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Timeline

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  199,032 ratings  ·  5,302 reviews
In an Arizona desert, a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world, archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an as ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 489 pages
Published June 2000 by Arrow Books (first published November 16th 1999)
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Jocelyn As time is not linear it has already started

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  199,032 ratings  ·  5,302 reviews


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Stacey
Mar 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Henry Avila
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the world of pseudoscience, the subject of time travel is always entertaining , fascinating and downright shall we say, fun...Imagine going back to any year, in the distant, obscure past, (reachable now )...taking a peek, looking around the corner , at the mysteries, seeing actual situations and judging for yourself . What was real, not myths, legends or fabrications ( a polite word for lies), meeting important, famous people in history books, places that are long gone or in ruins now, yet st ...more
Kay ☄. *. ⋆ catching up mode
This was a good scifi with the history of medieval France. With advanced quantum technology, ITC Research (HQ- Blackrock, NM) is able to teleport people to another place in the multiverse.

Present-day, Southwest France, an archeological dig near Castlegard at what used to be Monastery of Sainte-Mère, near the Dordogne River reveals a single bifocal lens that looks to be of Yale's Professor Johnston and hand written note "HELP ME 4/7/1357". Scientists did carbon dating and other testings of the in
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Feb 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
(3.75) This was part of my "One Week, One Shelf" challenge which helps me read books I've forgotten about.

This was fun and light albeit heavy on the science at times as all of his books tend to be. I don't know how historically accurate it is but it was an entertaining time travelling book. (Okay, apparently it's not time travel but "travelling to other universes through quantum foam" but close enough!)

My main complaint is the ending. (view spoiler)
...more
Space
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: time-travel
This was the first Crichton novel I read, which is probably to his advantage. I knew it was fiction, so I was able to pick it up and cruise right through it. Had I started on The Andromeda Strain, or Airframe, I might have thought he was a non-fiction writer and not given him a proper chance. As it turns out, I was instantly hooked, and began to furiously and ferociously collect everything I could get my hands on by Michael Crichton. Now I've read most of his novels, and have met him in person. ...more
Ken
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having enjoyed Jurassic Park, I wanted to read more Crichton. Timeline now being the second novel of he’s that I’ve read.

What I found most fascinating were the complete flip between the two stories, as in Jurassic Park its about being the past being brought to the present. Whereas Timeline is very much a journey back in time and a perceived perceptions of that era being completely changed.
As a group of history students are transported back to 14th-century France to rescue their professor.

We’ve a
...more
John
I loved this book... and then some arse made a really crap film and the book lost some of its shine... I couldn't rid my mind of the film set and actors.

I still quite like the book.
...more
Luís
This novel was a real surprise, a delightful and confusing surprise. The back cover tells about a Hi-Tech company, a high technology company in the United States, and excavations undertaken by historians, including the professor and some United States members. These excavations had carried out in the Dordogne valley around a 14th-century monastery.
Michael Crichton, well documented in the Middle Ages, produced a novel whose fluid writing and the adventures of the protagonists I appreciated.
It is
...more
Joe Valdez
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next stop in my time travel marathon (November being Science Fiction Month) was Timeline, Michael Crichton's 1999 thriller. Crichton was not what I think of as a prolific writer; he published sixteen novels in his lifetime under this own name, beginning in 1969 with The Andromeda Strain. Perhaps the movies produced from most of these titles make it seem like Crichton was everywhere. I'd like to think that maybe the author devoted the time between novels conducting backbreaking research. With ...more
John
Jul 02, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
* A Reader Obsessed *
May 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2021, fiction
3.5 Stars

Interesting in the details if you want to beef up your French history, let alone all the minute medieval trivia about knighthood, honor, political machinations, and various architectural tidbits that you might’ve been jonesing to know. Throw in mind boggling theories on quantum physics strangely reminiscent of The Avengers: Endgame and this just might titillate as well as tax your brain. Ha!

There's danger, brutality, and harsh lessons around every corner as a group of archaeology studen
...more
Tahera
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Read the book now. Watched the movie much earlier. Although both are above average at best, I will be in the minority when I say I prefer the movie...it had a better storyline and characters were more fleshed out.

Book Andre Marek or movie Andre Marek? Definitely movie Andre Marek...it's Gerard Butler guys! 😍😍

3.5*
...more
Eric
May 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
I’ve never been terribly impressed with Michael Crichton. He writes excellent action and adventure scenes, but his characters always seem flat and one-dimensional, never doing much more than dodging dinosaurs or white gorillas. Not surprisingly, what I feel is his best novel to date, Disclosure, lacks the heart-pounding action and delves more into conflicts between characters, which I found much more compelling.

I had high hopes for Timeline, a weighty book that had drawn good reviews from the f
...more
Apatt
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
“The very concept of time travel makes no sense, since time doesn’t flow. The fact that we think time passes is just an accident of our nervous systems— of the way things look to us. In reality, time doesn’t pass; we pass. Time itself is invariant. It just is. Therefore, past and future aren’t separate locations, the way New York and Paris are separate locations.”

There is a reason why Crichton was a blockbusting bestselling author, he had a knack for explaining things that do not make sense in s
...more
Howard
4.5 Stars for Timeline (audiobook) by Michael Crichton read by John Bedford Lloyd. This was a wonderful story. Lots of action, science and time travel. Crichton got to explore all kinds of fun ideas. I like to think he is still writing in an alternate universe. Maybe one where they brought dinosaurs back to life for real.
Jim
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-action
This was a good one.

When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the
...more
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This book. This is THE book for me.
Werner
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
My reaction to this book was a lot more favorable than Stacey's --but I do have to agree with some of her criticisms. Because of his "hard" sci-fi orientation, Crichton insisted on trying to extrapolate an explanation for time-travel from existing science, his vehicle being quantum theory. Since this is too complex and counter-intuitive for most people to understand (and some of us suspect it of being a bunch of hooey anyway!), the "explanation" doesn't serve much purpose, and does wind up being ...more
Lisa
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing

This book was my introduction to Crichton and I fell in love!
I fell in love because this is an author who does extensive research on the subjects he writes about. So he not only entertains, he teaches you something in the process.
In Timeline, Crichton combines science(quantum technology) and history(medieval) in a heart-stopping adventure. A group of historians are given the opportunity to literally enter life in fourteenth-century feudal France. But this is not your typical time travel story.
Matt
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this ages ago and couldn’t remember any of it. Now that I read it again, I have to deduct a star. The plot is about as substantial as a bag of peanut puffs and, alas, also as addictive. Once you started you can’t stop gobbling it up.
Matthew
Another enjoyable Crichton adventure combining science, history, and fiction.
Shannon
Since there are over 1400 reviews, no need for me to list the details of the story. They're at other posts. Here's my feeling of the reading experience:

STRENGTHS OF THIS NOVEL: movement, pacing, good concept, events are well stringed along

WEAKNESSES OF THIS NOVEL: characters lack depth, believability issues sometimes, not enough details to feel one is actually in the medieval ages, characters seem to get out of problems too easily (i.e. lots of other people die around them but the main people do
...more
Deacon Tom F
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 Stars. It was a really fun read. Using my imagination, I would call it Indiana Jones in the 1300s.

Forces one to stretch your imagination for this book but it was modern people fighting knights. Lots of castles, all monasteries and battles — All far fetched, This is time travel fiction and therefore tends to be that way.

I enjoyed it and it has received mixed reviews but for this guy — I thought it was a fun read if I did not try to post every detail.
Paul O’Neill
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A time travelling, sword swinging, science laden, probability speaking, historically interesting, magnificent tale!

Even though Crichton is a popular author, I think he's underrated. At least that's what I think in the two books I've read (the other being Jurassic Park). I must read more of his work. Anybody got any suggestions?

The format of this book is perfect. The way each chapter ended with a cliff hanger reminded me of George R.R. Martin. It creates something that you just don't want to put
...more
Rohit Enghakat
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: techno-thriller
This book is about time travel. Crichton is one of my favourite writers as he researches the subject of his work thoroughly before writing it. Here this is just pure fiction about time travel undertaken by a group of historians contracted by a greedy and rich entrepreneur to bring back a professor stuck up in the 1300s medieval France and England. The first 200 pages was slow and boring and I almost gave it up. Then the action started once they travelled back in time to the 1300s and it became a ...more
Hari Hara
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a surprise in a time travel fiction !!!
❄️AngeLovesToRead❄️
Sep 05, 2022 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF @25%

At first, I thought I would really like this interesting take on time-travel, but then it started to move slowly and include a lot of passages like:

"We make wormhole connections in quantum foam."
"You mean Wheeler foam? Subatomic fluctuations of space-time?"
"Yes."
"But that's impossible."

After that, I kept misplacing the book and last night, after I rediscovered it on the porch, I accidentally dropped it into the kitchen sink, which was full of water and bleach.

Since there ARE no accide
...more
Jackie
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Time travel gets me almost everytime!
This novel was exciting and unique, I could hardly put it down. Cool quantum technology that I barely understood aside, I felt like I was transported to the 100 Years War along with the team that sets out to find the Professor. And that's what makes a good novel into a great novel for me, and Timeline delivered.
One of Crichton's best.
And I got a crush on Marek so that helps in keeping it on my favorite book list. I think I'll read in again soon.
...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 STARS

"In an Arizona desert, a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history
...more
misha
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, fastreads
Total piece of crap book that I got from a book swap.

That said, while I did a lot of skimming, this was a perfectly fine book to read while on mass transit... as long as I kept the cover down so that no one would know that I was reading crap.

And now you know that I sometimes read crap.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Crichton - Timeline [Feb 16, 2021] 25 28 Mar 03, 2021 11:52AM  
Action/Adventure ...: December 2019 Book/Movie Combo Group Read: Timeline by Michael Crichton *Spoilers* 3 9 Dec 02, 2019 12:46PM  
Timeline 6 50 Jan 03, 2017 05:45AM  

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Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Doug ...more

Articles featuring this book

Some of the best stories take a few hundred years to tell. But if you're in the mood for uncanny connections, hoping back and forth through...
58 likes · 10 comments
“In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.” 127 likes
“Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree.” 65 likes
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