Tung's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
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's review
Jan 09, 2008

it was ok
Read in January, 2005

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 two books are chick books, books whose romantic plots and themes are written to appeal to women, a device in books and film that do a disservice to the women’s rights movement. Niffenegger’s book revolves around a man who has a genetic disorder that randomly makes him travel backwards and forwards in time. He pops into and out of the life of a woman who ends up being his wife. The book revolves around the theme that love transcends time, and describes how the couple deals with the man’s time-traveling problem. This book gets some points for an original concept, but unfortunately, it is atrociously written. First, it’s way too long, almost 550 pages. Much of the length of the book is due to the author’s inclusion of every minute detail she can think of, as if an overabundance of detail makes the scene somehow more realistic. Secondly, there are tons of rants in the book, which is really just the author using her characters to voice her own tastes (for example, a whole scene devoted to punk music and the punk scene as if the author were reliving her youth, which adds nothing to the characterizations). Thirdly, the book is filled with tiresome cliché love imageries. For example, the time traveler wishing to himself that he were home and finding himself in bed with his wife and stating something inane like “I’m with Clare, so I am home. I am home.” So awful, the author should be jailed. The only reason I don’t have this book ranked lower is that the end of the book deals with issues of death and separation and loss that genuinely touched me, but that’s more me being sentimental than the book’s ability to convey strong emotion. Read it if you like chick flicks.
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02/09 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-13 of 13) </span> <span class="smallText">(13 new)</span>

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Liza I believe the term you are thinking of is "Chick-Lit". A lovely little pun, "All girls love chicklit...".

I actually liked the book.

Kimberly It was a Today Show book club selection. Also it is a little deeper than most chic lit. It was too long but I really liked it anyway.

Olivia I was actually thinking of ordering this book... thank you for mentioning it was Oprah's list. I will now CANCEL my plans of ordering it! The WORST book I ever read was back when she first started her book club and she recommended it. I dreaded continuing the horrifically dry book, but perservered through it assuming there must be a climax somewhere... nope. I've sinced always avoided the big O sticker on books now. Again, thank you!!!

message 4: by Deb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deb Roby I see nothing in common between TTTW and The Notebook. Are you kidding???

D1wata I definately see a connection with this and the Notebook. Waiting waiting waiting. Love love love. But at least, with Notebook, it's pretty clear what that book is up to. (And I do enjoy Chick lit/Chick films on occassion.) It's just that I thought this book was going to be deep or twisted, and that's what disappointed me so much here.

Doubleu Dee You wrote, "This book gets some points for an original concept..." Actually, the concept is a rip-off of a much better book from 1979. Octavia Butler's "Kindred". I learned this from a review here on GoodReads and just finished it yesterday. It is really worth reading.

Victoria Thanks for pointing that out about the book clubs. It was an ok read. There were some parts that I could relate to, her wanting a baby of their own, but there were many parts that I could not. There was an incredible amount of name dropping. The ethnic stereotypes did abound, probably why they were edited out for the screenplay. I won't recommend it but I did enjoy reading parts of it.

Patti I liked this book, but tend to dislike the books Oprah has on her book club list. She seems to only choosed books about f'd up people and their disfunctions.

I didn't like everything about the book -- especially the ending and the parts about Clare trying to get pregnant -- bleh. But I liked the characters and the convoluted plot.

Camila Eliana The Notebook was way better. Nick Sparks' characters were at least likable.

message 10: by Lakeisha (last edited Dec 31, 2010 09:27AM) (new)

Lakeisha Carter I think the most important rebuttal in this comment string is "this is not a recommended read on O's Book list" It is a book rated solely by it's readers. If a reader finds fault with the majority he should have the self respect to come to his conclusions based on his own worth, his ability to determine a good read versus the majority who tend to make their decisions based on popular opinion.

I found the book to be ordinary. An author whose story is more skilled than creative. A version eeked out of the many different spins on time travel, lost love, new love while meandering vivid imagery into the spin of this familiar tale. Simply Boring. No need to blame it on Ophra.

Crystal i hated this book also, and agree with this review. however, i MUST clarify that this book and "the notebook" have NEVER EVER been chosen by oprah. c'mon, now...oprah would never in a million years read terrible books like these. most of her books are NOT "chick lit." this book was actually chosen by the "today show," so obviously i will NOT be trusting their opinions on books ever again.

message 12: by Sjbelew (new)

Sjbelew Gross. I'm a girl and I hate chick flicks. Thanks for giving me a good reason not to read the book. I thought it was going to be a science fiction novel, rather than a romance novel. I become easily bored by those books. Thanks.

message 13: by Sjbelew (new)

Sjbelew Gross. I'm a girl and I hate chick flicks. Thanks for giving me a good reason not to read the book. I thought it was going to be a science fiction novel, rather than a romance novel. I become easily bored by those books. Thanks.

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