First of all, I read The God in Flight when I was newly out in high school. I saved up for it. I went to visit it at Barnes and Noble. It lay, piled iFirst of all, I read The God in Flight when I was newly out in high school. I saved up for it. I went to visit it at Barnes and Noble. It lay, piled in a colorful stack, clustered with all the new fiction. When I finally brought it home, I fell into it. I underlined sentences with pen and even crayon, when it was all that I could find. (I think I was on an airplane and asked to borrow the red crayon of the 4 year old next to me.)
The fact that Laura Argiri never wrote anything else is a crying shame. God is the tender, mystical, and Romantic (capital R) late 19th century love story between Simon Satterwhite, an 18 year old undergraduate at Yale, and Doriskos Killenarous, a Greek God of an art instructor. Think of a gay Wuthering Heights.
I have so much love for this book that I am fumbling through this review.
**spoiler alert** Before Audry Niffenegger wrote The Time Traveler's Wife, she was a art teacher at a Chicago university. Thankfully, Niffenegger beli**spoiler alert** Before Audry Niffenegger wrote The Time Traveler's Wife, she was a art teacher at a Chicago university. Thankfully, Niffenegger believes that art should imitate life, so we get a rip-roaring tour of her life passions: punk music, the Chicago art scene, the Newbery Library, and Chicago itself. These are the core elements that add ambiance to the love story of Henry Detamble - librarian and reluctant time traveler - and his wife, artist Claire Ashbury.
Henry has crono-displacement disorder and in times of stress, he "time jumps" to other periods of his life, leaving Claire alone in sequential time. I stayed up until almost four AM, engrossed in Time Traveler's Wife. I cheated by reading the last page first when I was halfway through it and put it aside for six months. TTW is the story of the (gorgeous) Henry DeTamble, sexy librarian and accidental time traveler, and his circular relationship with Claire, who is often left behind when Henry accidentally goes hurtling through time, usually against his will. The most unique part about it - and the most intelligent - is Niffenegger could have done the cliche plot - time machine, other centuries, etc - but chose not to, instead keeping the time travel in the modern day. No Jack Finney plots for her characters. Henry's unique path almost entirely focuses around dramatic incidents in his life - his mother's death,his father's depression, or his meeting Clare. The latter is the most unique part about this story - Henry first meets Clare when she is 6 and he is in his 20s, thanks to the time traveling. Ironically, when he accidentally visits her as a child, he is leaving the adult Claire, bereft and confused, in the "present." The book is told through monologues which I usually find pretty annoying but this was extraordinary.
The kick? In Niffennegger's world, time travel is a disease, an uncontrollable ailment which holds the victim in it's grip, manifesting only under extreme mental stress. As a result, Henry fights to stay "present" at his own wedding, only to loose and have an older "Henry" (age 43) pop into the ceremony to say the vows. What would be a groom's normal nerves set off the chrono-displacement gene (CDG). Also, our Henry time travels in the buff, which makes it pretty important to do things like pick locks, steal clothes, etc. You know - all the stuff they should teach in Boy Scouts.
And? The sheer real world *intelligence* of Henry and Clare - the references to AS Byatt, Violent Femmes, Ulysses, french poetry, J.B. Priestly, Rilke, Dickinson, etc. Thanks to Henry's librarian status, we get tons of delicious references to gorgeous poems, lit figures, etc.
It's a rarity in fiction to have a librarian character who is a man, a time traveler, reader and lover, while still leaping off the page as the world's first well-read, punk librarian.
Henry and Clare never dip to anything less than human, brilliant, vital, and remarkably alive. Guess who cried like moron through the past 42 pages? Moi. I haven't cried at a book since the end of Fried Green Tomatoes or maybe Harry 3. I made it through Jane Eyre, Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Hours, Jude the Obscure, Crimson Petal and White, and tons of other gut-wrenching books without a tear. I'm a little embarrassed by how much I adored this novel. Whew. ..And The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, and the Violent Femmes make appearances. Bless Niffennegger's visionary, music-adoring little self.
Apparently Gus Van Sant is directing the movie. Personally, I think Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) would have been the perfect director. Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Wedding Crashers) will be Claire, while Eric Bana (The Hulk) will be Henry.
Dippy with love for this book. I've never been a romance girl, or sci-fi/fantasy but this one just rolled it all in to one yummy package.
Nancy "Nan" King, mild-mannered "oyster girl", works in her father's oyster bar in 19th century England. A chance trip to the theater changes her lifeNancy "Nan" King, mild-mannered "oyster girl", works in her father's oyster bar in 19th century England. A chance trip to the theater changes her life when she meets and falls in love with male impersonator Kitty Butler. In sort of a lesbian Cinderella, Kitty makes Nan first her dresser, then her fellow drag king, and finally, her secret lover. However, Kitty marries and Nan takes to the harsh London streets, plying her trade as a "male" whore. Nan's London adventures take her from the backstreets to lesbian salons to the labor movement.
Fucking amazing book. The miniseries is cute and fun, but the book rocked my world with its depth, attention to detail, and in-your-face narration by Nan herself....more
When WWII english nurse Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp is on her Scottish honeymoon with her historian hubby, the last thing she expects is to fall througWhen WWII english nurse Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp is on her Scottish honeymoon with her historian hubby, the last thing she expects is to fall through a stone circle into 1743, get hunted by her present-day husband's perverted ancestor Jack Black Randall, and eventually have to marry a hot, clever Scotsman for protection. Well, we often don't plan for this shit on our vacations, do we?
So, once in 18th century Scotland, Claire tries to get back to modern day husband Frank with no avail. The Scots think she's a British spy, the Brits think she's a French spy, and the poor don't understand why she thinks that handwashing will save them from illness.
And then there's Culloden, the disasterous 1745 Scottish uprising. Since Claire was a 20th century historian's wife , she knows that the 18th century people she's learning to love will be crushed by the English... unless she and true love Jamie can somehow alter the course of miltary history.
The relationship between Jamie and Claire is fun, funny, sexy, hot, and, above all, real. The kicker in this one is the witty pace, the excellent writing, and the characterizations. Author Diana Gabaldon introduces side characters only to have them crop up three books later and play a huge role.
Here's the reason why Outlander rocked my world. There are a lot of crappy, woosy heroines out there, especially in the Scotsman Romance field. Claire kicks ass. She's smart, well-traveled, and knows how to twist a bone back into its socket before she got to the 18th century. Claire curses, gets mad, gets sexy, tells Jamie off aplenty, and basically behaves like a normal woman, not a cardboard cutout. Don't be fooled by the neer-do-wells who lump this one into the "romance" section - this is strong, well-plotted fiction with a romantic twist, not the other way around.