Mariya's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
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's review
Aug 31, 2007

did not like it
Read in January, 2005

i feel there is a special circle of hell reserved for authors who make a fortune by blatantly ripping off better--but less mainstream--authors from the past and passing the ideas off as their own. I therefore will not review this book but instead re-direct the curious to a 1976 novel called Kindred by Octavia Butler, ostensibly a sci-fi novel but in fact a lean, precise and totally imaginative book for any alert reader.

Avoid bloat, trashiness, sexism, predictability and slowness: don't read this one. Read Kindred! It is gorgeous, thoughtful, sexy, and oh yes--feminist and anti-racist. Yeah!
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02/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Becca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Becca Becca I love what Octavia Butler does with sci-fi. I read Parable of the Sower a few years back and loved it.

I absolutely hated The Time Traveler's Wife, so I will definitely check out Kindred.

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Thank you for the recommendation!

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

Deb Roby Get over yourself! Throwing around what a great Lit expert you are is boring. I enjoyed the book for the same reason I enjoy all books, for the story it told.

message 4: by Mariya (last edited Aug 12, 2009 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mariya Deb, you're certainly entitled to "enjoy all books." Since I can't enjoy them all, I explain in my review why I didn't enjoy this one.

message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason I am so glad that you direct people to Octavia Butler. So much the better writer!
Also, you might be interested in A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright. I cannot imagien the TTTW being better written or more plausible than his brilliant novel

Linda I heartily agree with your review. Thanks for the "Kindred" recommendation. I will have to go and check it out.

Janet I've read both time travelers and kindred and I dont think the "idea" was stolen at all. They are two completely different books. Octavia Butler didn't invent the idea of time travel.

I do think Kindred was incredibly more complex and engaging, but I really enjoyed time travelers as well. I like to let other people read and decide for themselves.

message 8: by Tippy (last edited Sep 14, 2010 03:21AM) (new) - added it

Tippy Jackson Janet-do you have the power to not let people read and decide for themselves? I'm so glad we have your permission...Clearly by writing this review, Mariya has prohibited people from reading and deciding for themselves. You are so clever for "letting" other people do that.

Deb- How is referencing another, related but better book "throwing around what a great lit expert you are?" Insecure much? It's totally relevant and comparison is a great way to review,analyze or critique a work.

Honestly, I came here to mention that I loved Kindred and how happy I was to see someone else recommend it, but now I'm kinda pissed off at how bitchy people are because you don't agree with them. Condescending and rude does not make for a good discussion.

Denise Mjelde Mariya--I just read Kindred based on your comments, but I have to say, the only thing the two books have in common is time travel, that the main characters don't move through time of their own volition and that the main characters are married.

I think the two authors had such different intentions that it doesn't make much sense to compare them. It's a huge stretch to say that Niffenegger ripped Butler off. It would make as much sense to accuse Butler of stealing her concept from Jack Finney, or accusing all of them of stealing the concept from H. G. Wells. Each book uses time travel to tell a story, but each is very different. Time travel is just a device used to tell a story—time travel is not the story.

Butler writes a story about racism and the insidious nature of slavery, but she sends her main character back in time to experience slavery herself. Niffenegger explores human relationships and free will through the device of time travel.

And, to be clear, I liked Kindred. I just don't think the comparison is valid. As Janet said, "Octavia Butler didn't invent the idea of time travel."

Simone Ramone That's for putting me on to Kindred. Have pulled up stumps on Traveller's Wife at 42%.

Eleri I loved TTW - but am off to find Kindred now. Thank you :-)

Jennww2ns Another author who did time travel better - Ken Grimwood in "Replay" (1986).

Christina Skans Thanks for the tip! Looking forward to reading Kindred if I can get hold of it.

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