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Hazards of Time Travel

2.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,471 ratings  ·  863 reviews
An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman's resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates

Time travel - and its hazards-are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being se
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Fourth Estate (first published November 27th 2018)
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Jennifer They have time travel in common. Kind of. That is the ONLY similarity.
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Grace Malato
Nov 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited about the premise of this book and so so disappointed in the delivery of a book that I thought would be a wonderful midpoint of my favorite genre - time travel and dystopian adventure. The only way that this book makes the vaguest of sense is if it is a satire of dystopian fiction, written as insultingly terrible as a statement on her opinion of the genre... which I am in no way convinced that it is, given the summary, all the reviews, and the way it is written.

The main characte
Joyce Carol Oates writes a fascinating multilayered, and complex dystopian novel that raises the spectre of totalitarian, controlling and heavy surveillance societies such as that of Big Brother in Orwell's 1984 and the in vogue Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale with Trump as the US president. In a world where dissent is not tolerated, where obedience and conformity is expected and people disappear, 17 year old protagonist, Adriane Stohl, is already a person of interest, thanks to her father ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Few stories descend from interesting to irritating to irrational to despicable as this. Ugh! 0 of 10 stars
Roman Clodia
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is weird! As a huge JCO fan, one of the things that I love about her is that she's *not* simply re-writing the same book over and over - the variety in her output is hugely impressive. This one, though, is a bit of a puzzle... though a playful, slightly mischievous one despite the serious theme of political authoritarianism.

It starts as a homage to 1984 with a kind of 'Sovietisation' of the US: acronyms of bureaucratic bodies abound, people can be 'disappeared' and free thought is se
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, fiction
Jennifer Aniston GIF - JenniferAniston Thinking Hmmm GIFs

I'm shuffling back and forth between giving this 4 stars or 5. I enjoyed it immensely but the end! No, just no! C'mon, Joyce Carol Oates! Couldn't we have had a better ending that neatly wrapped up the story? Oh, and the romance thrown in.... I could have done without that too. Thankfully the romance does not overpower the story, and it's not all flowery and grotesque. Still, I could have done without that; I just am not a fan of romance.

OK, bitching aside, this is a terrific story! It is set i
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates is a scifi/dystopian novel that deals in time travel. This one started off reminding me a bit of Divergent with the main character getting in trouble for not being like everyone else and questioning things. She ends up getting sent back in time as punishment. Well, that was where it just kind of slowed to a crawl for me, the beginning seemed like it was going to be good but I ended up with one of those why isn't anything else happening feelings. A lot ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A YA dystopian novel, where our heroine is transported back in time to the 1950s as punishment for free speech? Yes please. The synopsis for this sounded right up my street, and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed.

The interesting storyline is supported with a well written plot that is reasonably well paced. We move quickly from the dystopian future to the past, as our protagonist Adriane must learn to adjust to her new surroun
Amy Zupancic
Dec 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Given the incredible reputation of Joyce Carol Oates for writing books that people love, I simply cannot believe how terrible this book is. I rarely rate books this low, but I can find nothing positive to write about this novel, honestly. (Oh, I guess I can say that I'm glad it wasn't longer?)

Coming from a former school librarian who has read and loved hundreds of YA sci fi and fantasy novels, and who has graduate-level training (really!) in being able to "book talk" virtually any book in a posi
Eric Anderson
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s a common trope in Young Adult novels to feature a teenage protagonist in a dystopian future who is penalized for fighting against an oppressive system. That’s exactly the story Joyce Carol Oates writes in her new novel HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL. However, this is not a Young Adult novel. Oates is certainly familiar with the form and nature of YA fiction having written several books in this genre. It’d be natural to assume that she’s utilizing her expertise in this form and is also making a depa ...more
Britta Böhler
Just finished and no idea how to rate it (yet). Some parts were brilliant but others left me deeply unsatisfied.

After the re-read: No more dissatisfaction. Not a flawless book maybe, but overall: brilliant.

4,5*, rounded up to 5.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates is a dystopian novel that gives a scary look into the future where everything you say and do is closely monitored. A young girl is sent to another time for four years as a punishment for going against the rules.
I found this book disturbing and thought provoking.
I would like to thank NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, 4th Estate, William Collins for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Gumble's Yard
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I’d even tried to write what were called “stories”—following the pattern of the Nine Basic Plots we were provided, along with vocabulary lists and recommended titles. We were not allowed to take books out of the public library marked A—for Adult; we were restricted to YA, Young Adult, which had to be approved by the Youth Entertainment Board, and were really suitable for grade school. My parents had had Adult Books at one time, but I had never seen them.

My thanks to HarperCollins UK for an A
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first JCO. I've never been drawn to her before, but a feminist dystopia with time travel? I was there.

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out what the book was meant to be. It was so bad that I began to think that perhaps it was a satire of the genre, but no. It was just that bad—every relevant trope portrayed in the most cliched way possible, flagrant information dumps, awful dialogue, and a stilted writing style the likes of which I've only ever seen in badly translated books.
Bryan Alkire
Sep 10, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Not for me. I was disappointed and ultimately found this one boring. The ideas aren’t really new or different. At heart, this is not a SF novel, it’s a freshman romance. People who are literary types may like the symbolism and motifs, but for me, that stuff was why I never became a literature minor in undergrad. I was bored after the first quarter of the book and became very impatient to finish. It didn’t help that I didn’t like the characters or plot. I’m sure Oates fans will like it, but I ca
I am well aware that Joyce Carol Oates is not every reader's cup of tea. I happen to find her brilliant. I have read 18 of her books. I know people who feel as I do about her and I feel friendly towards those people. So I am not so much recommending this novel to any but those JCO lovers. I am wanting to share my thoughts with my JCO tribe.

Ms Oates, as far as I know, had not gone in a post apocalyptic/dystopian direction before. I know she likes to try new things and doesn't worry if she comes
Cody | CodysBookshelf
What this book’s synopsis and set-up promise should have made for a classic in the Joyce Carol Oates oeuvre and a favorite new release of 2018: a teenage girl living in a near-future dystopian society is ‘banished’ to live in 1950s Wisconsin for daring to question her government in public. If any author could take that premise and not only fulfill it but twist it inside out, JCO could — or so I thought.

What the reader gets, instead, is a too-short novel bordering on young adult territory, all wh
Ron Charles
Someone needs to check Joyce Carol Oates’s garage for a DeLorean.

Her new novel, “Hazards of Time Travel,” seems to have slipped through the space-time continuum. Although Oates started writing it in 2011 and finished before the election of President Trump, the story feels charged by the horrors of our Orwellian era. Even the author sounds a bit freaked out by the prescient quality of this novel. Months ago, she tweeted, “Feeling strange that it will seem to be — obviously! — about T***p Dark Age
Umut Rados
Review coming soon.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Just about the first thing you see when you open this book is a list of other books by Joyce Carol Oates. There are 41 of them! 41! Plus she also writes under not one but two pseudonyms! Starting in 1964 when I was 3 years old and pouring out of her ever since. How, I ask myself, have I got to be almost 58 years old, reading almost continually since I was knee high to a grasshopper and I have not come across any of them?

My thanks to HarperCollins UK via NetGalley for an ARC of this book which I
Dec 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know where to begin. The premise sounded so interesting and intriguing, so I picked this book up immediately. Even the description here on goodreads sounds like this book might take the direction of The Hunger Games or Divergence. "An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society". I mean if you love dystopian YA literature this sounds right up your alley, doesn't it?

And alas, I was so disappointed in this book. The most
Genia Lukin
Apr 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
WTF did I just read? And what in the name of all that's literary did the reviews read? Because as far as I can tell, none of the reviews actually read this book, or, if they did, they read a completely different book, one with a coherent and interesting plotline, and not this hot mess of an attempt at Dystopia.

Here's the thing - and I've made the same case repeatedly with several other works - about dystopian fiction; stop using dystopian fiction as your one-pass ticket into genre, mainstream au
Kathleen Flynn
My favorite books about time travel, which include KINDRED by Octavia Butler and VERSION CONTROL by Dexter Palmer, are never just about time travel. Ideally it's a stealthy path into bigger ideas: about history, the role of art, free will, life itself.

HAZARDS is such a book. It gave me a lot to think about, and I suspect this is one I will want to read again, sooner rather than later. It seemed to start off quite openly polemic in its dystopian vision, a 1984 for our times. But it turned into s
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-author, audio
This book has left me absolutely speechless.
It has so many elements and many of them contradictory that I simply can't provide a coherent review.
I did enjoy it and it has made me think...but it has also made me confused and frustrated.
You could interpret this book in many different ways...
I'm seeing very mixed reviews for this one and I completely understand that.
I just love Joyce Carol Oates unique style and this book is a challenge...I think I like it!
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the premise of the book: Adriane Stohl, a curious student living in a totalitarian state where every move and word is monitored by government, is sent back to 1950s middle-America for questioning authority during her Valedictorian speech.

Cool! What happens next? Well, the first part of the book describes the horrors of the totalitarian regime Adriane leaves in. You'd think this part be scary and disturbing but the constant uses of acronyms to define people and organisations makes for a
Update April 19th 2020: Bumped up the rating to 4 stars because I continue to think about this book, and I think I underappreciated it the first time around.*

When an over-achieving high school graduate starts questioning her futuristic authoritarian government, they send her to a college in 1959. She's told that she's being trained for a super secret government job and there are "eyes" watching her at all times. If she tells anyone she's from the future she'll be killed, along with her parents,
Leo Robertson
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm an on-off reader of JCO, in that way we all become when someone of sufficient popularity and prolificacy just won't stop doing their thing. (Q: How can I, someone who doesn't particularly care for Stephen King, have read so many of the guy's books? A: Once someone surpasses a critical threshold of popularity, their books just start appearing in your hands. Like when Homer's punching the cat without realising it? )

Anyway she won a fan in me when I tried
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce Carol Oates is one of those authors whose name I have seen on countless occasions, yet none of her books ever grabbed my attention. I knew the name, but none of her work screamed ‘read me’. Until Hazards of Time Travel, that is.

Hazards of Time Travel sounded like the kind of book I would adore. A dystopian tale mixed with time travel – of course, I would be all over that. Add in the fact it would finally cure my curiosity about Joyce Carol Oates, and I was more than happy to borrow this fr
This book had an interesting premise, but it felt like it was not fully fleshed out in many ways. A 17 year old in the near-future is sent back to 1950's Wisconsin for being overly subversive (she asks a series of questions in her valedictorian address). She then is sent back in time as punishment, and must adjust to life at a small mediocre university in Wisconsin.

A few things didn't work for me with the writing style. First was the use of dashes. I've read other books by Joyce Carol Oates and
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
Ugh. I think I have come to the conclusion that Joyce Carol Oates and I just don't get along. I can appreciate that she is a very prolific, award winning author, who writes very well and is also so well loved by many. But I just end up feeling so...gross after reading her books. I can't explain it. There is just this sense of hopelessness that pervades her work (at least the books I've read) and I don't like the way it makes me feel. I tried this newest book of hers as a sort of last chance read ...more
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The Ending (Spoilers!) 4 64 Feb 24, 2020 04:59PM  
Dystopia/Utopia or the Matrix? 2 20 Feb 19, 2019 01:44PM  

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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more

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