Timeline
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Timeline

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  104,392 ratings  ·  2,634 reviews
When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole" and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords and peasant bandits all eager to cut your...more
Mass Market Paperback, 489 pages
Published June 2000 by Ballantine Books International (first published November 16th 1999)
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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingTimeline by Michael Crichton
Best Time Travel Fiction
5th out of 943 books — 2,820 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
57th out of 3,757 books — 14,708 voters


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Community Reviews

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Stacey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Space
This was the first Crichton novel I read, which is probably to his advantage. I knew it was fiction, so I was able to pick it up and cruise right through it. Had I started on The Andromeda Strain, or Airframe, I might have thought he was a non-fiction writer and not given him a proper chance. As it turns out, I was instantly hooked, and began to furiously and ferociously collect everything I could get my hands on by Michael Crichton. Now I've read most of his novels, and have met him in person....more
John
I loved this book... and then some arse made a really crap film and the book lost some of its shine... I couldn't rid my mind of the film set and actors.

I still quite like the book.
Jim
This was a good one.

When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the...more
Eric
I’ve never been terribly impressed with Michael Crichton. He writes excellent action and adventure scenes, but his characters always seem flat and one-dimensional, never doing much more than dodging dinosaurs or white gorillas. Not surprisingly, what I feel is his best novel to date, Disclosure, lacks the heart-pounding action and delves more into conflicts between characters, which I found much more compelling.

I had high hopes for Timeline, a weighty book that had drawn good reviews from the f...more
Lisa

This book was my introduction to Crichton and I fell in love!
I fell in love because this is an author who does extensive research on the subjects he writes about. So he not only entertains, he teaches you something in the process.
In Timeline, Crichton combines science(quantum technology) and history(medieval) in a heart-stopping adventure. A group of historians are given the opportunity to literally enter life in fourteenth-century feudal France. But this is not your typical time travel story.
misha
Total piece of crap book that I got from a book swap.

That said, while I did a lot of skimming, this was a perfectly fine book to read while on mass transit... as long as I kept the cover down so that no one would know that I was reading crap.

And now you know that I sometimes read crap.
Rad Ryan
A novel for all-time. The one who made me to love books.
At my age when I read it, I was like WHAT THE HELL, WHAT's THE MEANING OF THAT WORD . I was 13 at that time, I always make a fool out of myself. My classmates were asking me how can I understand it or do I understand it, all kinds of questions who irritates me.

3 months=1 book!
I mean how hurtful and so hateful with it! There are more books than to read! And my goal for my life is to read more than 100 books or even more!
I HATE NOVELS *c...more
Werner
Jun 17, 2009 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of action-oriented science-fiction
My reaction to this book was a lot more favorable than Stacey's --but I do have to agree with some of her criticisms. Because of his "hard" sci-fi orientation, Crichton insisted on trying to extrapolate an explanation for time-travel from existing science, his vehicle being quantum theory. Since this is too complex and counter-intuitive for most people to understand (and some of us suspect it of being a bunch of hooey anyway!), the "explanation" doesn't serve much purpose, and does wind up being...more
Jackie
Time travel gets me almost everytime!
This novel was exciting and unique, I could hardly put it down. Cool quantum technology that I barely understood aside, I felt like I was transported to the 100 Years War along with the team that sets out to find the Professor. And that's what makes a good novel into a great novel for me, and Timeline delivered.
One of Crichton's best.
And I got a crush on Marek so that helps in keeping it on my favorite book list. I think I'll read in again soon.
Stephen
2.0 stars. My least favorite Michael Crichton novel. I just never became interested in any of the characters or the story line.
Damon
Crichton takes another swing at time travel. After a brainy first act that presents a layman's comprehension of quantum physics, the narrative shifts admirably into a more traditional adventure story about a group of college students trapped in France during the Hundred Years War, who have to use their modern educations of the 17th century to survive and get back home. One of the things I like about the science in Crichton's books is that it feels like he is explaining it to himself even as he e...more
Lynn
It seems a lot of people feel this was one of Crichton's weaker efforts but I enjoyed reading this. It may be that, beyond the opening, there was not as much technology-driven plot as there was medieval adventure and romance. I thought it was entertaining and found that Crichton was able to keep me interested while I was reading.

Not a bad way to spend your reading time.
Patrice Hoffman
Another great read by the late Michael Crichton. I always feel a little smarter after having read one of his novels because of his writing approach and how he offers nuggets of factual information. These factual nuggets are what makes his novels so popular. They are well-researched and laid out in a way that isn't intimidating to the reader.

I was extremely excited that this turned out to be an adventure story wrapped up in pretty science-fiction wrapping paper, topped of historical fiction as i...more
Alicja
Rating: 3/5

Summary: A mysterious company has been developing new quantum technologies... A mysterious archeological site in France founded by the mysterious company leads a professor to seek answers from those who provide his research funding... The professor's grad students find modern objects at the site dating back to the 14th century... The professor is trapped in time and they must attempt a rescue...

Review:

Here is what I loved about it:
1. The research into theoretical physics and perfect...more
Alyssa Archambo
Many might be familiar with Timeline from the movie adaptation with Paul Walker and Gerard Butler -- I saw that movie ages ago when it came out and finally got around to reading the book. I can't really compare it to the movie, because I saw that so long ago, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Timeline is about a group of archaeologists who must travel to the fourteenth century (during a time of war) to rescue their professor.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Though I lo...more
John
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stefan
Entertaining novel with a good sounding scientific premise (whether it could actually be done or not is definitely up for debate.) Like most Crichton books, his material is extremely well research and presented in a manner that you don't question where he got his facts from and if you did, he provides a lengthy bibliography.



This is not one of his better novels, but is still a good read. The basic gist of the story is that some scientists create a sort of time travel but one of their scientists g...more
Chris Dietzel
Growing up, I read all of Crichton's books and loved each one. But everything that made those books so entertaining was missing in Timeline. The premise seemed implausible, even with advances in technology and a suspension of disbelief on the reader's part. This is shocking considering the same author made it feel completely realistic that dinosaurs could be recreated. To add to this, the plot felt manufactured and the characters were never developed to make you care about them. I would recommen...more
Elyse
Oct 19, 2008 Elyse rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those interested in time travel and medieval history
Recommended to Elyse by: My friend
Professor Johnston is leading an excavation trip in France with several of his students, but he leaves to speak with the founder of the company that's sponsoring the dig. There he finds out that the company has built a time machine that can transport you to 14th century France. He decides to see for himself what life was really like back there. But he is trapped and leaves clues for his students to find in the future, informing them that he is lost in the past. From there, they must travel back...more
Nikki
What happens when people go into the past using time travel? Knowing Crichton's works, you may have some idea. Like his other works that I have read, this one is full of technical knowledge that brings even more credibility into the actual story. Without the background technical information this could have ended up as just another time travel novel without the needed information to make it plausible.

For this installment of Crichton, he takes us on an adventure that does not really start out in...more
Chris Schmutz
Andromeda Strain is a classic. Of course Congo, Rising Sun, and Jurassic Park are his 'biggies'. For me, I think his creativity was most unique in Timeline. The book was absolutely outstanding for me. it involves time & place travel, and manages to handle some of the paradoxes thereto quite well.

THE MOVIE WAS A HORRIBLE RECOUNTING OF THIS STORY !!! The movie was made at a time when FINALLY technology in film making was such that it might possibly be able to do this story justice. And then th...more
Jared
When an author can't create anything new you end up with this. This is a Michael Crichton novel so you know you going to get a team of top-notch scientists, some wealthy, eccentric entrepreneur, and a big scientific/horrific dilemma. The only problem is the entire plot. Here we have time travel. A wealthy, eccentric entrepreneur with some scientists figure out how to go back in time. They go to the middle ages. People get lost in time. Now, they need a new team of scientists to get them back. Th...more
Chinook
The movie was rather crap, with some extremely bad acting by Billy Connolly, however who can pass up a story about archaeology and time travel? Apparently not a former archaeology student. I found the book in a Starbucks in Edinburgh, near the university, sitting neglected on a chair and somehow have traveled around the world with it. The storyline was interesting but I found the writing pretty annoying. Such is life with airplane paperbacks, I suppose.
Merredith
This book was slightly a Jurassic Park copycat, in that it's about this really rich guy who wants to build a special theme park type of thing with a strange scientific background. Now we're not cloning dinosaurs, but rebuilding the past. This book is SORT OF about time travel, but not really, since it's about quantum parallel universes, aka multiverses.Strangely enough, there's an article going round FB right now on the same subject. It seems there is an actual theory on this. Anyway, a team of...more
Clark Hallman
Timeline by Michael Crichton – Michael Crichton wrote many very good books in the science-fiction, medical-fiction, and adventure genres. Unfortunately, Timeline is not one of his best science-fiction books, although it is interesting and suspenseful. Robert Doniger is a brilliant physicist and unethical billionaire entrepreneur who secretly developed technology using quantum science that enables time travel to the past. He also funds the research of an ancient castle, church and monastery ruins...more
Jessica Lave
I went on a Crichton bender at the bookstores/book sales last year, and picked this one up without even reading the entire description on the back cover. So I didn't even realize it was a time-travel book until someone else who had already read it mentioned that to me. Yeah.

That said, while it was sort of a surprise to find that out (as I hadn't gotten that far into the story when I discovered that the bulk of it was going to be about time travel!), I wasn't deterred and it actually turned out...more
Reinhold
Leselust kommt erst sehr spät auf

Wäre das Buch nicht von einem Star geschrieben, hätte es wohl kaum jemals eine Chance auf die Bestsellerlisten gehabt. Wenngleich man ihm zugute halten kann, dass er sehr ins Detail geht und gut recherchierte Fakten allgemeinverständlich darlegt - so bleibt doch ein fahler Beigeschmack, dass er sich viel zu viel Zeit nimmt ehe er beginnt seine Geschichte zu erzählen. Hätte er auf die Einleitung nur die Hälfte der verwendeten Seiten genutzt, wäre vielleicht früher...more
Scott
I really enjoyed this book. Like many other Crichton books that have been turned into movies, the book is wonderful and the movie a dismal failure. I knew it would be, but had to see it anyway... without having read the book, I don't see how the storyline was intelligible to anyone. Of course, I'm a nerdy academic working in the medieval period, so I'm biased, but I thought that the idea of grad students working on an archeological/historical dig from the 14th century who end up actually going t...more
Stephen Gallup
I listened to Timeline on audio sometime back in the 90s, and many of the scenes remained with me thereafter. When my 9-year-old daughter recently expressed interest in this sort of genre, I played it again in the car, primarily for her benefit. Turns out that was a mistake, because the language was too strong for her. She didn't particularly like the violence, either.

For me, experiencing it again from her point of view was an eye-opening experience. I sympathize with parents who try to shield t...more
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Timeline 15 86 Feb 25, 2014 02:04PM  
SFBRP Listeners: Time travel (#152). Crichton's Timeline 10 55 Feb 09, 2012 08:34PM  
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Michael Crichton (1942–2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Douglas...more
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“In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.” 63 likes
“Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree.” 29 likes
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