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Time Travelers Never Die

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,496 Ratings  ·  305 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
Paperback, Berkley Ace, 387 pages
Published November 2010 by Penguin (first published September 11th 2009)
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Nov 09, 2009 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jim Cherry
Nov 21, 2009 Jim Cherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2010 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 22, 2010 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-10
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
May 10, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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!

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
Aug 24, 2010 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2010, audiobooks
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
Aug 28, 2010 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 27, 2010 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
While Time Travelers Never Die was not a boring read, it was not as fascinating as I had expected it to be. To put it shortly, it was average at best. There were a lot of plot holes littered throughout this book and somehow I felt as I was reading, that this book was incredibly long yet somehow I couldn’t bring myself to put it down and move on to a different book even though I definitely thought about it a lot. And when I checked to see how many pages (less than 400), I couldn’t believe it wasn ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Brett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeffrey Jelmeland
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
Nathan Nipp
Jul 10, 2011 Nathan Nipp rated it liked it
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
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.
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
Melissa McShane
Slow to start, uninspired treatment of the subject, too many other good books to read, didn't bother finishing.
Probably the most boring and/or idiotic time travel book ever written.

Dave and Shel are time travelling buddies... until Shel mysteriously dies/disappears. So then we're taken back in the story to how these two dudes end up time travelling. Shel has a physicist dad (Michael) goes missing. Shel investigates, and while investigating is lucky enough to have his father leave him time travelling devices that looks like iPods ... I mean "qPods"... Dad apparently disappeared doing the time travel thin
Apr 29, 2012 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Clark Hallman
If time travel is really possible, then all events, all people, and even everything before humans, throughout time are always there to experience. It’s a fascinating concept and one that I have always found to be captivating. Therefore, it is no surprise that I very much enjoyed Jack McDevitt’s Time Travelers Never Die. McDevitt has created a very interesting story about two friends in 2018, David Dryden, a language professor, and Adrian Shelborne, a former physicist, who acquire two small devic ...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
An Odd1
Jul 30, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
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
Fredric Mau
Jul 16, 2013 Fredric Mau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
McDevitt is my favorite author - and this is an awesome book! I highly recommend this one, even for people who are not sci-fi fans! Because, really, if you had easy time travel, what would you do? Certainly not visit wars and disasters and such. Enjoy the read! And I wanna visit La Belle Époque!
Lisa Hapney
Dec 11, 2013 Lisa Hapney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 29, 2016 Jessiqa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
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
Chess Desalls
I was all ready to give this book 4 stars, until I read the Epilogue. :o)
May 08, 2015 Chet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a *lot* of time traveling--not just one or two excursions into the past or future. Use it for entertainment, to solve problems, and, of course, to make money. Going into the future and Googling your name is not recommended, though. A nice read.
Mar 25, 2016 Indrek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mitmekülgne teadlane Michael Shelborne jääb segastel asjaoludel kadunuks. On aasta 2018. Tema poeg Adrian "Shel" Shelborne leiab isa poolt juhuslikult leiutatud pihuarvutsuuruse seadeldise, millega saab ringi liikuda nii ajas kui ruumis. Loomulikult on põhjust minna kadunuks jäänud isa otsima.

McDevitt`i ajarännuteemaline romaan on oluliselt erinev kui võrrelda seda kasvõi nt Heinleini "Enese ees ja järel" või Asimovi "Igaviku lõpuga". Mingis võtmes väga mäkdevitlik lugu oma argisuse ja detailiro
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Around the Year i...: Time Travelers Never Die, by Jack McDevitt 4 20 Feb 16, 2016 05:40AM  
anachronisms? 3 12 Sep 13, 2013 11:15AM  
  • The Accidental Time Machine
  • The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century
  • About Time: 12 Short Stories
  • Thrice Upon a Time
  • A Bridge of Years
  • The Man Who Folded Himself
  • Bones of the Earth
  • Chronospace
  • Starplex
  • There Will Be Time
  • The Time Ships
  • Up the Line
  • Castaways in Time (Castaways in Time, #1)
  • The Walls of the Universe (Universe, #1)
  • Time Scout (Time Scout, #1)
  • Galileo's Dream
  • A Shortcut in Time (A Shortcut in Time, #1)
  • Millennium
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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“A friend is a second self.” 0 likes
“Time is like a river. As soon as a thing is seen, it is carried away and another takes its place, and then that other is carried away also. —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS         DAVE” 0 likes
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