rappelle étrangement 22/11/63 de King. Dans les deux cas, un homme trouve un passage temporel vers les années 60, s'y établit un moment, et bien entendu y trouve l'amour. La relation existe aussi au niveau de la douce nostalgie des années 60, du suspense et des moments d'horreur que contient le livre.

Le héros de Wilson pourtant n'a aucun désir d'empêcher l'assassinat de Kennedy, même s'il arrive assez tôt pour au moins essayer. Au contraire, il apprécie la possibi
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Debbie
Jan 22, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the questions this book sparked in my mind. Would I choose to stay back in time if the option felt "safer". If I didn't have much going for me in my own present day....

I don't know. I DO know that if I had the opportunity to time travel to the past I would not pass it up for anything!!

Anyway, the book starts right out with a bunch of action. The reader doesn't really know what's going on because it seems all a bit futuristic. Plausible, though. Not too "out there". Keep it simpl
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Laura
Oct 25, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boring
I feel bad for rating this book so low because normally I really enjoy Robert Charles Wilson's books. The story is set in Belltower Washington. I like books set in the Pacific NW and the author did a good job of describing a typical small town. The general plot revolves around time travel and romance. Tom Winter discovers a time machine underneath his house that leads to New York in the 1960s. Tom is trying to find himself after his divorce and so has no problem going back to live in the past. H ...more
Gary
Jan 17, 2015 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would give it a 3.5 if possible. Robert Charles Wilson is one of my favorite sci-fi authors. He always presents thoughtful perspectives/speculations, his characters have dimension, and his prose can at times be lyrical. I'm actually judging this book in light of Wilson's own later work, as (so we would expect) he has only gotten better with time.

I enjoyed the book, though in the wake of many other things that have been written since the employ themes of nanotechnology, the marriage of man-machin
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Brad
Apr 08, 2012 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I just finished Stephen King's 11/22/63 and this is the next book in line for me. Both of them have similar concepts. A tunnel that leads back to a specific point in time. I am interested in seeing how two authors handle the same idea.

In the afterword of 11/22/63 Stephen King says he came up with this idea in the 70s but felt it was too much research for him to do so he shelved it until now. This book was originally published in the early 1990s. So I am not exactly concerned that two authors I
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Julie
This is very different from all of the other books by Wilson that I have read. Eschewing his usual galaxy-spanning world building, this novel is set mainly in two eras of recent Earth history: 1989 and 1962. While Wilson is extremely talented at creating strange, alien worlds, he does not use those talents here. I didn’t feel like the eras were depicted in a very compelling way. Another difference is that rather than tell a tale of cosmic proportions, this novel is very personal and meditative. ...more
Sargeatm
Feb 02, 2015 Sargeatm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: timetravel
Viele Elemente rund um das Zeitreise-Portal gefielen mir gut. So z.B. wie der Protagonist versucht ist, in der Vergangenheit eine Beziehung zu führen, das aber scheitert. Ein interessanter, entmutigender Aspekt, wenn jemand aus der nicht allzu weiten Zukunft mit einer jungen Frau zu tun hat, und genau weiss, dass viele ihrer revolutionären Gedanken und Erkenntnisse in wenigen Jahren völlig belanglos sein werden.

Was mir gar nicht gefiel war der Plot um den "Bösewicht" aus der noch weiter entfernt
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Jim Dressner
An interesting time travel yarn, with tunnels connecting different nodes in time and space. The protagonist buys a house in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1980s, and finds that the house keeps itself clean and repaired. He explores and discovers a tunnel in that basement that connects to New York City in 1962. As his 1980s life and marriage had fallen apart, he spends most of his time in the 1960s--unaware that a danger lurks.

While the book had no large deficiencies, it also didn't pack much
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Gendou
Apr 11, 2012 Gendou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story gets uncomfortable when it gets close to time paradoxes, which is thankfully not all that often.
But it is very good when it sticks to compelling characters and bad-ass future technology.

Robert Charles Wilson is a very, very good wordsmith.
This book is an example of his best writing style.

The world-building in the book is fun, especially the time tunnels and their keepers.

It feels to me like the "bridge of years" was a creative source, but I wish it were explored more thoroughly.
To me t
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Ryandake
maybe i'm just in a mood.

or maybe the book just didn't speak to me, y'know? not the book's fault.

so, a grieving, messed-up guy finds a way to time travel right out of his problems into the past. which would be all well and good, except that something not-so-charming also found that way to time travel, and it wants to meet him, but not for tea and crumpets.

it's a good setup, and Wilson is a good writer. he does good characterization, good plotting, he's very good on small details that plant you
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David
Sep 20, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
Time travel usual provides fertile ground for exploring thought provoking ideas. While Wilson hints at a few interesting ideas, they aren't really explore din depth. Instead, the book is more of a story about Tom's mid-life crisis and the interplay between the other characters. OTOH, this appears to be Wilson's first book. It launched him on his career which provided much better stories, such as Spin and The Chronoliths.
Jim
Apr 19, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, time-travel
Now this is why I read Mr. Wilson's fiction: a great story, based on a little science fiction, and filled with interesting, likable characters.

The heart of the story is one man's battle with the choice of stepping 30 years into the past and living a new life. Of course, there are also other-worldly beings, a future soldier, lots of nanotechnology and elements of the time travel paradox to keep the story interesting.

Ultimately, circumstances, love and other people affect his decision and bring th
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Linda  Branham Greenwell
The book is about a man, Tom Winter, who is going through difficult times - he lost his wife, his job - and is kind of at "loose ends" ... and in the middle of his "lostness" he discovers something remarkable in his new home... a tunnel through time.
The characters are great, the story is interesting and intriguing. The end was a little choppy though which is why I gave it 4 stars
I have read several of Robert Charles Wilson's book and have always enjoyed them - and found them to be well worth my
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Goodreads Librari...: Adding a book cover 3 31 Nov 28, 2011 07:58AM  
  • There Will Be Time
  • Chronospace
  • Time Scout (Time Scout, #1)
  • Thrice Upon a Time
  • Millennium
  • Hawksbill Station
  • Time Travelers Never Die
  • End of an Era
  • Dracula Unbound
  • The Technicolor Time Machine
  • Summer of Love: A Time Travel
  • The Best Time Travel Stories of All Time
  • Patton's Spaceship (Timeline Wars #1)
  • Cowboy Angels
  • From Time to Time (Time, #2)
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
  • Alternities
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I've been writing science fiction professionally since my first novel A Hidden Place was published in 1986. My books include Darwinia, Blind Lake, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. My newest novel is The Affinities (April 2015).
More about Robert Charles Wilson...

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