Jennifer (aka EM)’s review of The Time Traveler's Wife > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Fee (new)

Fee It's been a long time since I've stayed up late into the night, reading just another chapter ... and then another ... and so what if it's 3 a.m., and tears are streaming down my cheeks, and all that's left to read are the acknowledgements at the end and I do, because I'm as unwilling to let these characters go as they are to let each other go.

I could have written these words myself - I know exactly what you mean because I did exactly the same thing. Great review :)


Jennifer (aka EM) Hi Coal! Thanks for dropping by ... I've just this a.m. revised my rating to 3 stars. I've been going back and forth from 3 to 4 stars on this one. As much as I was emotionally affected by the story, I can't seem to decide how good a writer Niffenegger is.

When I look at other books on my list, e.g. The Glass Castle, Clara Callan, Midwives--all books that pack a big emotional punch, but may not necessarily have the strength of writing or complexity of others, I have put these in the 3-star range.

What I've come to is that the time travelling as a metaphor for memory, if it's a metaphor for memory, is an absolutely brilliant device. It's critical to the emotional power behind the story. But if it wasn't intentionally metaphorical, then it was being used, in a way, as a cheap author's trick. That casts the impact of the story and quality of the writing in a different light.

These are my musings this a.m., but I'm not 100% sure myself, so happy to be convinced otherwise.

What do you think?



message 3: by Manny (new)

Manny I now hear it is being made into a movie starring Rachel McAdams, and if anyone can make a rich, complex and powerful love story into a trite chick-flick, it would be her.

Honestly, I don't understand what you have against Ms McAdams. Whatever she may lack in acting ability she more than makes up for in Pouting, Looking Soulfully Out Of Huge Dark Eyes and Coyly Displaying Her Petite But Perfect Figure. Some people like to criticize for the hell of it.


message 4: by Jennifer (aka EM) (last edited Jun 17, 2010 06:30AM) (new)

Jennifer (aka EM) True story: we share a dentist. I learned this one day during an appointment when for some reason I dissed Ms McPouty and both the dentist and hygienist looked at me soulfully out of their huge dark eyes and assured me that she is just the nicest, sweetest gal you ever would want to meet.

So now, I also associate her with dental appts. It's not looking good for me and Rachel to ever be BFFs. (I'm more a Scarlett Johannsen kinda gal).


Jennifer (aka EM) Geez, Manny and Ben. Thanks for the "likes" -- TTW is a book I'm really conflicted about enjoying as much as I did. I had this at 4 stars at one point! Sheesh....


message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen I still have it at four stars, but the rating is definitely more emotionally driven. This is a book that I could distance myself from and attempt to rate only on the merit of structure, but it isn't something I necessarily want to do. That probably doesn't make much sense (my ratings don't really either).


message 7: by Jennifer (aka EM) (last edited Jun 17, 2010 08:09AM) (new)

Jennifer (aka EM) I know what you mean, Jen. The interesting thing is, I actually think the structure, metaphor and symbolism she used was very strong. I'm just not sure she was fully in control of it, and her tendency (confirmed in her next, Her Fearful Symmetry, according to most reviews) to gloss over the structural flaws with sentiment is kind of like the use of too much sustain pedal to gloss over the fact that you might not be hitting exactly the right notes.

But here's the thing: it's a love story. And what's love if it isn't sentiment? By that criterion alone, I think your four stars is fully valid!


message 8: by Jen (last edited Jun 17, 2010 08:34AM) (new)

Jen I'm not so sure about the structure...reading through it the way I did (liberally applying gloss) didn't allow for analysis down on the word level.

And I think you're right; I came at it thinking chick lit fic lite and re-calibrated to a more genre level appreciation...which makes me wonder about how genre affects rating, or rather how one perceives a book's classification determines how judicious the rating.

I would definitely give fewer stars to a technical book that wasn't technical, but would be more likely to be gracious with stars when rating something more fantastical.


message 9: by Jennifer (aka EM) (last edited Jun 17, 2010 08:48AM) (new)

Jennifer (aka EM) Jen wrote: "which makes me wonder about how genre affects rating, or rather how one perceives a book's classification determines how judicious the rating. "

That's a great line of thought to pursue. My initial rating of 4 stars, like yours, was based on the fact that I gave myself permission to have the emotional response I did to this book because the person who recommended it to me--gave me the copy I read, in fact--is someone who wouldn't ever read what I (and she, and you most likely) would classify as chick lit.

So I kept pulling it out of the category where I put things like Jodi Picault (sp? can't be bothered to look up, you know who I mean) and Nicholas Sparks, etc.

Interesting thread on Moira's update of Her Fearful Symmetry that also talks about TTW. There seems to be a vein amongst those of us who are def. not inclined to cheap sentiment, but who responded positively to TTW book and feel a little ashamed of that.


message 10: by Jen (new)

Jen Well, at least I don't want to be inclined to cheap sentiment, but sometimes a deal's a deal.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen But I'm not going to admit that again. Niffenegger, you got me once, but you won't get me twice. (Because I'll go elsewhere:))


Jennifer (aka EM) *shakes Jen's hand* now THAT's a deal. (let's let this be our--and our extended network of GR friends'--little secret, shall we?)


message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen Why not? I'm sure everyone here on GR knows how to keep a secret.


message 14: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Manny wrote: "I now hear it is being made into a movie starring Rachel McAdams, and if anyone can make a rich, complex and powerful love story into a trite chick-flick, it would be her.

Honestly, I don't unders..."


It's ok Manny because the book sucked harder than the movie. It's the only book I've ever actually thrown into the ocean! However I do love Rachel McAdams! : )


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