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The Time Traveler's Wife

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,062,482 ratings  ·  39,339 reviews
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic t ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published July 5th 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2003)
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Afshan Rajkotwala The movie is missing so many things that the book has--more development of characters, more time travelling experiences, more happiness, more sadness,…moreThe movie is missing so many things that the book has--more development of characters, more time travelling experiences, more happiness, more sadness, and a different ending! You need to read it!(less)
Alexi There are about 10 sex scenes, including forced sex acts and cheating. C-word is also there. My opinion, not for kids.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I'm only adding this book because it annoys me that it popped up on the "most popular reads." People, this book is terrible. Do yourself a favor and pretend you'd never heard of it.

My short answer is that it's just no good, the long version is in the following list, which I call "The Problems I Have With The Time-Traveler's Wife."

1. The author is indecisive. Rather than accepting that this is a science-fiction novel, she tries to write a social commentary, romance, and art and music novel all r
Liz S.
I recently read The Time-Traveler's Wife and was pretty disappointed---the author somehow manages to turn such an awesome premise (the dude actually time travels!) into something pretty flat and prosaic and dull. The first hundred pages really hooked me, but after a while I started to get irritated by:

1. All the name checking of hipster-approved bands in an attempt to establish Henry's supposed "punk" cred. He liked the Violent Femmes in 1991. That's why he's so badass? Seriously?

2. The food por
Why can't there be a negative star rating? I hated, hated this book. And yes, I did finish it. All way-too-many pages of it. But, in my defense it was (foolishly) the only book I brought with me when I was hospitalized for 24 hours after wisdom tooth surgery, and when your options are daytime soaps or this wretched book...well, at least I got to read the ending and conclude definitively that it wasn't worth it. Okay, now that I've gotten a bit of a rant out, let me be a little more organized abo ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Swaps55 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
i hate reading books that everyone keeps bothering me to read. first there are the gushing reviews from the media, complete with intelligent sound clips:

"it's so awesome! so titillating! the way the author captures that thing where the girl says that stuff and then they go to that cool place.. you know? even oprah says so!"

and then there are the crowds of friends who carry around their freshly bought "it" book (ok, i'm bitter, i can't afford to buy new books) who can't wait to share their newf
Shan B
Mar 09, 2008 Shan B rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to jump on band wagons, sheep and lemmings
Let me start this by saying I was very excited to read this book. I thought it was going to be good. It is not in any way good. It could have been good, the idea could have soared but in Niffenegger's hands it was destroyed by laundry lists of grocery bag contents, street directions, and punk bands until I even said, out loud, more than once, "okay, I get it." He bought groceries, he knows how to get around in Chicago, Clare likes to clean her studio, he is not just a punk rock poser but the rea ...more
I am conflicted about this book. Do not let my 4 stars fool you, they are an emotional rating.

I'll start with the things I really liked about it:

Loved all the foreshadowing. The knowing something was going to happen, and maybe even a little bit of what it was, but never knowing or understanding fully until both characters had experienced the moment. And then all the foreshadowing of the tragic end. Once I started putting the puzzle together I really couldn't put it down. And I had several moment
Claire Greene
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma (Miss Print)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Just because something is popular does not mean it's good. Mass "taste" is often incredibly bad. Such is the case with this book, only it's not incredibly bad, just not worth the hours it takes to read it.

It seems like every fiction book I've read in the past couple of years is highly depressing, this one included. My life is full enough of it's own challenges and disappointments that I'd like to read to escape. Yes, if novels are full of heartache and struggle, they are realistic and more accur
Rating this was really hard, because I really liked it (really, really liked it) but I have such qualms with the ending, which could very possibly be a testament to Niffenegger's writing, I'm not sure. Anyway.

There were several things I wanted to talk about while I was reading it, more or less having to do with the notion of time-travel in the book. Obviously, there's always the immediate connection between Henry DeTamble and Billy Pilgrim, both of which are unstuck in time, Henry because of a b
I adore this book. I love it with all my heart. The first few pages were a delight, a surprise, and from then on it was a sweet love affair. I wanted both to have read the book all at once and also to have it all yet unread so I could savor it. I simply didn't want it to end.

The story is about two people, the time traveler and his wife. On the surface, they are like any two people who love each other in modern times, except for the fact that he travels through time. You'd think that fact would m
There’s a reason I hate Oprah’s Book Club, and the reason is that I think she does a disservice to the millions of American women who adore her by recommending terrible books. Oprah’s problem is that rather than directing her legions of fans to classic books (or ones destined to become classics) with complex plots and fine writing, she directs them instead to crap like The Notebook. The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife belong to the same genre – you’ve heard the term “chick flick”? These tw ...more
i feel there is a special circle of hell reserved for authors who make a fortune by blatantly ripping off better--but less mainstream--authors from the past and passing the ideas off as their own. I therefore will not review this book but instead re-direct the curious to a 1976 novel called Kindred by Octavia Butler, ostensibly a sci-fi novel but in fact a lean, precise and totally imaginative book for any alert reader.

Avoid bloat, trashiness, sexism, predictability and slowness: don't read thi
Kat Kennedy
I almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second half she wrote while on some very impressive anti-depressants.

The first half of this book is sweet, wistful, beautiful and touching.

The second half of this book is heart breaking, depressing and sloppily written.

I finished this book wondering what the hell I'd actually gotten out of it. My not-so-startling conclusion was: nothing.

When I read a book,
Oct 20, 2014 Marissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of scifi, fantasy, or intelligent romance
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2008 Annalisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who can endure sex and swearing for an excellent story
Recommended to Annalisa by: Hannah Coleman
I loved this book. It's not perfect, but it made me feel and think and want. It's one of those stories that pulls you into the characters' lives and leaves you wanting more, mulling over the scenes and premise for days after you've reluctantly turned the last page. Rarely is such an original idea portrayed with such vivid language so you believe the time travel possibility and the characters are almost people you know.

It's about a guy who involuntarily travels time. He can never predict where o
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Very few books have ever made me cry. Off the top of my head, only two really stand out: Charlotte's Web and Thunderwith. I am now adding The Time Traveler's Wife to the list, and to the list of books I can't get out of my head for days after.

This is a highly ambitious debut novel. That doesn't mean it doesn't work. I had my doubts, I truly did. And I can never read a book without also noticing typos, editing errors etc., but although they're distracting they can't ruin a good book.

The time tr
I am not a romance reader by nature. That's not to say that I don't enjoy them from time to time, but I just don't usually gravitate toward romance. And to be completely honest, I had absolutely zero intention of reading this book, ever. But then it was chosen as my October Bookclub book, so my intentions just became irrelevant.

So, now that I've read it... Umm... Well. I think that this book did have an interesting premise, and in another author's hands, could have been fantastic. But most of t
Sep 17, 2008 Melissa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Melissa by: Lora Strawn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm finally finished! I have several problems with this book, many of which were laid out by my friend Liz's brilliant post (thanks for lending me this read--I think). First of all, it's way too long. The plot is not so action-packed that it merits 600 pages and hour upon hour of my time. Why you ask? Because nothing happens! There were about 400 pages where Henry just floats back and forth through time, Clare is annoying, and no plot advancement occurs. I mourn the loss of all those trees.

The s
Maggie Stiefvater
Jun 17, 2008 Maggie Stiefvater rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for love stories but not romances.
Recommended to Maggie by: Helene Keough
Shelves: recommended
What I love about THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is that Niffenegger absolutely nails the relationship between Henry and Claire. For all the book's faults (in particular a draggy middle), I haven't read a book yet with such chemistry between the two main characters. Add to that Niffenegger's beautiful use of language and dry sense of humor and this is a book I keep going back to.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Cons
Hippo dari Hongkong
OK, to be honest, I'm having a hard time reviewing this book. I had a mixed feeling that sometimes I like this book and sometimes I dislike this book. There were moments when I just want to throw this book and moments when I suddenly realized that I'm having a hard time putting it down. It's difficult to write the review cause somehow I want to tell you everything.

Henry has chrono-displacement disorder, and he will be sucked backs and forth in time (mostly when he was stressed). He can't control
In this imaginative and unusually written story, an unorthodox romance develops between the handsome time-traveling librarian, Henry and beautiful artist Clare who struggle to find a way to accept and adjust to their difficult relationship. With no conscious control over staying put in the present time or knowledge of where he will end up next, the (often naked) Henry encounters many dangerous and embarrassing moments, relives some horrendous occurrences of times past, and handles it all with wi ...more
Huda Yahya

وبصفتي فتاة رومانسية نحنوحة مسهوكة
ًفإنني أحببتُ هذه الرواية الدافئة كثيرا

الرواية بسيطة ليست ذات أبعاد ولا تناقش فلسفة معينة
هي فانتازيا رومانسية جميلة
وعلى الرغم من ذلك فهي أكثر من مجرد تسلية وإضاعة للوقت

تتسم الرواية بكثيرٍ من الدفء و الصدق
رائحتها عشقية بلا ابتذال ولا مزايدة
وتمت معالجة الفانتازيا هنا بحرفية شديدة

جعلتني مرتاحة وسعيدة
قضيتُ وقتا ممتعاً ووقعتُ في غرام الشخصيات

القصة شديدة الغرابة عن رجل يسافر عبر الزمن ليقابل حب عمره بطريقة لم يتقابل بها عاشقين
I wish that this book was a Choose Your Own Adventure, so that when Henry starts yapping off at the jib about seventies punk to that high school kid at the Christmas party, that you could choose, instead of having the kid listen in rapt gratefulness while Henry lists off all the bands this schmuck has to find out about, to have the kid kick him square in his unbelievably pretentious punkrocklibrarian balls.

People like this book???!

I know I threw my credibility out the window when I admitted that
Nov 03, 2009 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the women in my book club who never read the selected book
Recommended to Jen by: my local book club
I married at age twenty, a dozen years ago. Every year of marriage only confirms that I chose well, or was lucky, or the fates were smiling upon me, whatever (and if my married years aren't proof enough, there's Facebook as a nice reminder). But I remember that at the time of my wedding, I didn't really feel like I had a big choice to make. There was no nail-biting scenario where a cartoon drawing of myself might have looked pained over having to choose between a heavenly or hellish future draw ...more
THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is an interesting concept focusing on one of those what if questions that makes the contemporary setting suddenly fantastic. While this is really a sci fi story it was marketed as fiction to attract more readers. Hollywood is in the works to turn this into a film with rumors of Brad Pitt starring.

So the overall concept here is that a man and woman are married but the husband has a disease that makes him time warp either into the future or into the past of his life. When
Miss Kim
Apr 03, 2010 Miss Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miss Kim by: Teryl
Shelves: 2010, time-travel
4 1/2 stars

This is one of those books that everyone reads and you love it or hate it. I am not sure if I loved it, but it is a very good book! For me, it was a bit hard to follow at first, because I didn’t understand all the popping back in forth in time, and what was ‘the present’ and why it was happening.

Henry spontaneously time-travels. He seems to only travel to places in his past that he is familiar with. He meets his future wife when she is six, and he is middle aged. In reality, he is eig
I want the option of 1/2 stars. I give this one 4 1/2.

I’m always afraid of two things when I’ve been as captivated by a book as I have been this one. The first is that no one else will feel the same way I do about it. What if it’s actually horrible, and for some reason I love it? I’m no literary genius, after all. But I suppose we are all entitled to our own opinions, and there are certainly plenty of “great” reads out there that I am sure I did not love, or would not love if I ever read them.
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Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre
More about Audrey Niffenegger...
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