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Corrupting Dr. Nice

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
August Faison and his gorgeous young daughter, Genevieve, are rogues of the first water - seasoned swindlers who rove across time in search of new victims to fleece. Now the most precious pigeon of them all has fallen into their laps, in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. Dr. Owen Vannice is too innocent, and far too rich, for his own good. A fabulously wealthy young amateur ...more
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Tor Books
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Jul 31, 2011 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Battaglia
I think by this point its safe to say that I am a sucker for any book featuring a dinosaur, no matter how prominently, on the cover. I'm pretty sure I first spotted this in a bookstore about ten years ago and the whole package is intriguing, to say the least. An interesting title, with a plot synopsis that promises time traveling misadventures and several bits of praise from noted SF writers (Ursula Le Guin, for one, and an extremely long quote from Connie Willis), while the book itself makes it ...more
Jan 14, 2017 Adobe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pair of time-traveling con-artists tangle with a paleontologist smuggling an infant dinosaur into the 22nd century. Hijinks ensue.

Corrupting Dr. Nice is a postmodern mash-up of 1930s screwball comedies and science fiction: Preston Sturges meets H. G. Wells. Some of the time paradoxes do not bear close examination, and the novel's frenetic speed does not always allow logic to impede its constant lunge forward, but this, too, is an homage to the source material. (The Lady Eve and Bringing Up Bab
Es un 3,4 3,5 raspadito. Aunque si quieres leer algo desengrasante esta es una buena opción. Novela entretenida de viajesen el tiempo. Por cierto el título en español que supongo que lo han tomado de la versión francesa horrible y no tiene mucho que ver con la novela. Si bien es cierto que uno de los protagonistas viene de estar estuadiando dinosaurios y se trae uno, poco más tiene esta novela que ver con los dinosaurios, bueno que aparece en varios puntos de la novela, pero quizás el amor en ti ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
A book doesn't always have to be surprising to be enjoyable. Just because you can predict the ending doesn't mean you can't enjoy the road that leads there.

Corrupting Dr. Nice is a screwball comedy, with time-traveling. And also dinosaurs. (Modern dinosaurs; intelligent, warm-blooded, with feathers! The dinosaur is also adorable.)

It's fairly predictable, and I don't care. It's also very readable and engaging, and a whole heck of a lot of fun. Sometimes that's all I ask from a novel.

It's anothe
Mar 22, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
HAd a nice time reading this one. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most was the complete abandoning of the "don't change history by your actions" that occurs in the story. The theory here is that each moment in time is a portal to a discrete universe. So, there can be a pure and unsullied Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, as well as one complete with modern ammenities. Historical figures can transfer to present day, too- multiple times from multiple moments. It was a refreshing view of time ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Denise rated it it was ok
This started out really well. I liked the premise of moment universes - each instant of time creates its own universe, you can travel back in time, make all the changes you want, only foul up the alternate universe and come home to your own without having made any changes in it. I was enjoying the con artists and the baby dinosaur, too. But after a while the mega-evil capitalists and the revenge plot, and especially the terrorism trial pitting attorney Abraham Lincoln against an-advocate-from-th ...more
Jul 19, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's see - Take Connie Willis's "To Say Nothing of the Dog", mix with" The Lady Eve" & "Bringing up Baby", then throw in a dollop of" The DaVinci Code", and you might get some idea of this screwball time-travel story. Kessel has a flair for pastiche, and fills the book with off the wall allusions and in-jokes that kept me laughing throughout. Best moments: a baseball game in first century Jerusalem with Pontius Pilate in attendance, and a trial where Abraham Lincoln and Jesus square off aga ...more
Aug 11, 2007 Cason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: favorites
John Kessel is one of the most imaginative writers that I have ever read. His books are filled with wonderful juxtapositions of the very old with the future, such as the introduction of a modern, luxury hotel in ancient Jerusalem. He also does an excellent job of creating characters with whom it is easy to empathize, including ones that may not be known from history as being particularly empathetic. Who would have ever guessed that Simon the Zealot would have such a tender heart and have all the ...more
Oct 22, 2010 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book reminded me a lot of Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog -- it's a similar blend of time travel, romance, and screwball comedy. This book is darker, though, and a little more serious. Although I liked it, I have to say I enjoyed the light-as-air, pure zaniness of To Say Nothing of the Dog more.

My favorite line from this book: "...[he] was a man that only Thomas Hobbes could love: nasty, brutish, and short."
Feb 23, 2012 Zarked rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was a load of fun. :) I agree that it sort of falls apart near the end, but still a good read.
Thank you for being the book to break me out of the tired and tiring academic essays of my discipline.
Jan 02, 2008 Fred rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction

It's a silly, time travel read. The author is going for social criticsm using exploitation of "historicals" (people from the past) as metaphor. Unfortunately, none of the characters in the book are endearing or interesting enough to make the point.

Skip it...
Nov 17, 2015 Shan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Time travel and screwball comedy. Entertaining although it was interesting to see that the same stuff that's hard to watch in screwball comedy movies (just talk to each other, already) is equally frustrating in a novel. Fun overall. Interesting take on time travel, too.
Priyansh Trivedi
This books accomplishes what it set out to perfectly however a story with Time Travel can be played out better.

Overall, the elements of Humour, Satire, Romance, mild action/adventure make it an enjoyable experience.
Bob Rust
Jun 15, 2016 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Corrupting Dr Nice (1997) a slighter endeavour attempting to marry Time Travel with the gestures of the screwball comedy.
Aug 26, 2010 Kaylynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
I admit, I started skimming this about 80 pages in. It had some humorous moments, but overall it seemed rather forced.
Jul 28, 2010 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
an interesting approach to time travel.
Multiple universes, without the usual concern for altering the time line
Pas envie de persévérer dans ma lecture Ce type d'histoire mêlant voyage dans le temps façon commerciale et club de tourismes, A I pseudo humour, etc n'est absolument pas mon "genre" de sf
Robert Burton
Robert Burton rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2016
John rated it liked it
May 08, 2014
Kirsty Whittingham
Kirsty Whittingham rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2011
Lauren Nicholson
Lauren Nicholson rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2010
Chris rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2014
Tim Poston
Tim Poston rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2014
Ofer Chen
Ofer Chen rated it it was ok
Apr 26, 2012
JJ Boosie
JJ Boosie rated it it was ok
Feb 24, 2011
Drew rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2009
Kerry rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2008
Nathan rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2016
Tim Newton
Tim Newton rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2014
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John (Joseph Vincent) Kessel co-directs the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. A winner of the Nebula, Locus, Sturgeon, and Tiptree Awards, his books include Good News From Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories. His story collection Meeting in Infinity was a New York Times Notable Book ...more
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