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The Time Traveler's Wife

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,405,159 Ratings  ·  45,102 Reviews
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic t ...more
Hardcover, 518 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by MacAdam/Cage (first published 2003)
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Alexi There are about 10 sex scenes, including forced sex acts and cheating. C-word is also there. My opinion, not for kids.
Afshan Rajkotwala The movie is missing so many things that the book has--more development of characters, more time travelling experiences, more happiness, more sadness,…moreThe movie is missing so many things that the book has--more development of characters, more time travelling experiences, more happiness, more sadness, and a different ending! You need to read it!(less)

Community Reviews

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Andrea
I'm only adding this book because it annoys me that it popped up on the "most popular reads." People, this book is terrible. Do yourself a favor and pretend you'd never heard of it.

My short answer is that it's just no good, the long version is in the following list, which I call "The Problems I Have With The Time-Traveler's Wife."

1. The author is indecisive. Rather than accepting that this is a science-fiction novel, she tries to write a social commentary, romance, and art and music novel all r
...more
Liz S.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
I recently read The Time-Traveler's Wife and was pretty disappointed---the author somehow manages to turn such an awesome premise (the dude actually time travels!) into something pretty flat and dull. The first hundred pages really hooked me, but after a while I started to get irritated by:

1. All the name checking of hipster-approved bands in an attempt to establish Henry's supposed "punk" cred. He liked the Violent Femmes in 1991. That's why he's so badass? Seriously?

2. The food porny descripti
...more
Danielle
Jan 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Why can't there be a negative star rating? I hated, hated this book. And yes, I did finish it. All way-too-many pages of it. But, in my defense it was (foolishly) the only book I brought with me when I was hospitalized for 24 hours after wisdom tooth surgery, and when your options are daytime soaps or this wretched book...well, at least I got to read the ending and conclude definitively that it wasn't worth it. Okay, now that I've gotten a bit of a rant out, let me be a little more organized abo ...more
Swaps55
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
i hate reading books that everyone keeps bothering me to read. first there are the gushing reviews from the media, complete with intelligent sound clips:

"it's so awesome! so titillating! the way the author captures that thing where the girl says that stuff and then they go to that cool place.. you know? even oprah says so!"

and then there are the crowds of friends who carry around their freshly bought "it" book (ok, i'm bitter, i can't afford to buy new books) who can't wait to share their newf
...more
Shan B
Mar 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to jump on band wagons, sheep and lemmings
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 rea ...more
Crumb
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been putting off writing this review for days because I knew that this would be a struggle for me. There aren't enough words in the English language that could accurately convey my feelings for The Time Traveler's Wife. If you haven't read this book, I urge you to do so. You can expect a literary experience unlike one you've ever had.

What did I love most about this book? The love story. It was truly enchanting. The two protagonists, Henry and Clare were not only meant for each other, but it
...more
Lara
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am conflicted about this book. Do not let my 4 stars fool you, they are an emotional rating.

I'll start with the things I really liked about it:

Loved all the foreshadowing. The knowing something was going to happen, and maybe even a little bit of what it was, but never knowing or understanding fully until both characters had experienced the moment. And then all the foreshadowing of the tragic end. Once I started putting the puzzle together I really couldn't put it down. And I had several moment
...more
Julie
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my 400th book review for Goodreads. Wow. I am either one sick or one inspired woman (or both).

Apparently when I reach my 500th review, Goodreads will put a little encouraging "button" on my profile (they might as well just give me a bookmark), but 400 feels big, too, so I wanted to review a book that I love but have never reviewed here.

The Time Traveler's Wife is a controversial novel, and when my book club discussed it, there were burning pitchforks, buckets of hot tar and glasses of P
...more
Jim Fonseca
Very unusual for me but DNF, so I did not give it a rating. It's the story of a couple in love where the man comes back at various ages before and after he initially met his wife. When that happens we get the perspective on what's going on from both him and her. I'm not a fan of romance or sci fi, so I guess the combination of the two turned me off. I always give a book at least 20 pages and this one had so many good reviews, I went back and gave it another twenty pages but just couldn't get int ...more
Huda Yahya

زوجة مسافر عبر الزمن
--------

قد تكون رواية بسيطة ليست ذات أبعاد ولا تناقش فلسفة معينة
لكنها أحد أكثر الروايات التي قرأتها إمتاعا

هي فانتازيا رومانسية جميلة
وعلى الرغم من ذلك فهي أكثر من مجرد تسلية وإضاعة للوقت

تتسم الرواية بكثيرٍ من الدفء والصدق
بلا ابتذال ولا مزايدة
وتمت معالجة الفانتازيا هنا بحرفية شديدة

القصة شديدة الغرابة عن رجل يسافر عبر الزمن
ليقابل حب عمره بطريقة لم يتقابل بها عاشقين من قبل
وبرغم صفحاتها العديدة إلا أنني لم أملّ لحظة واستمتعت بكل تفاصيلها الصغيرة

هذه الرواية جعلتني مرتاحة وسعيدة
قضي
...more
Claire Greene
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
May 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just because something is popular does not mean it's good. Mass "taste" is often incredibly bad. Such is the case with this book, only it's not incredibly bad, just not worth the hours it takes to read it.

It seems like every fiction book I've read in the past couple of years is highly depressing, this one included. My life is full enough of it's own challenges and disappointments that I'd like to read to escape. Yes, if novels are full of heartache and struggle, they are realistic and more accur
...more
Emma (Miss Print)
If I had to define "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger in two words they would be: poignant and excessive—two words that also illustrate my mixed feelings about Niffenegger’s first novel.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is about many things. Obviously time travel is an important feature, but this novel is also about librarians, artists, punk rock, and alcoholics. It’s also about love.

Henry meets his wife, Clare, for the first time when he is 28 and Clare is 20. Clare met Henry for the fir
...more
April
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this book. I love it with all my heart. The first few pages were a delight, a surprise, and from then on it was a sweet love affair. I wanted both to have read the book all at once and also to have it all yet unread so I could savor it. I simply didn't want it to end.

The story is about two people, the time traveler and his wife. On the surface, they are like any two people who love each other in modern times, except for the fact that he travels through time. You'd think that fact would m
...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent
For whatever reason, when I stared reading The Time Taveler’s Wife, I was in possession of two copies. I opted to leave a copy at work and the other at home and I read at least a few pages everyday. This meant that each time I picked up the book I was slightly lost, and wondering were I was, while I searched to find my place within the pages. One copy was older and more worn than the other, with writing in the margins and creased corners. The other book was brand new and living in the present.

E
...more
Morgan
Jul 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating this was really hard, because I really liked it (really, really liked it) but I have such qualms with the ending, which could very possibly be a testament to Niffenegger's writing, I'm not sure. Anyway.

There were several things I wanted to talk about while I was reading it, more or less having to do with the notion of time-travel in the book. Obviously, there's always the immediate connection between Henry DeTamble and Billy Pilgrim, both of which are unstuck in time, Henry because of a b
...more
James
3 stars to Audrey Niffenegger's novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, published in 2003 and later made into a movie. This one is a hard book for me to rate. There was so many great things in it, but there was also a lot that made me step away and think about how it all happened...



Overview
A young couple are constantly ravaged by the husband's ability to move between time periods, but rarely in a controlled way. They are stuck in a haphazard relationship, never knowing when he may just disappear fo
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفتم ماه ژوئن سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: همسر مسافر زمان - رمان؛ نویسنده: آدری نیفنگر؛ مترجم: مرجان محمدی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، کتابسرای تندیس، 1394، در 623 ص، شابک: 9786001821448؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 21 م
داستان کتاب
...more
Mariya
Aug 31, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 thi
...more
Kat Kennedy
I almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second half she wrote while on some very impressive anti-depressants.

The first half of this book is sweet, wistful, beautiful and touching.

The second half of this book is heart breaking, depressing and sloppily written.

I finished this book wondering what the hell I'd actually gotten out of it. My not-so-startling conclusion was: nothing.

When I read a book,
...more
Becky
I am not a romance reader by nature. That's not to say that I don't enjoy them from time to time, but I just don't usually gravitate toward romance. And to be completely honest, I had absolutely zero intention of reading this book, ever. But then it was chosen as my October Bookclub book, so my intentions just became irrelevant.

So, now that I've read it... Umm... Well. I think that this book did have an interesting premise, and in another author's hands, could have been fantastic. But most of t
...more
Heidi The Hippie Reader
A big no thank you to The Time Traveler's Wife. To the legions of fans of this book, I'd like to know what you enjoyed about it. What did I miss? I see that it's won a pile of awards- I feel like I completely missed something and I would like to understand your point of view.

I thought I was in for a sweet romance but all I got was a time traveler who cheated at the lottery, beat people up for clothes, and engaged in sexual hijinks with time traveling versions of himself.

I was completely creeped
...more
Tung
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 tw ...more
Annalisa
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who can endure sex and swearing for an excellent story
Recommended to Annalisa by: Hannah Coleman
I loved this book. It's not perfect, but it made me feel and think and want. It's one of those stories that pulls you into the characters' lives and leaves you wanting more, mulling over the scenes and premise for days after you've reluctantly turned the last page. Rarely is such an original idea portrayed with such vivid language so you believe the time travel possibility and the characters are almost people you know.

It's about a guy who involuntarily travels time. He can never predict where o
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Very few books have ever made me cry. Off the top of my head, only two really stand out: Charlotte's Web and Thunderwith. I am now adding The Time Traveler's Wife to the list, and to the list of books I can't get out of my head for days after.

This is a highly ambitious debut novel. That doesn't mean it doesn't work. I had my doubts, I truly did. And I can never read a book without also noticing typos, editing errors etc., but although they're distracting they can't ruin a good book.

The time tr
...more
M
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of scifi, fantasy, or intelligent romance
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie Stiefvater
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for love stories but not romances.
Recommended to Maggie by: Helene Keough
Shelves: recommended
What I love about THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is that Niffenegger absolutely nails the relationship between Henry and Claire. For all the book's faults (in particular a draggy middle), I haven't read a book yet with such chemistry between the two main characters. Add to that Niffenegger's beautiful use of language and dry sense of humor and this is a book I keep going back to.




***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Cons
...more
Johann (jobis89)
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Don’t you think it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”

The unusual love story of Clare and Henry, who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, but got married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Henry suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder, wherein his genetic clock will reset and he will find himself traveling through time to both his past and future. Henry’s time-traveling is unpredictabl
...more
Amanda
Nov 16, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm finally finished! I have several problems with this book, many of which were laid out by my friend Liz's brilliant post (thanks for lending me this read--I think). First of all, it's way too long. The plot is not so action-packed that it merits 600 pages and hour upon hour of my time. Why you ask? Because nothing happens! There were about 400 pages where Henry just floats back and forth through time, Clare is annoying, and no plot advancement occurs. I mourn the loss of all those trees.

The s
...more
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9,663 followers
Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre
...more

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“Don't you think it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?” 3899 likes
“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.” 2362 likes
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