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All Clear (Oxford Time Travel #4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  14,061 Ratings  ·  1,920 Reviews
In Blackout, award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060—the setting for several of her most celebrated works—and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl ...more
Hardcover, 656 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Spectra (first published 2010)
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Amanda That is explained in The Doomsday Book. He comes to Baliol to visit his aunt during Christmas, and she's friends with Dunworthy. I won't spoil it,…moreThat is explained in The Doomsday Book. He comes to Baliol to visit his aunt during Christmas, and she's friends with Dunworthy. I won't spoil it, since The Doomsday Book is actually much better of a book than the WWII books(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Steven I have an answer but it publicly display and it's full of spoilers. Sorry! PM me if you want a specific answer.

Community Reviews

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Amy Sturgis
Let me begin by saying that The Doomsday Book is one of my all-time favorite novels (definitely "top ten," quite possibly "top five"), and I'm also tremendously fond of Connie Willis's Lincoln's Dreams, as well. When I knew she had a new book - well, duology, though the two books are really one chopped in half - set in the same time-travel universe as The Doomsday Book, I was beside myself with anticipation. (I blame her publishers for the decision to splice the book and then wait months between ...more
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
Time-traveling historians fight their way home. This book was ridiculous. I feel bad writing that, because 1. so many people liked it so much, and I'm sad to think I didn't understand how to appreciate it, and 2. it's a celebrated author's book about a WAR. But the only way I remotely got through it was by treating it as a comic novel and mentally tallying up all the ridiculousness, including but not limited to: 1. every time a character's mission was completely stymied by one single, non-malici ...more
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's here It's here!

The only reason why this is not a 5 is because the middle section of Blackout and All Clear (and I count them as one book, because really they are) annoyed me a bit with the obsession over whether they changed the outcome of the war and where the retrieval team, over and over. I understand why Willis did this (complete anxiety!) but it was too much. Probably because I have gone through times in my life when I too get completely stuck in the broken record of a mind loop, and t
I hate this book so much. I hate it so much that it hurts. I hate that I spent an audible credit on it. I hate that it's about subjects I LOVE- WWII? Bletchley Park? And it still sucks. It's not badly written- it's just a terrible story, and the lead characters are whiny, dumb, ignorant, and keep switching voices. (that last isn't the author's fault). I HATE that I know more WWII trivia than these "historians" do. That part is the worst. That and the idea that three professional time travellers, ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
I found this book to be both amazing and frustrating. I don't recall ever having such mixed feelings about a book. When it's rolling it's a rare and rewarding page turner and when it bogs down it feels like a week of reading before the story moves on. There are way too many pages where we go inside a character's head and we listen to that character wonder. She'll wonder if she did something wrong and lost the war for England, she'll wonder where another character is and what they are doing and i ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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Ben Babcock
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all readers who enjoy historical fiction &/or time travel books &/or any speculative fiction
This is a wonderful and amazing book. It really is the second half of a book. On the same day, I went from finishing Blackout and started reading this book, and it was like going from one chapter to another, not like going from one book to another.

Thank you to Goodreads friend and fellow group member Sarah Pi who didn’t let me see answers to my questions and therefore helped me avoid unwanted spoilers.

I am very proud that less than 1/3 the way through this book, I figured something out, probably
The second half of Blackout more than a sequel. Weird experience – I have massive problems with this book, but I also could not put it down. Hrm.

I think that this book succeeds at its smaller scale purpose. It’s clear from what she’s said that Willis did massive amounts of research about the Blitz, and that she really wanted to make it come alive. Which she did. She takes this sense of fear and purpose, this keep calm and carry on, this practicality and humor and misery, and she nails that basta
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have a day job, a night job, and a band. I am working on my fourth album and on a novel and on several short stories. I have a dog and a pony to take care of and I'm trying to teach myself to run by February so that I can join my friends' relay triathlon team. So when I say that I spent four hours curled up in a blanket tonight with my phone set to do-not-disturb because I could not possibly bear to put this book down before I had finished the last three hundred pages, know that I haven't done ...more

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I’ve ever been so sad to leave a set of characters behind. After spending more than 1,000 pages with them between All Clear and its predecessor Blackout, most of it set during the Blitz of London with lots of high tension twists and turns, heartaches and triumphs, I feel like we’ve been through the war together and it’s hard to let go. With three time traveling historians as protagonists and numerous less prominent but well developed supporting characters, both books have lots of v ...more
Feb 19, 2011 added it
Shelves: world-war-ii
All Clear, or, I'm An Historian, Get Me Out Of Here!

What I really found lacking in this novel, and in Blackout All Clear 1, was an overall sense of being in another time. I know I was reminded of the fact of it on every single page for a thousand pages (“THIS IS TIME TRAVEL! I am AN HISTORIAN and THIS IS TIME TRAVEL!”), but I never got a real sense of it. Maybe this is because the Oxford of 2060 is very sketchily painted? I have no sense of home for any of the characters, and therefore no real s
Breathtaking. And, let's face it, part of the reason why I was crying at the end wasn't just because the ending was so perfect, but because I know that I will never write a book as amazing as this.

Not only has Willis crafted an intricately layered time travel novel, but it's also an outstanding piece of historical fiction. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of WWII, and makes you feel the horror and hardship of life in England during the war in a way that no other author can. (At least none in m
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh I really don't know where to start: This book has been a disappointment and an utter waste of time. I dragged myself through 'Blackout' and persisted with this one, thinking that it will be all worth it. But despite of the twist in the end and what many have termed 'brilliant' finale, I still can't get over the fact that the omniscient narrative of Ms Willis, in which she follows each miniscule thought of the time travellers, really time consuming, boring, to a point it became truly annoying ...more
Sherwood Smith
Aside from horror (which I avoid) I really, really dislike comedy that depends on humiliation of the helpless, and anxious, frenetic running around with nothing getting done.

These two books were nothing but running anxiously around, the entire thousand plus pages. Because of that, I couldn't read straight through--I had to put the book down after a chapter or two, but Willis's writing is so good, her scenes so vivid, and above all, the numinous moments so lovely (and other moments so poignant) t
Chris Aylott
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I didn't much like the first volume of this novel, but I picked up the second part hoping that -- much like Robin Hobb did in her last book -- Willis would make everything pay off in a satisfying way. Nope. Not this time, at least not for me.

There are some good scenes (an action sequence in the middle, and the conclusion) that kept me from giving this one star, but overall this is overblown and unwieldy. I get that this is a tribute to the ordinary folk who won the Battle of Britain, and as the
All Clear concludes the story Willis began in Blackout. It's unfortunate that the books had to be published separately, because they really are two halves of the same book and can't really be considered separately.

In Willis's time-travelling-Oxford-historians universe, several historians have been sent back to various points in England during World War II: Polly, in London masquerading as a shopgirl; Eileen, working as a maid in the country with evacuated children; and Michael, studying acts of
Elizabeth Hunter
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Three stars is a compromise rating here. I have loved much of Connie Willis' work and her strengths keep growing. There is much to love in this two-book story: fantastic period detail, including real consideration for both how the period looks from a remove and how it was experienced by its "contemps"; nicely drawn characters who react in plausible ways to the situations they face; intricate plotting and an interesting story to tell. Unfortunately, there is much here to make one want to pull a D ...more
No reviewette I write can possibly do this book (or really, the single book composed of Blackout and All Clear) justice. Amazing. Epic. Subtlety of detail that had me paging back to confirm something hinted. Love. Loss. Loyalty. Uncertainty. Hope. Humor. Tragedy. The triumph of the human spirit. Connie Willis has outdone herself with this amazing tale of time travel so deeply rooted in place. Her Hugo and Nebula awards for Blackout/All Clear bring her lifetime totals to eleven Hugos and seven Ne ...more
Walk-on appearances by Alan Turing, Agatha Christie, Queen Elizabeth, General Patton ... we didn't quite get to have afternoon tea with the King and Winston Churchill, but almost. Puh-leeze!

Added to the need to cram in every bit of information possible on the Blitz and the build-up to D-Day, Connie Willis gave us in this book and "Blackout" two horrendous Cockney brats who turned out to be a crucial part of the plot. I suspect the problem is that Willis' books are totally plot driven and her cha
Vanessa Meachen
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Connolly
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review is for both Blackout and All Clear, as it really should've been one book.

Internet states: "This story was intended to be a single novel, called All Clear, but kept growing as the scope expanded over several years of work. It was determined that it should be split into two volumes, Blackout and All Clear, both released in 2010. Connie Willis has indicated it should be considered one novel, not a duology."

I really wish she kept it to a single novel. As is, Blackout is painfully slow, w
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Connie Willis dedicates this book to all the "shop girls, air raid wardens, nurses, writers, shopkeepers, doctors, ambulance drivers, Shakespearean actors, airplane spotters, rescue workers, mathematicians, vicars, librarians, spinsters, debutantes, fisherman, retired sailors, servants, firewatchers, and evacuees who won the war."

Then she honors them with an incredibly detailed and authentic rendering of the lives of everyday people in London during World War II as observed by time-traveling his
Megan Baxter
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
It was perhaps a mistake to wait for so long between Blackout and All Clear. I almost always leave gaps between reading books by the same authors, and it was no different in this case. I knew that this was pretty much one book divided into two parts, but still, I followed the same pattern. This ended up making the start of All Clear more difficult than it might otherwise have been, as the characters and plot were not fresh and recent in my memory.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn
This was unnecessarily long. It should have been combined with the first part, Blackout and edited into one book.

The characterizations are very good, but what is done with those characters is often pointless. All they do is worry and speculate; running around not asking vital questions and refusing to tell one another the truth. So much crazy squirrel behavior from what are supposed to be highly trained Oxford graduates, it's ridiculous.

Because Willis can write and I enjoyed Sir Godfrey and the
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
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All Clear by Connie Willis 2 20 Mar 24, 2016 11:00AM  
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Michael near the end - spoilers 3 85 Jan 18, 2013 11:22AM  
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Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti
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Other Books in the Series

Oxford Time Travel (4 books)
  • Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel, #1)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
  • Blackout (All Clear, #1)

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ambulance drivers
air-raid wardens
canteen workers
airplane spotters
rescue workers
chorus girls
retired sailors
Shakespearean actors
and mystery novelists
“But if she'd come then, she would never have properly appreciated it. She'd have seen the happy crowds and the Union Jacks and the bonfires, but she'd have no idea of what it meant to see the lights on after years of navigating in the dark, what it meant to look up at an approaching plane without fear, to hear church bells after years of air-raid sirens. She'd have had no idea of the years of rationing and shabby clothes and fear which lay behind the smiles and the cheering, no idea of what it had cost to bring this day to pass--the lives of all those soldiers and sailors and airmen and civilians.” 21 likes
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