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From Time to Time

(Time #2)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  3,566 ratings  ·  330 reviews
The New York Times Bestseller -- Jack Finney's long-awaited sequel to his classic illustrated novel Time and Again.
Simon Morley, whose logic-defying trip to the New York City of the 1880s in Time and Again has enchanted readers for twenty-five years, embarks on another trip across the borders of time. This time Reuben Prien at the secret, government-sponsored Project wan
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 6th 1996 by Atria Books (first published 1995)
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Susan Bleyle Yes, this is a novel (fiction). I haven't read "What Alice Forgot," so I can't really compare them, but what makes "From Time to Time" unique is the…moreYes, this is a novel (fiction). I haven't read "What Alice Forgot," so I can't really compare them, but what makes "From Time to Time" unique is the time travel aspect. The main character, Simon, is able to use a technique to transport him back in time to the early 1900s in order to try to change some historical events that led to the outbreak of World War 1. The question is whether changing history--even something terrible like a war--is ethical. Will such a change lead to good, or might there be unforeseeable negative consequences to changing the past? It's an interesting question and an interesting book. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,566 ratings  ·  330 reviews

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Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
While it is clear, at least to me, that the characters wrote the book Time and Again, sadly, the sequel did not live up to the magic and wonder of the first book. The good news is that this was a relatively short book and it fulfilled not only the monthly tag, it gave me a chance to read a sequel to a book I enjoyed a lot.

Now the bad news. I'm not sure if it was Jack Finney's editor who had the idea to put out a sequel twenty-five years later or Jack himself that loved the time period and wanted
Samantha Glasser
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
From Time to Time is an uneven and disappointing sequel to the tremendous novel Time and Again. As a book, it isn't awful, but in comparison it is an outright flop because it never really delivers on its promises.

Simon Morley is a time traveler. He worked on a secret government project in modern times (which in the first novel was the 1970s) which experimented with time travel, and Simon was successful in traveling to the late 1800s. He met a woman and decided to stay there, so we find Simon wi
Angela M
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was a little apprehensive about reading this sequel to Time and Again because I loved the way that book ended and I didn’t want anything to change for Si Morley. What I found in this book is the same wonderful detailed descriptive writing and that I was lured into another time in New York City. Finney definitely had a way of making you see exactly what Si was seeing and what he was feeling.

Si returns to his present day in the 1990’s from the time and place he has made home for the last four y
A very disappointing sequel--gone was the charm of Time and Again. You get the impression Finney was pressured by his publisher to write a sequel twenty-five years later but had no idea where to go with it. I liked Si a lot less too, with his relentless search for 'Tessie and Ted' and the very dull chapter on vaudeville that seemed like mere filler.
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ah, the good old days without all that nasty feminism. Of course it's better to live a hundred years ago, when there wasn't pollution except from all the fires and the horse poop, and when pregnancy was quite likely to kill the girl of your dreams, if some other disease for which she's never been vaccinated doesn't.

Dan G
Mar 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
A semi-great time travel novel, Time and Again, was followed up with this-certifiably one of the worst books I have ever read.

The action begins with Ruben Prien recovering memories of the time travel project he was working on, a project that disappeared when Si Morley changed history at the end of Time and Again. Prien finds another person who had time-traveled successfully; the traveler goes back to 1882 and stops Simon from stopping the creator of the project from being born. Are you with me?
Jina Bacarr
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
No one loves Jack Finney more than I do. I read Time and Again so many times I can still visualize the snow and the cold and the Dakota when the hero goes back to 1880s New York...but I digress. Here we are discussing Mr. Finney's follow-up to his extraordinary novel called From Time to Time.

Let me say this up front. The only reason I didn't give the book five stars is because I expected more of the Titanic and the grand ship doesn't show up until page 279. From then on, we're at the races unti
Nov 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: time-travel
In reading the acknowledgements in 11/22/63 Stephen King thanks Jack Finney for his time travel novel Time and Again. That reminded me that I had never got around to reading the sequel.. Ugh. It was not very good. I wish Jack would have stopped at Simon Morley's first time traveling adventure which is a classic. Inconsistent is the only way I can describe this book. Some things were barely mentioned yet vaudeville which isn't even that crucial to the story receives the attention of many many pag ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I was a big fan of Finney's "Time and Again" but I was hesitant to read the sequel because I didn't see a good reason why there needed to be one. "Time and Again" had a nice tidy conclusion that I found to be both unexpected and satisfying. I didn't want it to be ruined by a sequel that was written many years later.

However, much like with "Time and Again", I immediately got sucked into "From Time to Time". I found the beginning of the novel to be captivating and fresh. Unfortunately, I felt that
Jan 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
What a shockingly bad book. This book's prequel, "Time and Again," is a kind of masterpiece of science fiction, mainly because it effectively communicates the wonder at the thought of stepping back in time and how a real human being might react to such an event. This book, on the other hand, is plodding and dull. Where Finney tried to insert historical set pieces, the reader finds long expository passages on aspects of 1912 New York life that are only marginally related to the plot. What could h ...more
This is the sequel to Time and Again, featuring time-traveler Si Morley now living in the 1880s with his wife and their young son. He returns to the present/future to speak with those who would be working at The Project (the time-travel experiment that originally recruited Si, but whose organization he prevented from forming in the previous book), and Si is again recruited by the men he once knew. This time, they want him to go back to 1912 and prevent WWI from occurring by ensuring that a myste ...more
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read Time and Again back in 1999, and I read it again for book club about 5 years ago. I acquired this sequel at some point in between and finally got around to reading it!

In the first book Si works with some professors and army personnel on The Project and eventually he is one of the few successful people who learned how to time travel. It's a somewhat simple (and yet very complicated) notion related to Einstein's theories of time, that we are harnessed to the here and now by things and our t
Nov 01, 2008 rated it liked it
In From Time to Time, we revisit Si Morley, picking up several years after we left off at the end of Time and Again. It's a promising start, back in the head of our familiar protagonist, though we quickly take a detour into the machinations of the plot. In order to make the story here work -- Si has to leave his comfortable 19th century home, come back to modern times, then travel back to 1912 -- Finney has to engage in some contrivances that undo things that were done at the end of the previous ...more
Cathy Crawford
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did not realize until recently that this sequel was written long after Time After Time, and I admit it makes sense that it was at the end of Finney's career and had a sometimes rambling narrative that fixed on certain aspects of exposition that did not advance the plot. A shorter story than its predecessor, it unfortunately feels longer due to these detours, specifically into the world of vaudeville and the background forces in the conflict that culminated in World War I.

The most disappointing
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I was drawn into the book immediately, and as with the first book felt a sense that time travel actually happened, that it was entirely possible, realistic and authentic. The evidence and theories presented go beyond most time travel books.

I loved the suspense in the book – even so much as the suspense built in one chapter that was revealed/resolved by the end of the same chapter or in some cases several chapters later. Who was the man in the psychologist office? Who is Jotta Girl? Who are Ted a
Dec 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, though not as much as Time and Again, which better captured the wonder of being able to travel through time. In this story Simon Morley revisits the present after living in the 1880's with his wife and son for some time. He's really just dropping by to see what's going on, but is pressed by Ruben Prien to go on just one more mission, to 1912, to try and prevent WWI. Simon goes, but his interest and amazement at the changes in NYC from the 1970's to 1912 somehow ring false, s ...more
Very slow and confusing, but it was nice to hear more adventures of Simon Morley, though it's been years since I read the first book and didn't remember much. This book is more about, trying to alter history and life in 1811 than a mystery or any action.

* Time travel
(view spoiler)

* Jotta girl
(view spoil
Davide Crudo
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Picked this book since it's the sequel of "Time and Again".

As the previous book, the first 15% of the book is spent to nicely develop the sequel where a series of events will lead to another mission.

Unfortunately, afterwards, it becomes just a showcase of events from the past. The author picks some newspaper articles, citing them and developing a story on them. Sadly these stories are just a distractions, besides few interesting events.

At around 90% the book picks up the real story and quickl
Unfortunately, this sequel cannot compare to Time and Again. While I whipped right through the 1st third of the book, the storyline quite suddenly loses its focus giving detailed descriptions of the vaudeville era which have nothing to do with the plot. The end does pick up a bit, but I must admit to being disappointed so little time was spent on the Titanic. There are some great old black and white photo's of the early 1900's as you read along, and I love the time travel aspect of the book, but ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Poor sequel to a great book. I kept reading it hoping it would get better, but it only deteriorated. Skip this one and preserve the goodness of the original Time and Again.
Jenn "JR"
Twenty five years later - the author, now in his 80s - decides to write a sequel. Why? I confess, I am still curious about the mechanism that they use for time travel. And, of course, the protagonist did change history so what happened to "The Project?"

Without too much retelling of backstory - the author much more clearly articulates the mechanism for time travel this time:

"...find a place that exists in both times unchanged; “Gateways,” he called them. And live in that place which also exists i
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I could not bring myself to give this sequel a 3 star rating when compared to the wonderful 5 star Time and Again. Why oh why didn’t I heed the advise of other readers who said don’t bother? Listen to me fellow fair readers, DO NOT RUIN YOUR TIME AND AGAIN EXPERIENCE BY READING THIS SEQUEL. STOP!!

The premise of this book was great, to stop the Titanic from sinking and prevent WWI! HOWEVER, only about 50 pages of the entire book are devoted to this!! Instead he spends page after endless page tal
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was dissapointed about this book. After a great start it went downhill. I like the characters, but thought it was a bit confusing at times. I like the time traveling part and description of how the this were in the past. It was a shame that the part about the Titanic didn't came until near the end. I'd have liked if there had been more about the Titanic. The first book was much better.
Susan Bleyle
I read this book quickly over our hurricane "break." I highly recommend this to any time travel novel fans.
Stephen Gallup
Having enjoyed two previous Jack Finney novels in quick succession, I came to this one thinking he was underappreciated. This sequel to Time and Again seemed just the thing to tackle next. I found it to be clearly a product of the same author, but unfortunately this installment doubles down on the weaknesses of the first title without offering anything new.

As in book one (and, come to think of it, as in H.G. Wells' A Modern Utopia ), the premise is that it's possible (at least for Si Morley a
Discovering a sequel to Time and Again was sheer delight. So enjoyed that read that I really looked forward to this one. If you want to immerse yourself in another era, I don't believe that there is another writer who does it so well complete with black and white photos of the time. One becomes reacquainted with Simon (Si) Morley who is able to move from one time span to another. Living in the 1800s with his beautiful wife and son, he decides to come back to visit the era in which he was born. A ...more
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as Time and Again, but maybe that's just due to the novelty of the first book in the series. In Time and Again, Simon Morley joins a government project and learns how to travel through time using self-hypnosis. He ends up back in the 1890s and marries a woman that he meets there--Julia. In From Time to Time, Simon can't help being curious about what's going on back in the future that he left, so he travels back to present day New York. While there, he is recruited by the man ru ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-a-copy
I'm so glad I found this sequel! I read the first book earlier this year and really liked it. Time travel, and social and geographical history all come alive in these novels. The addition of sketches and b/w photos really adds to the fantasy that Finney creates; I enjoy being lured into the fantasy of Si Morley's experiences through different moments in American 19th - 20th century life in New York. I wish besides the photos that there had been street maps; probably a New York native or resident ...more
Mickey Bell
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
the author got far too carried away in explaining vaudeville acts which didn't interest me in the least and did not advance the plot.

the plot would seem to be about the main character trying to stop WWI from happening. the problem is he never really tries more than a half-hearted, failed conversation with one dude that's like a page of the entire book.
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I read this not too long after reading Pete Hamill's Forever, which I loved, and I just couldn't get into this book the way I had expected. I put my expectations far too high to be fair. The protagonists interactions with real history are interesting and at times exciting.
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Mr. Finney specialized in thrillers and works of science fiction. Two of his novels, The Body Snatchers and Good Neighbor Sam became the basis of popular films, but it was Time and Again (1970) that won him a devoted following. The novel, about an advertising artist who travels back to the New York of the 1880s, quickly became a cult favorite, beloved especially by New Yorkers for its rich, painst ...more

Other books in the series

Time (2 books)
  • Time and Again (Time, #1)