Claire's Reviews > To Say Nothing of the Dog

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
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Mar 19, 07

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-happy-books, five-stars, fantasy-sci-fi-horror-geekery, favorite-books-ever
Recommended for: People too rational to have survived in Victorian England.

If you know a lot about Victorian England from literature, this book will be a hundred times funnier. I haven't read Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men In a Boat," to which this book apparently owes a great deal, but it's still plenty hilarious. I cannot overstate the comedy genius of this story about a snarky time traveler forced for research purposes to live in Victorian England, amid seance-crazy mothers, jumble sales, idiot village curates, and swoony young men smitten with nitwit girls. You'll know all you need to know when I tell you that the entire farcical plot hinges upon our hero finding a missing item that he must bring back to the future with him--which seems like a pretty standard sci-fi plot, until you find out that the item of such crucial importance is a hideous piece of Victorian arts and crafts that his boss needs in order to appease a Gorgon duchess who wants to do an EXACT replica of the cathedral where this piece of crap was once located.

I have to add that the part that makes me laugh out loud just thinking about it, because it's just so PERFECT, is when the twittery obnoxious young Victorian girl is described as emitting a "kind of small scream, like a screamlet" when she's excited. I find "screamlet" a brilliantly hilarious word.
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