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Time and Again (Time #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  12,830 Ratings  ·  1,621 Reviews
Finally on audio -- one of the most beloved tales of our time!
Science fiction, mystery, a passionate love story, and a detailed history of Old New York blend together in Jack Finney's spellbinding story of a young man enlisted in a secret Government experiment.
Transported from the mid-twentieth century to New York City in the year 1882, Si Morley walks the fashionable "L
Paperback, 399 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1970)
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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells11/22/63 by Stephen KingA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Time Travel Fiction
13th out of 1,238 books — 4,010 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger11/22/63 by Stephen KingOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsReplay by Ken Grimwood
The Best Time Travel Books of All Time
6th out of 440 books — 1,119 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joe Valdez
Nov 21, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The next stop in my time travel marathon (November being Science Fiction Month) and by far the best yet is Time and Again, a little known but much loved 1970 novel by Jack Finney that handles a fantastic premise -- a government project sends a man eighty-eight years into New York City's past -- with more imagination, sensuality and logic than any time travel story I've read. This is a wonderful book that has just become one of my favorites.

Simon Morley, known as "Si", is twenty-eight years old,
Angela M
Mar 18, 2014 Angela M rated it it was amazing

When I read a time travel story, I try not to dwell on how the character got to this other time and place. It just doesn't pay because then I start asking questions for which there is no realistic answer. So for me it has to be about the destination, what I find there, what happens there, what it means for the character in his or her present day.

And oh what we find there in New York City in 1882! Beautiful buildings some of which are still standing in Si Morley’s present day New York of 1970, in
Dec 04, 2014 Algernon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014

It was an ordinary day, a Friday, twenty minutes till lunchtime, five hours till quitting time and the weekend, ten months till vacation, thirty-seven years till retirement. Then the phone rang.

Simon Morley is a graphic artist in New York around 1970, caught in a boring job doing advertisement drawings for moderate pay. He is just about ready for an adventure, anything to escape his predictable and unappealing current lifestyle. The mystery caller offers him the opportunity of a lifetime : to
If you like mystery, action and intrigue with a bit of romance and VERY DESCRIPTIVE details of the people, architecture and life in 1880's New York, you will like this book. Interesting method of time travel.

I was glad I happened to purchase the illustrated version of the book as the old photo's and sketches added to my enjoyment.

Great ending for a book club discussion. Loved the book!(view spoiler)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I'm not sure what happened with this time travel tale, where a man travels back to NYC in the late 1800's and gets involved in the lives of some people in a boarding house in that era, except that it got just a little slow for me about 1/2 or 2/3 through. So I skimmed the rest and read the ending (my husband HATES it when I do that), and kind of lost interest. I keep meaning to get back to it but it's never happened, and it's been at least a year.

This reminds me quite strongly of Miss Peregrine
Jun 08, 2009 H. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people obsessed with the 1880's
Recommended to H. by: Dad and sister
Shelves: fiction-sf, dont-own
If Simon Morley, protagonist of Finney's Time and Again, had any real personality beyond his nickname being "Si," perhaps the book's loose ends and rough edges would have distracted less. But he is neither a complex and interesting original nor a heavy-handed archetype. He's more of a blank slate onto which we might project ourselves, the first-person writing tone that of an amateur blogger who is trying his hand at a journalistic account of a very exciting place. No matter the topic, if the wri ...more
Aug 09, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it
I had been casually looking for this book for years after a friend/English Lit instructor at Dixie College recommended it to me. I finally found in my local Deseret Industries, a definite treasure. This is a wonderfully gentle book about a New York man who travels back through time to the 19th century. It is a lovely blend of science fiction, historical fiction, and romance and I heartily recommend it. I am strangely taken by the Victorian era, especially Victorian New York City and this book ma ...more
Andrew Smith
Jun 01, 2016 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm doing the rounds of time travel novels. I've read a few and here's my quick and dirty order, so far:
1) 11/22/63 - Stephen King
2) Man in the Empty Suit - Sean Ferrell
3) The Time Traveller's Wife- Audrey Niffenegger
4) Time and Again - Jack Finney
So this one is in last place? Well, last of a list of four of my favourite books. I love the options time travel opens up and each of the above does a brilliant job of exploiting that. The only reason this doesn't 't climb higher in the list is that I
Mar 08, 2015 Mona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Charming, but Flawed, Tale of Time Travel to 1882 New York

"Time and Again" is certainly worth reading, but it has its flaws.

For one thing,its far too long and plodding. It would have been a much better book at half its length. The really interesting action doesn't get started until well into the book's second half.

The book opens with Simon ("Si") Morley, young artist, working at a New York ad agency. They treat him well, but he's bored silly with making sketches of bars of soap.

A mysterious man
Aug 09, 2009 Philip rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
TIME AND AGAIN is probably the most famous novel about time-travel published in past half-century, and one of the most convincing. I first read it around 1976 or 1977, when it was already becoming hard-to-find (fortunately it was brought back into print in the early 1980s and has remained available every since). I fell in love with it from the very first reading, and have re-read it several times since. It's an "illustrated novel" that's illustrated with photographs and woodcuttings of the early ...more
Eli Stevens
Nov 10, 2015 Eli Stevens rated it liked it
This book was strange. There were times when I couldn't put it down, and it was facinating, and others, when I seriously considered not finishing it.

I'm really glad that I did.

It's obvious that the book isn't a modern read, it's got a some what old way of thinking to it. (Even though it was only written in the 70's)

My only argument against 'Time and Again' is that it is sometimes too descriptive and long winded. Chapters that should have been expounded were too short, and other's that were borin
Sep 23, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it

I like a good time travel story and I love New York City, so this was an ideal novel for me to read. Its narrator, Si Morley, an advertising artist living in New York City in about 1970 (the year in which the novel was first published), is recruited to participate in a secret time travel project run by a government agency. He persuades the agency to allow him to go back to Manhattan in 1882 so that he can witness the genesis of a family mystery that continues to puzzle his girlfriend. As Si trav
Aug 09, 2009 Jaclyn rated it it was amazing
I love to read. I read because it's fun for me. Pretty much anything I read, it's fun for me.

But I can't remember the last time I've had THIS MUCH fun.

So, a recap: Simon Morley is an illustrator working in the advertising business in 1970s New York. He is recruited to join a top-secret U.S. government project. Scientists, applying a statement of Einstein's, think they have figured out a way for people to travel back and forth in time. Si is chosen as one of the first time travelers. Although he
Time and Again: A leisurely tribute to 1882 New York
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Jack Finney’s Time and Again (1970) has been a long-time favorite among time-travel tales, and has remained in print since its first publication. It was also selected by David Pringle for his Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels. Since I’ve been on a time-travel trip lately, this was a must-listen. It’s narrated well by Paul Hecht, and is a long, leisurely, and loving tribute to the long-gone New York of th
Genia Lukin
Jul 13, 2013 Genia Lukin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Althea Ann
Mar 03, 2013 Althea Ann rated it it was ok
A strange cross between a secret-govt.-project time-travel sci-fi novel, a period mystery and a 19th-century NYC nostalgia-fest.
Liberally illustrated with period drawings and photographs that purport to be by the main character (although they obviously aren't) - but it's an original and interesting aspect.
This novel is notable for being by the guy who wrote Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
As is the case with most time-travel stories, the logic of the time-travel concept doesn't really hold up - y
Mar 25, 2016 Cher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-dystopian
3 stars - It was good.

A fun and light atmospheric read, but one that did not quite meet the expectations that its high reputation warrants. It is slow moving for much of the book and I don't feel it has enough substance to stick with me for years after reading it.

Favorite Quote: It may be that the strongest instinct of the human race, stronger than sex or hunger, is curiosity: the absolute need to know. It can and often does motivate a lifetime, it kil
May 27, 2014 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
New York 1880 Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age
is an almost-ten-pound, 1100-page doorstop of a book by noted architect Robert A. M. Stern and two co-authors (with research assistance from some graduate students at the Columbia School of Architecture, one of whom was my daughter). It is an amazing work, the definitive study of the era in which New York became a world-class metropolis. With over 1,000 vintage photographs, you can open to any page and be blown away by the grandeur and vis
Jun 18, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it
If you like any of the following things, you will love this book: 1. New York; 2. very light sci-fi; 3. time travel; 4. history; 5. urban development; 6. strong lead characters; 7. wondering how any one thing could have altered your life forever. I LOVE this book!
Jan 11, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one because Stephen King mentioned it in his notes to one of my favourites from last year, 11.22.63

Don't think that I have ever read a book where my opinion of it changed so much over the course of reading it. First half is full of lengthy descriptions of New York in the 1880s which would no doubt be fascinating to anyone who knew the city well but that's not me (only been once and that was in 1986 !). I also couldn't get my head round how the time travel was supposed to work which
Aug 09, 2009 Jayne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jayne by: can't remember
I'm usually not a fan of science fiction but I enjoyed this story of time travel to New York City in the 1880's. It's a good story that includes love, intrigue and makes the reader experience that time period as Jack Finney transforms the reader through his descriptions of the sights, smells, and sounds of NYC in the 1880's.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Great time travel book. Done in a way that you really believe it's possible. The book is very descriptive of the times both past and real time.
Oct 25, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boozy-reviews
WOW. I can't remember the last time I loved a book this much. I could not stop talking about it while I was reading it, I started reading it again as soon as I finished it, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a copy for everyone on my Christmas list. It's that kind of book. Of course, I'm a sucker for books about New York, and the idea of traveling back in time to satisfy one's curiosity about an earlier, long-lost New York is pretty much catnip to me. The fact that Stephen King called it the b ...more
Oh I love this book!!! It is one of may favorites, and I have a permanent copy on my shelves at home, and have BookCrossed many.

When I first read this book, about 30 years ago, I picked it up with great reluctance. The person who recommended it to me had a track record for suggesting some really awful books. I was so pleasantly surprised. It is one of the few books I re-read, and every time I am delighted. The world Si stepped into is one that my family first saw when they came to New York City
Dec 04, 2009 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone (in fact, I do)
Recommended to Michele by: My Mom
“Have you ever given someone a book you enjoyed enormously, with a feeling of envy because they were about to read it for the first time, an experience you could never have again?”

Yes, yes, and yes. And it is exactly how I feel about this book. There's a spoiler moment I won't mention but I want to be sitting on the couch with you when you experience it. I want you to look over at me with the same wonder I feel every time I get to that point in the book and I want your eyes to exclaim the magic
Jan 09, 2015 Tracey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of time travel and/or those interested in turn of the 20th century NYC
Previously read May 2007
Perhaps one of my favorite time travel novels, I picked up my copy of Time and Again for a re-read earlier this week .

Si Morley, an advertising illustrator who is living in New York & feeling somewhat unfulfilled in life, is approached by a mysterious man who asks him to commit to a secret project. Not having much else to look forward to (even his relationship is somewhat desultory), he agrees. The project, under the aegis of the US government, is time travel by mea
Nov 27, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago when I was in high school. I loved this book. I often think about what it would be like to be transported back to earlier times and to be able to walk around and take in the sights of familiar places and see what they looked like way back when. This is one of my favorite books and I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of science fiction with a love story thrown in.
Executive Summary: Not really science fiction, but that wasn't my main issue. There is a good story here, it just took far too long for it to get started.

Full Review
This is one of those books I would have never read on my own. It's one of the main reason I'm still active in Sword & Laser. I would say calling this Sci-Fi is a bit of a stretch. Yes, there is time travel, but it's really just the vehicle for this story.

In fact the time travel is the part of the book I liked the most. I wish h
David Eppenstein
Oct 11, 2016 David Eppenstein rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I imagine that those of us that devour books on history secretly leave our present and travel to the times, places and events that we read about in our books. Don't we all transport ourselves back to those times and seek to be unseen observers to the events we discover in our reading? In this book the author transports us via time travel to New York City of the 1880's through a mechanism of time travel that I could criticize but won't as, at this point, it would be pointless. The author clearly ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I had great hopes for this even though it is pretty much outside my normal fare. the first 1/2 - 2/3 of the book was largely a comparison of New York of 1970 to New York of 1882, so that I would be astounded at what had not yet been built and how things had changed. I've never been to New York, so astonishment was not in me. I've read a bit about New York in the 19th Century, and those descriptions sounded normal to me. There are illustrations - a few looked vaguely familiar. The last 1/3-1/2 wa ...more
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The Sword and Laser: T&A: Places and History 9 101 Jan 13, 2016 04:33PM  
The Sword and Laser: T&A: What did you think? 36 189 Nov 30, 2015 08:10PM  
The Sword and Laser: T&A: Wait, WHAT? *spoilers* 16 128 Nov 29, 2015 04:51PM  
The Sword and Laser: T&A: The science of Time and Again (Spoilers) 30 146 Nov 29, 2015 04:49PM  
The Sword and Laser: * T&A: November 2015 Pick - Time & Again by Jack Finney 40 423 Nov 29, 2015 04:46PM  
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Mr. Finney specialized in thrillers and works of science fiction. Two of his novels, "The Body Snatchers" and "Good Neighbor Sam" became the basis of popular films, but it was "Time and Again" (1970) that won him a devoted following. The novel, about an advertising artist who travels back to the New York of the 1880's, quickly became a cult favorite, beloved especially by New Yorkers for its rich, ...more
More about Jack Finney...

Other Books in the Series

Time (2 books)
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“Have you ever given someone a book you enjoyed enormously, with a feeling of envy because they were about to read it for the first time, an experience you could never have again?” 37 likes
“So all in all there wasn't anything really wrong with my life. Except that, like most everyone else's I knew about, it had a big gaping hole in it, an enormous emptiness, and I didn't know how to fill it or even know what belonged there.” 12 likes
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