This was fun to read; a pretty basic mix of time travel, dystopia, and teen romance. It was choppy and moved quickly; scenes and characters are not co...moreThis was fun to read; a pretty basic mix of time travel, dystopia, and teen romance. It was choppy and moved quickly; scenes and characters are not completely fleshed out, but it did make for a fast read.(less)
I super enjoyed this book. It was the first one in awhile that made me just want to sit down and read it straight through (although of course that cou...moreI super enjoyed this book. It was the first one in awhile that made me just want to sit down and read it straight through (although of course that couldn't happen, but I read it a lot faster than my usual lately). It has such a cool premise, lots to do with human psychology and how we are influenced by words. There is a slight sci-fi bent to it but nothing crazy. It jumps around in time which kept it interesting although I do feel like I need to read it again to get it all straight. There is a bit of romance which I won't say no to. A good amount of suspense, mystery, and action. Just all in all really fascinating.(less)
When I was bawling at the end of the first chapter I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. Thankfully that kind of emotion did not remain, but...moreWhen I was bawling at the end of the first chapter I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. Thankfully that kind of emotion did not remain, but came out here and there in a way I could handle.
As for the rest of the story: characters, plot, suspense, relationships, action, science, this book has it. And every once in awhile a gem of a bit of prose will pop out at you. I am seriously invested in what happens to these people now. I have more thoughts about...things...but they are spoiler-y so I will just talk your ear off about them if you catch me in person or on Twitter.(less)
So this is depressing but not in an over-the-top way. I mean, even I could handle it. I love how it jumped around in time without being confusing, and...moreSo this is depressing but not in an over-the-top way. I mean, even I could handle it. I love how it jumped around in time without being confusing, and how it was sci-fi without really being sci-fi.
Honestly I had no idea what it was about before I picked it up, but I'll tell you: It's about Billy Pilgrim, a survivor of the bombing of Dresden in WW2, a victim of alien abduction to the planet Tralfamadore, and a time traveler. It may sound crazy but it's really not - it works. Mainly it's kind of the story of Billy's life, and although it doesn't hit you in the face with it, I would say it's anti war. But it just kind of shows you the destructiveness of war, and you draw your own conclusions.
Now that I think about it more, it's actually kind of genius the way he shows war to be inevitable, just like all of our choices are according to the Tralfamadorians (who don't see time chronologically, but as every moment always and forever existing). I was pretty happy with myself when I figured out that every time the phrase "So it goes" occurred in the book it was referring to a death, but it was actually pretty obvious. But it was a very effective device, and the repetition caused me to notice the deaths piling up.
Anyway, I liked it. I like it more after thinking about it.(less)
I went into this audiobook with no preconceived notions about it other than a lot of people like it. I was happy to discover that it was quite funny....moreI went into this audiobook with no preconceived notions about it other than a lot of people like it. I was happy to discover that it was quite funny. It came across to me like a kid's book for adults. It's just kind of silly and absurd with a lot of weird characters, but some of the subject matter is adult in nature. My only complaint is that the plot gets kind of convoluted with a lot of random backstories, so it was hard to follow at times on audio. But the narrator of the audiobook, Stephen Fry (who did all the UK Harry Potter audiobooks), was so great that I think it was totally worth it to listen to.(less)
An excellent story. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it; the audiobook moved too slowly for me. I went between 3 and 4 stars, but se...moreAn excellent story. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it; the audiobook moved too slowly for me. I went between 3 and 4 stars, but settled on 3 since I almost gave up on it halfway through. Really glad I didn't, though. (less)
**spoiler alert** First of all, let’s just get the whole “time travel” thing out of the way. Humans seem to be obsessed with it. I’m not immune to the...more**spoiler alert** First of all, let’s just get the whole “time travel” thing out of the way. Humans seem to be obsessed with it. I’m not immune to the fascination of the concept; I’ve read A Brief History of Time. I’ve had deep discussions with my physicist friend about it. I loved the time travel aspect in The Prisoner of Azkaban. I guess we all have such a hard time living in the present that we want to go back and change the past or see what’s coming in our future. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there because we are discussing this book, not contemplating the meaning of life. As far as this book goes, you have to let the time travel issue go. If you try to figure it out, you just may go crazy, because it doesn’t make sense.
Case in point: there is one scene where Henry travels back in time and he is with his younger self in his bedroom. His father catches the two Henrys doing something…less than appropriate with each other (and may I just say now: SICK! Sick sick sick.) and the younger Henry gets mad at the older Henry for not preventing it. Older Henry basically says, “Just wait. You’ll do the same thing.” That got me thinking: so the younger Henry will grow up and do the same thing, then he’ll tell the younger Henry HE visits that HE’LL do the same thing, and on and on and on, and basically Henry will be perpetually alive. I just had to forget about figuring that one out.
This is not really science fiction; it’s a love story and a pretty good one. Unfortunately, it had really been talked up to me, so all in all it didn’t quite meet my expectations. I think the reason that I merely liked this book a lot instead of LOVING it was because I didn’t fully relate to the main characters. They are somewhat privileged, off on their own in Chicago and into the punk scene as well as things like art and opera. They like to party and swear and have sex pretty much all the time. That’s not something that strikes a chord with me.
But the thing that DID resonate was that Henry and Clare were utterly in love with each other, like I am utterly in love with my husband. That’s why, when I read the end of the book while on the bus, I had to physically hold my face to keep from crying. I didn’t want to be the weird girl weeping in front of a bunch of strangers. If you want to make me cry, just make me read a book or watch a movie where a husband dies young. And then make his wife find a love letter to read “upon his death.” Guaranteed tears every single time.
I think my favorite parts were when Henry went back in time and met with Clare in the Meadow. He was on his best behavior, and she was young and innocent. From reading those scenes I had one image of Henry in my mind, and THAT Henry was a lot more attractive to me than the person he ended up being. Clare was the character I identified with most, being the wife. I also enjoyed the scenes with Kimy in them. She was very lovable.
And the movie?
I saw the movie a few days after finishing the book, which I thought would be a good idea but I don’t think it really was. It was kind of overkill on the story for me. But the movie actually turned out to be a nice surprise because Henry and Clare were much more like normal people and I could relate to them a lot better. It wasn’t hard for me to follow the time travel escapades, but that’s probably because I knew the story. I don’t know if it would have been confusing for someone who didn’t. Again, I was trying extremely hard not to cry, but the tears just spilled over; they couldn’t be helped.(less)