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Time and Chance

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  233 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
In excellent condition
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1990)
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This is marketed as a time travel book. Which is not true at all. There is no time travel. Only the ability to swap lives in parallel universes/alternate history.

Luckily, I found these concepts far more intriguing than time travel. Because I have always been a "What if?" thinker, regretting choices I have made, from life changing ones like marrying or not, to miniscule ones like buying Frosted Flashes instead of Golden Grahams. I am the first to admit how ridiculous this sounds, silly and futil
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Time and Chance is about the journey rather than the destination. It’s a book filled with conflict, love, tenderness and confusion all propped up by an intense emotional thread that seems to compliment the book well, without ever being overdone. If, at points, the plot did seem to lag, it does pick up and recover, especially during the last third of the book. Time and Chance is an impressive character study, which manages to hook the reader while also forcing them to examine their own lives, and ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One man who becomes two men, Rick and Richard, take 2 paths 13 years before. One man left his sweetheart to persue his acting dreams in NYC. The other married the sweetheart and they built a life with her. Neither man ends up happy with the path they took and wonders "what if". This was an interesting idea and I liked it to the end. Fun summer read.

This is the book I read on my Nook for my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting tomorrow night (October 21, 2o14). I found it to be an interesting exploration of both alternative universes and second chances, with a good dose of circumstances and consequences tossed in. I do not think it a great book, but it is an interesting read.

Richard Cochrane is thirty-five, and has one divorce and several failed relationships behind him, and no children. He grew up in Appleton, New Hampshire, but broke up with h
Missy J
I read this book, because I wanted to read a book written by Alan Brennert. His book "Molokai" has been highly praised, unfortunately the public library in my area, doesn't have this book in its shelves. So I opted to read another book by this author, namely "Time and Chance".
This book was written before "Molokai", so my disappointment isn't too great. His writing could've only gotten better since "Time and Chance".

The story sounds interesting; the protagonist could've lived two different lives
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an earlier work by Alan Brennert, the same author of my current FAVORITE book, Moloka'i. This is the sole reason I bought the book. Halfway through it, I was ready to give it only 2 stars. It had an interesting premise (a semi-famous actor switches places with his alter-ego who opted to marry his high school sweetheart instead of pursuing acting), but it just wasn't keeping my interest as the two men sorted through each other's lives. But the last third of the book picked up, and I found ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really great book on second chances and dealing with your life choices. Loved the writing and how each plot line was explored. Both protagonists were complex, interesting characters, and I loved how there were just enough similarities to them believable as the "same" person who took different paths. This book won't necessarily change my life but it was really stayed with me after I finished.
Shannon Appelcline
A brilliant book about roads not walked, guilt, and second chances. Brennert does a magnificent job of creating a deeply emotional story and imbuing its characters with real life. Despite its science fiction trope, this is a book about people and the lives they live.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful. The magical element of the novel is that it retains its power whether the fantastical parts are taken literally or not. It is a surprisingly quick read, with very little filler at all. A nice change of pace from some of the less focused works I have run across lately.
John Neal
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly wonderful book -- beautifully written, insightful, meaningful. I plan to read it again (a rare occurrence).
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've not read Brennert's more famous book -- Moloka'i -- which most everyone on Good Reads prefers. (But it's on my to-read list now). I'm just saying that up front to let you know I have no comparison books. But I really enjoyed Time and Chance. The book literally showed up on a table all by itself where I work. As I was reading the back page, someone compared it to Time and Again by Jack Finney. That was all I needed, because if you haven't read Time and Again, go get it right now and leave yo ...more
Steven Saunders
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it. A bit slow at times but some clever twists. It was an easy read and I looked forward to reading it.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
The first thing I ever read by Alan Brennert was "The Third Sex", from The Best of Pulphouse. It was about just that, a person who was neither male nor female. It was a story about love, identity, and relationships, and it lingered with me long after I finished the story. I had actually been exposed to Brennert before then through Weird Romance, which featured another of his stories, but this was the first fiction of his I read, and from that moment forward, I knew he was a writer to read.

Fast f
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am very accustomed to reading young adult novels. This was not a young adult novel. This was very adult and I am not entirely comfortable with what I just read.

So what did I think about this book? Well, the premise of this book is that there are two entities, one man, living parallel lives. It is supposed to be a "what-if" scenario. What if you had made a different choice after college and married the woman you loved and gave up your acting career? What if Debra had never aborted Paige? What i
I very much enjoyed both the premise of this book and the actual reading of it. It takes the idea that when we make those pivotal moments in our lives...perhaps the moments that we replay what if over and over and over another reality you actually make that other choice and your life plays out from there. What happens if your two selves from those two separate decisions (but one deciding event) meet. That is what happens in this book.

When I read the blurb, I was actually expecting a
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I just finished this book and am planning to add my full review later, but for now I just wanted to say a few things. I love the premise of this book. I found it a little slow for about the first third and had a little trouble getting into it. After that, I became absorbed really quickly in the choices each of the main characters started making. That said, I flew through that last half of the book, desperate to know how the whole story would be resolved, and ended up extremely disappointed. The ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was okay from beginning to end. Many have commented on how this idea of getting to live out your parallel life from the path not taken is so original, but it's been done quite a few times and this was not one of the finest examples. Many of the characters were unlikable and some of the choices the main character, Rick, made seemed drastic and didn't make sense. It had good moments, but there were too many points in the book where I was bored at how predictable the story was.

(view spoiler)
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel by the author of another novel I enjoyed, Molok'i, but in no way like that novel. This novel addresses the question "what would have happen if I had chosen a different path?" Richard a New York City stage and television actor has a sucessful career but is still not satisfied with his life. Rick is employed by as an insurance claims adjuster, has a wife and two children and has a moderately comfortable life. Richard and Rick are the the same person. They just happen to take differ ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the story of Richard aka Rick Cochrane, who just so happen to be the same person, but when Mr. Cochrane came to a fork in his life, Richard to one fork while Rick toook the other. Years later for unknown reasons the paths of the two cross. They switch places and see what their lives would have been like. Richard thought he could change things that he had done. But his mother still dies,and his friend is not much better in his life, just different attitude. Do the two of them switch back ...more
Michael Norwitz
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan Brennert's novel about paths not taken, in which two versions of the same man ('Rick' and 'Richard') swap places. It's very Twilight Zone-ish, with an ending which is more about emotion than and concern for scientific (or even magical) plausibility. I could criticise the book for being predictable; it certainly hits every single expected plot point. Still, it is well-written and the writer has a deft enough touch with human relationships that it is difficult not to get carried along by the ...more
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real good read. Somewhat confusing concept, but I decided to just let go of reality and enjoy. It wasn't cut and dried neat. One would expect the Rick/Richard thing to balance out even in the end, or else have the selfish one being the one with the most to learn,but this story was too smart for cop-outs. I like that the author didn't take any predictible or easy way out in resolving this strange plot.
Clearly a first novel, the author has taken on more than he can handle. A "What If?" story, where the same man somehow leading parallel lives switches the two--with each leading the life of the other version. Fantasy like this requires a deft hand, and while the author gets credit for trying he misses the mark more often than not. And although I brought to the book a healthy suspension of belief, there were glaring logic holes that couldn't be overcome.
I loved the author's other books, Molok'ai and Honolulu, so I knew I would appreciate the writing, however this wasn't as riveting. It's an interesting concept to see how one's life would be different had we made different choices. Brennart made me care about his character, and I liked the homage made to Finney, one of my favorite authors of time travel. I do recommend this. It made me think about, appreciate, and occasionally forgive myself for, the choices I've made.
Rachael Kenney
Nov 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving up on this book. I loved Molokai by Alan Brennert so I thought I would like this book. Nope. I am giving up, and I rarely openly give up. Usually the book sits dog eared on a shelf for ages. This one is going straight to the donation bin. Every minute thus far has been completely predictable and I don't want to spend the 4-5 hours it will take to get to the end and find out if it gets better.
Susan Arena
I like Brennert's historical novels better. This book was interesting in the way that he approached the road not taken in our lives. The characters were hard for me to relate to but the contrast between city and small town life and the pursuit of a career and the giving up the dream to have family was well done. It was interesting but not a gripping story. If you like the author it is worth a read.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sort of fantasy, because the character was able to switch places with the himself who had made a different choice in life, but it takes place in the real, contemporary world. Wonderful book.
Sarah Renaye
Sep 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book because I loved Moloka'i and Honolulu. With this story the major plot points felt too easy, which made it hard to suspend belief and fully engage in the story. A few of the major characters were despicable and there were too many with brief appearances that blended together.
David Fiore
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parallel-worlds
well written, skillfully plotted parallel worlds tale... has a lot to say about the human tendency (necessary for decision-making) to reduce bountiful possibilities to either/or binaries (which can become debilitating, if clung to in the years after a key decision is made), and says it well...
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the smooth story of this book and the way that I was drawn to the characters.
Scott C reviewed this for the Lincoln City Libraries' web site in March 2004:
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Alan Brennert is the author of the historical novels Palisades Park, Honolulu (chosen one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post), and Moloka'i, which won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year (and has sold over half a million copies since publication). He is also the author of the thought-provoking fantasy novel Time and Chance ...more
More about Alan Brennert...