Shan B's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

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

did not like it
Recommended for: people who like to jump on band wagons, sheep and lemmings
Read in February, 2008

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 real deal, complete with his cherry red Docs,etc. Seriously, this stuff does not pass for good writing in any circles. The tedious minutae of life is boring and makes the author look like she is trying to pad her story for more bulk.

The worst part of this book was that the whole thing was based on contrived plot devices. The whole time I was reading I was wondering why the author chose to have him time travel naked. To me it seemed like if it weren't for his constant pursuit of clothes there may be some real chance at something actually happening in the story. Then at the end of the book I realized that the whole naked thing was a tool to achieve the amputations at the end.

Where was this woman's editor? How do things like this get published, this story was nowhere near polished and pared down enough to make it to publication.

Also, the gory miscarriage scenes, yuck!

There was no introspect into the character's hearts and minds. How does Henry feel about knowing when he is going to die? How does Clare deal with him being a time travel? We will never know because the book was too full of what they did and how they did it and nothing about how they felt. I don't care about that stuff.

These characters were selfish, pretentious and self absorbed. And the credibility goes right out the window when they win the lottery. Come on!

I honestly don't see why this book is so well loved! This book angered me.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Micah (new)

Micah Persell Can I just say that I love your recommendation?

message 2: by Shan (new) - rated it 1 star

Shan B Thank you! It's been a while since I read that book and rereading my review makes me laugh because I was really fired up. It still sucked though...

message 3: by Deb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deb Roby Hopefully you will never have to go through a miscarriage, do you think they are pretty?? I hope you can keep your Rose Garden glasses on for a while. Unfortunately, life gets messy!

message 4: by Natalie (last edited Jan 03, 2010 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Natalie Sheep and lemmings! Classic, and well-put! Oh, you could have added people who like to sleep in their own drool. Yes, it was that boring.

John Hileman I'm currently reading this book... and I've got to say, you are spot on. Every point you made was as if you reached into my soul and pulled out the words. Thank you, thank you, thank you ... now I can be at peace for not finishing it.

It's a shame. I wanted to like this book. I really did.

Shannon I couldn't finish the book either, not after finding out that Henry was doomed anyway, WTF! I was hoping for an HEA to at least make this book worth my time and instead I feel like I wasted my week on it. I think you hit it dead on by saying we weren't told what the characters' were "feeling" only what they were doing...that explains perfectly why I had such a hard time connecting to the love story. I couldn't really feel that "love" throughout the story and the foreshadowing of the depressing ending was just ridiculous, telling us what will happen before it does...that's when I stopped reading and read the spoilers to find out what happens. I feel totally disenchanted by this book by the sad ass ending and the lack of connection between the characters.

Danielle I'm with you Shan B. Deb: yes, life does get messy, but good writers know how much of the messy stuff to show and how much to imply. Bad writers just show it all and say "LOOK AT ME I'M SHOWING LIFE AS IT REALLY IS I'M SUCH A GOOD WRITER." Niffenegger falls into the second category.

Daphne Garza I loved this book! Perhaps we read two different things because this makes me cry every time I read it. The emotion, the feelings, everything. The reason it had so much normal stuff like grocery list and streets and bands, wasn't to make you say "I get it", but to make you understands. He's trying to be normal. Just because he's a time traveler, doesn't mean he enjoys it. Would you? Would you enjoy knowing your future, or reliving the past, but unable to change it? I know I wouldn't enjoy that. I'd try to ignore, try to be normal, make grocery list and other boring things to connect with normal life. The reason for his nakedness was because he can't take anything with him, HELLO!! If he could take something, it could change the fabric of time. Are you telling me that you'd be dumb enough to take something that might ruin the future? You're crazy if you would. Henry did what he could, and he did it greatly. He's a hero in a way to me, he's what made this book so memorable. Maybe you should reread it, and instead of judging, really listen to it, let it take over your mind. Put yourself in his shoes. I'm sure your thoughts would change if you did.

Daphne Garza Ps, don't speak of miscarriages and other things if you haven't been through them yourself. And another thing, these characters weren't selfish, they were lost and afraid. Their feelings were protested perfectly, you just didn't listen. You're kinda dumb if you didn't notice that thief feeling literally fly off the pages and smack you in the face.

Shantel Mcfeeters I agree 100% Characters so self absorbed for being so devastatingly in love. I kept screaming this book is about NOTHING!!!

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