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A Bridge of Years

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  985 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Tom Winter thought the secluded cottage in the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect refuge—a place to nurse the wounds of lost love and happiness. But Tom soon discovers that his safe haven is the portal of a tunnel through time. At one end lies the familiar present. At the other end—New York City, 1963.

Tom’s journey back through time offers renewed hope in the form of a
Paperback, 348 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Broadway
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  985 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, audiobooks, sci-fi
I kind of got this by accident. I really enjoy Robert Charles Wilson’s books and saw this available for pre-order on the Nook. I waited for months for the release date, then decided to get the audiobook because a credit cost less than the ebook. I was a bit surprised that the Audible Frontiers version was released in 2009, but just thought that the ebook version was new. As I’m listening, it seemed a bit dated. The current-day events in this time travel story occur in 1989. I did more research o ...more
Nathan Coops
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nathan by: Time Travel Group book of the month club read.
Shelves: time-travel
I love science fiction stories that let you know what you are in for and then deliver on their promises. A Bridge of Years does that and more. I listened to this book on audio and loved it. The narrator was excellent and the writing style really captivated me. I had recently read Stephen King's 11/22/63 and wasn't sure I wanted to dive into another "time tunnel" book, but Wilson has a unique style and worked for me on a variety of levels. For one, he lets you know you are reading a sci-fi boo ...more
Mary JL
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Science Fiction fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found while browsing
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
The premise is pretty neat. Tom Winter buys a house in a isolated rural area--and mysterious things begin happening. He eventual tears down a basement wall--and discovers a tunnel that ends in New York City, 1962.

The story is well told. I really liked one point--we do not remember everything after decades have passed. When Tom is in 1962 he remembers the 'big names' of course--Kennedy, Kruschev, Castro and so on. But many of the other times he had forgotten--he was only ten years old in 1962. Ev
Willy Eckerslike
I have an image of Robert Charles Wilson as a kindly, well turned out gentleman of independent means sitting at his escritoire carefully penning a few well chosen words while the log fire burns cheerily and his over indulged cat lies curled on it’s favourite armchair. This gentle novel has done nothing to dispel this pleasant vista. As with all Wilson’s work that I’ve read, his character based style is heavily rooted in the earlier classics of the genre making for a pleasant and deeply satisfyin ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A very enjoyable book. This novel is a good display of RCW's smooth writing style. By the title you know going in that the book deals with time travel, and I was impressed with how effortless RCW tied different stories together and skipped around in time without confusing the reader. The novel has the common save-the-earth theme, and is chock full of 1960s nostalgia, and while I personally would prefer less of that stuff and more sci-fi, this book is easily four stars.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, fiction
This is a very smooth story construction. The time travel mechanism and the motivations and relative abilities of the characters involved all feel very natural; often times - and especially in time travel stories - you find that the events of the book are driven by how the author wanted to structure the story, but this book definitely doesn't feel to me like it was reverse engineered from what he wanted to happen.

While I empathize a lot more with Archer than with Winter, I understand that people
Tim Martin
This was a solid time travel science fiction story, one that to me harkened back to more Golden Age sense of wonder style storytelling, where exploring the unknown and a sense of wonder at true mysteries – if not miracles – were hallmarks of the writing, something I don’t always see in more recent genre fiction. There is definitely violence and action, but it is not particularly gritty and there are wonderful chapters where just a sense of gee-whiz wonder is present. I really liked that.

The boo
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book which time travel enthusiasts will enjoy. It has a bit of everything, science, paradox, love, travel to the past, travel from the future etc. The type of time travel is a time tunnel, but there is also some advance technology from the future which is explained enough to satisfy the reader, but not in so much detail to bore the pants off of those of us who don't eat up the scientific theory side of time travel novels.

The story follows several paths which are intertwined, and
Stan James
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
(I would actually rate this a strong 3.5 stars if possible.)

Wilson loves to play around with time travel and time paradoxes and A Bridge of Years is one of his earliest efforts, originally published in 1991.

In a few superficial ways it is reminiscent in structure to King's 11/22/63 (though it's important to note King's novel came out 20 years later) in that a young man travels back to the early 60s and then pretty much falls in love with the era (and a woman) and wants to stay there. The specifi
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe it's because the back cover mentions that Tom goes back in time to 1963, to "a simpler,safer world", but it also tries to convey that era - so the novel itself seems a little too laid back and slows the pace down. The main character Tom is fleshed out really well, but the secondary characters could use more depth. The story itself is intriguing and is a breezy read, I just wish there would have been more focus on the other characters of the story, and of the time traveling aspect.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the questions this book sparked in my mind. Would I choose to stay back in time if the option felt "safer". If I didn't have much going for me in my own present day....

I don't know. I DO know that if I had the opportunity to time travel to the past I would not pass it up for anything!!

Anyway, the book starts right out with a bunch of action. The reader doesn't really know what's going on because it seems all a bit futuristic. Plausible, though. Not too "out there". Keep it simpl
Althea Ann
In 1989, fresh from a traumatizing divorce, Tom Winter moves back to his hometown, buying a house on the outskirts of the woods. He notices the house is in remarkably good condition, considering it's supposedly been empty for the last 10 years, but then he discovers stranger things - robotic bugs performing maintenance and a time-traveling tunnel that leads to the New York City of 1962, hidden in the basement. Escaping the present and shacking up with a nice 60's beatnik girl seems like a good i ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Fun read! It was creepy enough to give me a few thrills, but not creepy enough that I felt uncomfortable or freaked out reading it alone in a hotel room while out of town on a business trip. Also, it's set largely in the Pacific Northwest, which I have newly acquired firsthand knowledge of (there is a teeny tiny passage featuring a hummingbird that drew me completely into the book/moment - love it!). The time travel aspect of the book has the potential to be like Every Sci-Fi Book Ever (blah bla ...more
Samantha Glasser
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book opens with a bloody bang and slowly unravels to reveal a tormented future and the way a man from the late-80s used a time tunnel to escape his problems. The characters are adequately likeable, and the villain is more complex than most are made out to be. The effects of the future are just as important to the story as the scenes in the past, if not moreso.

One of my favorite things about time travel books is the thing this book is lacking, a hyper-detailed overview of the time-traveler'
Sep 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although science fiction, this time-travel book explores the personal experiences of the travellers. How does the experience sit with those who travel? What is its impact on their live? Do they really want to spend their time in a different era? Add a brutal mercenary from the future running from his own conscription, and another level is added to the story; moving the plot along at a breakneck pace.
A quick read, and a fascinating study in one's realizations and actions when confronted with the
This was a group read for the "Time Travel " group, however it arrived a bit late and I was a month behind everyone else reading it :)
It was an enjoyable book and kept me engrossed all the way through. You can see that he has left himself an opening for a sequel should he ever wish to write one, however that did not detract from the story at all, and I would certainly read a sequel should it ever appear.
I will also read more by Robert Charles Wilson, a good writer.
Anthony Haden
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
A fun sci-fi, time traveling adventure. Brisk and inventive.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Books about time travel are not easy to understand. The paradoxes that exist, I like to suppose that they defy our logic. You can't really enjoy a book that sounds illogical to you but this book doesn't try too hard to convince you that time travel works. Instead, it focuses more about time itself and how no matter the time period you travel to, the characters don't leave their problems behind. There is a lot of talk about the present, past and future and one of the recurring themes for the prot ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a flop, but not much pay off either. Perhaps because I read this book over a bridge of years myself (spanning 5 months) it felt like a long time waiting for a small reveal. It also felt as if Wilson was playing both sides of the card on the immutability of the past yet the easily alterable lives of those from the past. The characters were conceptually compelling but all only 3/4 developed, leaving me not really caring what happened to Joyce or Billy or the meat man from the future. Nonethele ...more
Kurt Bannister
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Interesting premise with some flaws in my opinion. Spoiler: Why are the advanced humans just hanging out in the tunnels all the time instead of actually visiting the destinations? Are they just chicken or do they really like these tunnels? Why are the caretakers (who are also supposed to be guides to the advanced humans) just sitting for years just twiddling their thumbs? The caretakers rarely leave their homes but they are supposed to act as guide for the advanced humans when they visit...doesn ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I apparently read this in 2012, it's a novel about time travel (a subject I love) by Robert Charles Wilson (an author I enjoy), and I literally remember nothing about it.

I am taking that as a bad sign.
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at time travel. Well written with good characters and an engaging plot.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Divertissant mais ne casse pas trois pattes à un canard
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, time-travel
One of the better time travel books I've ever read!

Felt like vintage sci-fi, which I really enjoyed.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
An excellent entry in the category of non-gimmicky time-travel novels.
Logan Horsford
May 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
The way the author painted pictures was great.

The problem was he kept going over and over the same canvas, expressing and re-expressing the same thoughts. Building word count?

Eventually, it became repetitious enough that I stopped caring about the mystery.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Not bad, but there's not so much happening either. The portal and house mystery is an interesting, but stereotypical setup. The restoration of the original time traveler is quite fascinating and by far the best part of the book. A lot of the rest is time traveler soap opera.
MisterLiberry Head
A BRIDGE OF YEARS is an older title by Robert Charles Wilson (1991) but one I had somehow overlooked or missed over the years. It’s similar in my mind to both 11/22/63 by Stephen King and one by the great Clifford D. Simak so old that it must be out of print (?)--WAY STATION. Simak’s classic was about an ordinary mortal (albeit a Civil War veteran still living as a young man in the 1960s) who was tasked by with the protection and maintenance of a portal to other intergalactic worlds. The portal ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Adding a book cover 3 31 Nov 28, 2011 07:58AM  
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I've been writing science fiction professionally since my first novel A Hidden Place was published in 1986. My books include Darwinia, Blind Lake, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. My newest novel is The Affinities (April 2015).
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