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About Time: 12 Short Stories
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About Time: 12 Short Stories

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,101 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
About Time offers a delightful return to the world of time travel and light comedy that distinguished Jack Finney's all-time classic Time and Again. The protagonists of these twelve stories are well-meaning but at odds with their surroundings and their lives. The time to which they escape—through time travel—doesn't always fulfill their expectations in the way they had hop ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 19th 1998 by Touchstone (first published 1986)
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Joe Valdez
The last stop in my time travel marathon was About Time: Twelve Stories by Jack Finney. One of the delights of this collection is that, surprisingly, not every tale is dictated by time travel. "Exotic travel" would be a more accurate description, with characters dulled by their daily routines each glimpsing a means to escape into a more exciting world. Five of the stories were originally published in 1957 in the anthology The Third Level while seven of the stories first appeared in 1962 as part ...more
Teresa
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say!! This is a huge favorite of mine. It's my go to when I can't settle on anything and when I need to escape the world. There are maybe two stories I'm not keen on but I love the rest and my absolute favorite is Where The Cluetts Are. I have a fascination with stories that have houses at their centre and this IS all about the house.
Jack Finney had a fantastic imagination.
Cheryl
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A charming collection of fantasy/sf stories by the author of Time and Again. The style of the stories have alot in common with the Twilight Zone tv show and stories by Ray Bradbury. Not all of the stories are about time travel. My personal favorite is Second Chance, a feel-good story that makes me smile whenever I think about it. This collection is well worth reading.
Harold
Jack Finney is responsible for my love of time travel stories. My first exposure to this genre came when I was eight or nine years old. I was watching tv at my grandmother’s home – a show called Science Fiction Theatre. It was late afternoon or early evening on a Sunday. The story made quite an impression on me – I still remember the exact title. It was Time is Just a Place and it told of strange new neighbors, a husband and wife, who moved in and became acquainted with the couple living next do ...more
Ashley
Jun 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to read a Finney story (Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets) for a high school lit class a few years back and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, due to my extreme procrastination, it's taken me 5 years to track down and set out to read any of his other stuff. Thankfully, though, I never forgot my desire to do so!

I started out About Time with relatively low hopes. I loved Contents...but time travel? Not exactly my thing. However Finney's knack for creating instantly relatable, simple charac
...more
Kressel Housman
I usually prefer novels to short stories, but this beat Time and Again (a novel by the same author) hands down. All the stories but one are about time travel or some other magical element, but each with its own unique twist. Impressive that the author could come up with so many different approaches. A fun and fast read.
Barry
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are 12 stories in the book, so the 4 stars are based on my general impression of them all. I was surprised to find that two of these stories are not time travel stories at all. Still, they were somewhat quirky and fun.

'Such interesting Neighbors' is one of the better stories in this collection. It foresees a time when time machines are available to the masses . Mr. Finney envisions a stark future.

'The Coin Collector' was also very interesting, albeit, a bit disturbing. It made me think of
...more
Michael
I read the first three stories, and although a pleasant diversion, they were all filled with a kind of dreamy nostalgia for olden times that wore on me after a while. (His novel Time and Again is the same kind of thing, but was elevated a bit by the historical research and time travel cleverness). The stories here were clever (I like the idea about the "mysterious couple"), but again, they were merely pleasant and didn't pull me in with any tension or plot conflicts.
Djrmel
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Eleven of the stories in this collection deal with some sort of time travel. The twelfth story is the painfully correct for its time period story about magic props that, thankfully, is easy to forget. Finney's ideas about time travel are rare in science fiction, but common in the mind of most people's imagination. It's the "if you could live any time in history, when would it be?" and people almost always want to go back to what they thought were simpler times. If someone imagines an alternate u ...more
Mary Overton
Light, humorous, nostalgic, and predictable -- the modern 50s-60s man yearning for a golden age prior to WWI -- 12 quirky time travel stories -- my favorites: "Second Chance" where life yearns for itself through the soul of a restored car; "The Third Level" where NY's grand central station has a 3rd level that travels through time and where the man of science, the psychiatrist, has the last laugh about superstition; "Such Interesting Neighbors" where mankind evaporates when everyone is on a loop ...more
Lostaccount
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A pleasant collection of stories mostly about time travel from the guy who wrote the classic "Invasion of the body snatchers".

The better stories in this collection weren't about time travel though, like the whimsical Bradbury-style "Home Alone" about a bored guy home alone while his wife and kid are away. He decides to build a hot air balloon and go floating across the city at night, picking up a housewife neighbour on the way. Of the time travel stories, one about a teenager travelling in time
...more
Todd Carney
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Fantastic. His style is very familiar to me. I'd read Invasion of the Body Snatchers over 10 years ago, and I enjoyed it, but this is incredible. Now I will have to read his "Time and Again" series. That might be the first time that I ever read a collection of short stories straight through like that, in a matter of a few days. I want to make a few of them into movies, of course. They would be beautiful!

I first read about these when I was a teenager in one of my favorite books, Stephen Kin
...more
Daniel
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I love a well crafted short story. The glitter forever like the tiny gems they are. I also love it when a town, a location, is elevated to the status of a character in a story. As Jo Rowling did with Hogwarts so has Jack Finney done with Galesburg Illinois in two of his stories "I Love Galesburg in the Springtime" and "The Third Level." Some themes are reworked in more than one story, but not in a boring way. It was a really nice day's reading.
Meg
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A delightful collection of time traveling parallel universe stories! I want to reread this soon; right after I finish Time and Again and From Time to Time!! Very, very well-done with excellent imagery and great characterization. A must-read for anyone who loves time travel. (I recommend an age of high school or older).
Jane
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I picked up this book because Finney attended Knox College and wrote a number of stories about or referring to Galesburg, Illinois. I didn't realize it was a collection of sci fi stories until I got into it, but I enjoyed them all (even though they got a little repetitive). Good story collection!
Christy
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf
I love Jack Finney's two novels and while this is a collection of short stories (therefore, a tease) it is still terrific.
Daniela
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, popsugar2017
Me gustaron las primeras historias, pero el resto me aburrieron mucho.
Bryan
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disappointing and dated, most of these short stories do not stand the test of time. Sexist, simplistic and tired, plus as a bonus, 2-3 of the stories have nothing to do with time or time travel!
Douglas Summers-Stay
Short stories by the author of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." My favorite, which I first read at age 12, was "Of Missing Persons," a story about faith that I recommend highly, though I can see the author's manipulations better than I could at that age. The worst one was "Lunch Hour Magic" which is "romance" 1950s style and pretty awful (it involves X-ray specs and love potions). Another good one was "Where the Cluetts Are" about a couple who build a house by plans from a century before. It's ...more
Jan
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed these stories about other times (and, occasionally, other worlds). I would have enjoyed them more if they hadn't been so sexist, but since they seem to have been written mostly in the late fifties or early sixties, I suppose that's par for the course. The other thing that annoyed me was the nostalgia for times that really could only be idyllic if you were a white male. Still, the story "Home Alone," about a balloon ride over San Francisco, was worth the whole book.
Will
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was at least my second time to read this book of charming short stories, many focused on time and time travel topics. This was one of our car books, which I read out loud to Arline as she drove. Which, I guess, is why I neglected to update the entry here when we finished it. So I'm just guessing as to the exact date.
Erica
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5- most of these felt like the raw material for The Twilight Zone (with good reason), 1950s sci-fi escapism (even though they weren't published until the late 80s). They weren't the most amazing things I'd ever read, but they kept me entertained.
Jill
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
More time travel stories from the late, great Jack Finney.
Kevin Hayman
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully nostalgic writing. Underrated collection.
Daniel Garrison
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the stories in this book, not only because they were interesting and sort of sci-fi/time travel, but because they take you back to a time in the 50's where everybody smokes, worries about their car, and knows their neighbors. It was just a good, classic read. Plus, they are short stories, so you can flip a bit, and it was a good one to pick up off the nightstand when the insomnia moster comes a' knocking.
Christian Schwoerke
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this collection of twelve stories whilst reading another book (a non-fiction account of Manchester, England), alternating spates of hard fact(s) with relaxing excursions into the past. And speaking of the past, I had read this collection about 15 years ago. Before that I had read many of the stories separately, in different anthologies and magazines, when I was a young teenager, which prompted me to read his novel Time and Again when it came out a few years later. When I’d first read Abou ...more
France-Andrée
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm rediscovering Jack Finney, I read Time and Again and it's sequel From Time to Time when the latter one came out a few decades ago always thought I would read him again, but that never materialized before About Time. There is so many authors and so many, many books I want to read that sometimes one I really loved falls by the way side of putting it on the to-read list and just forgetting about it.

This anthology regroups the short stories about time (so the title is very appropriate) that were
...more
Connie N.
The word to describe this book would be "nostalgia." The author's theory is that most people want to go back to the "good old days" and that desire and need is what creates the scenario and the means for time-travel to occur. Most of these stories describe situations that are explainable only if you believe in time travel. The book was a little slow to begin with, but it became much more interesting as it went on. My favorite stories are the clever ones that have a bit of a twist or surprise inv ...more
Stephanie
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
About Time's 12 short stories amazed me in their diversity. I opened the book feeling, "How many ways can you write about time travel?" I loved Jack Finney's "Time and Again," so I suspected all the time travel would be to the past, and a lot of it is. But there are also visitors who have time-traveled from the future to visit our time (or rather, the time the novel was written -- 1950s, I believe.) There is the possibility of traveling to different dimensions in time as well, where you exist si ...more
Tracey
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alt-history
'd been searching the used bookstores for About Time: 12 Short Stories for quite some time, as I hadn't realized it was back/still in print. Finally found it a few weeks ago & read through it this weekend.

As you might guess from the title, each of the short stories ties into time travel or the passage of time somehow. Sometimes the time travel is metaphorical, or unintentional, other times it is the main goal of the protagonist, with the usual destination being the turn of the (19th) century
...more
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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 1880's, quickly became a cult favorite, beloved especially by New Yorkers for its rich, ...more
More about Jack Finney...
“And that, my friend, is how the world ends. On the edge of a precipice, with one foot over the edge, it stops, turns and goes back, leaving an empty earth of birds and insects, wind, rain and rusting weapons.” 2 likes
“She talked all the way back to the office, looking up at me eagerly through her slanted glasses, shoving the hair back off her face. The upper edge of her glasses bisected her right eye, the lower edge bisected the left; and since one lens made half her eye slightly smaller than normal, while the other lens magnified half of the remaining eye, she seemed to have four separate half-eyes of varying sizes, resembling a Picasso painting, and I got a little dizzy and tripped and nearly fell over a curb.” 1 likes
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