Time Travelers Never Die
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Time Travelers Never Die

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,768 ratings  ·  249 reviews
When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time—or worse—Shel enlists the aid of Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.

Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wil...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Ace Hardcover (first published September 11th 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Sandi
When I was a little girl, there was a show on TV called The Time Tunnel. It was one of my favorites. Those time travelers were so cute. Later on, I fell in love with H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. My favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek involved time travel. I even used to watch those old Dr. Who shows on PBS and want to go traveling with the Doctor in the Tardis.

Time Travelers Never Die is an old-fashioned time travel novel that reminds me a lot of those time traveling shows in t...more
Nathan Nipp
Although admonished not to judge a book by its cover, I frequently set my expectations by what the back cover blurb says, regardless of the fact that it is frequently written by someone in the marketing dept. who not even read the book. Sometimes these expectations are not met, resulting in disappointment. But sometimes, the book is different than its cover in the best of ways. Such was this book.

If I had to describe the book in one sentence, it might be, "A far more serious version of Bill and...more
Sean O'Hara
Time Travelers Never Die is about a science fiction writer named Jack McDevitt who's read a bunch of historical biographies and decides to write a novel that incorporates them all, even though there's no rhyme or reason why a time traveler would pick these random points in history.

The "story" begins with David attending his friend Shel's funeral, only to find, upon returning home, that Shel is waiting for him. Shel and Dave are time travelers, so the fact that they die at some point in time does...more
Megan
The person who read this book before me complained about it to me and told me that she didn't want a history lesson with her book. I love history, and I thought that a time travel story without a bit of history would be a lame time travel story indeed, so I picked it up after her. Now I kind of understand where she was going with her complaint. This book is all about the history with its time travel. Boy, is it. The characters really live it up in every possible moment in history (except the one...more
Mike
Well, I don't know. I'm not the kind of guy who typically finishes a book in four days, so I guess the way I ate this up must be a compliment, right? I'm very torn on what to say in this review. Typically I'm a sucker for time travel stories and a sucker for Jack McDevitt, so while this wasn't the best time travel story and it wasn't the best McDevitt story it doesn't seem like something I could realistically hate. Ultimately, I'd say it wasn't great, but it was a fast read an entertaining, so I...more
Jackie
Sep 27, 2010 Jackie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci-fi timer travel enthusiasts
Better than I thought it'd be. Although in some places, I felt the lead characters, Shel and Dave, had a cavalier attitude in their use, (or abuse) of the time travelling device. Still a good book if you like time travelling novels.
Robin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liviu
Typical McDevitt book that keeps you engrossed while you do not want to question too much its premises; our bumbling but endearing heroes (Shel and Dave) travel throughout history and have many adventures, most due to their ineptness; the cameos of Aristarchus of Alexandria, the civil rights leaders of the 60's and some of the Founding Fathers are the best, with a Borgia and the goons in the south suitably menacing...

A great ending and the book hangs together though it's more Time Traveler's Wi...more
Brooke
Rather light and fluffy science fiction, a bit like Bill & Ted minus the goofiness. There isn't much conflict driving the plot, just some adventuring and sight-seeing.
Melissa Proffitt
Slow to start, uninspired treatment of the subject, too many other good books to read, didn't bother finishing.
An Odd1
When his father Michael disappears, leaving instructions to destroy hand-sized devices he calls "converters", Shel accidentally finds the inventions enable time travel. To find his parent and meet famous men, he enlists his best friend. Dave, a linguist, translates in Renaissance Italy, helps find lost Sophocles plays in the library of Alexander the Great, and gets jailed at a negro rights demonstration. Shel wants to settle down with Helen, but somebody's body is found burned in his bed and Dav...more
Matthew Hester
I'm not sure what to think about this book.
I feel like I want to really like it, but keep asking myself: why?

Nothing in this book is in any way original. I suppose when it comes to writing a story about the ultimate science-fiction cliche that's bound to happen; but there are enough recent examples I could point to to show that even tired concepts like time travel can be given a unique spin.
It's pretty obvious from the get go McDevitt wasn't going for originality, so I can't really criticize him...more
Samantha
Time travel is a tricky subject. There are so many variations on the theme, with so many potential difficulties, that it can be challenging to present it in a truly believable way. Now, I'm the sort of reader who's willing to set nitpicky details aside if the story is engaging enough, which almost certainly plays into my feelings on this book.

'Time Travelers' tells the story of buddies Shel and Dave as they journey through the ages. At first on a quest to locate Shel's father, eventually it turn...more
Jeff
Your Dad disappears from his home in suburban Philadelphia. There is evidence that he went in, but never came out (all the doors and windows are locked from the inside; his keys and personal effects are inside). But he has left two devices, about the size of a walkman, in your care. As you wait to hear from the police searching for your Dad's whereabouts, you experiment with the controls on one of the devices and suddenly find yourself half way across the state of Pennsylvania a day later!

Welcom...more
Jeffrey
I wish I knew why I always feel like the story is stalling out about two thirds of the way through any of McDevitt's work that I read, but every time I stick with it and ride the story to the end I find that the journey was well worth the effort of moving past that stalling point. Once more his story drew me into the characters, and the characters drew me into the ever unfolding story. Not many authors write such that I actually care about the characters, and start to think of them as actual hum...more
Jamie
Nov 09, 2009 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jason Ashlock, Michael A.
Recommended to Jamie by: Jason
This was just a fun book, plain and simple, and a great read. I am a big fan of time-travel stories. Although not quite as much fun as Joe Haldeman's The Accidental Time Machine, the story itself was enjoyable. The character's romp through time is very much the kind of journey I'd want to take if I had access to a time machine. There were clever uses of time-travel paradoxes throughout the story, and it was fun feeling like I was getting to meet famous people from history. As far as time travel...more
Craig
This one's quite a bit different from McDevitt's space adventures, but I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. It's a very good time travel novel; I'd rank it up there with Heinlein's THE DOOR INTO SUMMER and Gerrold's THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF. I didn't think that the characters were quite as well developed as his usual standards (nor was the plot quite as tightly developed), because his obvious enthusiasm for the subject matter pretty much overwhelmed everything else. It's a travelogue of his...more
Brett
Finished "Time Travelers Never Die" by Jack McDevitt. Of all the time travel books and movies I've read/seen so far (and there are a LOT of them), this one is the lamest. It's not that the writing was necessarily bad. It's just that the two protagonists were just that stupid throughout. I was amused when near the end they were described as a comedy duo because of their differences, since throughout the story I was thinking it should've been called, "Laurel and Hardy Find a Time Machine." Or Abbo...more
Frank
I always enjoy time travel novels and this one was no exception although I thought that in some places this one got a little bit carried away. It was sometimes hard to follow all the travels through time to retrieve one of the travel devices, etc. Overall though, I did like the story which starts out at the funeral of one of the main characters, Shel, who then comes back using time travel. The story then tells how Shel came into possession of three time travel devices invented by his father and...more
Catherine
I really enjoyed this one. I haven't read a lot of McDevitt, but I'll be on the lookout for more of his work. I'm a sucker for time travel stories and I love seeing different people's takes on the paradox problem. This one didn't concern too much with that, instead focusing on as many historical events as McDevitt could cram in, and it delighted me to no end. It also had me thinking about what historical events I would like to see, and the list is about as endless as the places Shel and Dave tra...more
Randy
Michael Shelborne learns after his father disappears that he'd invented a time machine. Recruiting his friend, Dave Dryden, a linguist, the pair begin a hunt through time looking for the elder Shelborne.

It's addictive and they visit all the most famous eras, places, people, of time. The paradoxes pile up and then they begin to go downtime, to the future. The consequences could be catastrophic.
Brent Stansfield
A time travel storyteller has to bring something interesting to the premise if he wants to entertain; McDevitt doesn't. If you want a time travel story that focuses on historical fiction, a little romance, and good humor, then read Connie Willis' "To Say Nothing of the Dog". Give this one a miss.

The primary conceit here is that the time travel seems to cost nothing and has few limitations. The time machine brings a person--clothes and possessions as well--anywhere and anytime with excelled preci...more
Merit Coba
I am sorry to say that this book bored me off the bat and by page thirty I returned it to the library. The writer is to blame for this.

He takes the roundabout route in telling how two friends discover that the device a dad of them left behind is actually a time travelling machine. You know the type of dad. A brilliant scientist who in his free time makes time travelling devices from computer spare parts and names them, how original, QPads.

The dad has disappeared in time and the search for him is...more
Jessiqa
This book falls squarely into one of my greatest areas of interest--time travel. I think perhaps I watched Back to the Future too many times growing up, but not nearly as often as I watched Indiana Jones. Though I don’t seek out stories with Indy, I seek out stories with time travel quite frequently. Many of my fantasies and daydreams involve time travel (okay Indiana Jones too): Where and when I would travel? Who I would meet? How would I affect a change on history? A great icebreaker is to ask...more
Jim Cherry
I admit it. I’m a sucker for time travel stories. I read Heinlein’s The Door Into Summer when I was a teenager, Time After Time and The Guns of the South in my 20’s and when I run across a time travel novel I’m usually an easy mark for it. So, Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt seemed an interesting title so I went for it.

With a title like Time Travelers Never Die, of course, the first thing the author is going to do is open the book with a funeral. The funeral is for Michael Shelborne wh...more
Sensitivemuse
I’ve noticed with this book, some readers were miffed as there is no ‘real villain’ of the book. This was fine by me. There’s no need for antagonists in every book read. I really enjoyed reading this one, the time travel was excellent and it made a real good adventure/science fiction book to read.

The plot was good. It flowed and didn’t stop until at least towards the end. I really did enjoy the time traveling aspect of the story. Being a history lover myself, I loved how Shel and Dave traveled...more
Lisa Hapney
Some of this is going to sound contradictory since I have to say I waffled between 3 and 4 stars, but I’ll explain that along the way.

Personally, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great trip through history. A veritable what-if traveling list for time travel adventurers. I fully admit that I have a weakness for both time travel stories and history. Thus my first dilemma when rating this book as I would be the first in line if they were offering time travel cruises and I feel it may bias my vi...more
Nathaniel Turner
Jack McDevitt's work is clever. It addresses issues of paradox rather originally, as far as I've seen, and offers some insight into an eternal view of history.

However, the work is plagued by a number of errors that, I imagine, only experts could discover. His Greek transliteration is poor, writing iotai as Ys and upsila as Is, and ignoring rough breathings here or soft breathings there. His grasp of Greco-Roman culture, especially religion, is tenuous at best: Jupiter is the Roman king of the go...more
Space
This book was pretty good. It was full of mind-bending little scenarios that make reading a lot of fun. Like Dave and Shel are in a room somewhere, when another Dave pops in from the future to help them out. Then the next day, Dave has to remember to pop back in time a day to help himself out. Fun things like that happen so frequently in this book that it gets almost hard to keep up with. I like that though.

It also has a lot of history in it. A lot of history, in fact, that I had never even hear...more
Sargeatm
"Zeitreisende sterben nie" habe ich sehr flüssig durchgelesen. Leider merkt man aber, dass hier eine kürzere Novelle auf Buchgröße aufgepumpt wurde.
Denn die eigentlich wichtigen Ereignisse müssen häufig hinter Füllmaterial zurücktreten. Denn unsere Zeitreisenden machen bei vielen historischen FIguren und Ereignissen Station, sind Zeit-Touristen, ohne dass dabei viel Relevantes herauskommt.

Das fand ich etwas schade, denn dadurch fallen einem gewisse Mängel noch deutlicher auf. So z.B. das Erlerne...more
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anachronisms? 3 10 Sep 13, 2013 11:15AM  
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation...more
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