Cindy's Reviews > Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
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Jun 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, sci-fi, time-travel, female-authors, i-cant-believe-i-havent-read-it-yet, book-club, sf11
Read from July 05 to 12, 2011

My mother put this on her to-read list! How awesome is that?
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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Kathy We can discuss this book the next time we see you, I enjoyed it and your father just finished it last week.


Cindy FUN! I'm about 25% through it. I'm glad I'm healthy while I read it. ;)


Kathy I just saw that you finished this book.


Cindy Yeah! I wish we knew where the heck the Department head was? It was weird that was left open, right?


message 5: by Jayme (last edited Jul 15, 2011 01:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jayme Yay! You read and liked it! And you're Mom is on Goodreads! That's so awesome! Nice to meet you.

Arre you going to write a review? There's a review here that made a good point I had totally missed when reading it. Did you notice in the endless search for the department head that they never found him?! Interesting. The same person also pointed out all the deathbead almosts. I really loved this book, but I've read so many bad reviews that I totally agree with, that it makes me worry I have no taste. But you guys like it too, so I can't be crazy. Not to mention the Hugo and Nebula Awards...right?


Cindy Yup, that's my mom up there ^^^^. Isn't she (and my dad) awesome for reading Doomsday book?

I'm holding off on a review for a week or so. I read this for a GR group discussion that's supposed to start today. I'm curious what they thought.

Yeah, there were things that irked me in this book, but in the end I thought it was really enjoyable. Perhaps more importantly I didn't see any internal inconsistencies in the time travel - she set up her time travel "laws" and stuck to them. But maybe I missed something?

I thought the two story lines (2054 and 1320ish) had very different tones. Which in principle is a good thing. But it struck me as a bit odd that the 2054 was mostly humorous, and goofy, and wacky, and there was none of that in the other timeline. I can only presume that was deliberate?


Jayme Is that for the sci-fi fantasy group? I'm in that group, I should check out the discussion too. I'd be interested in what they say. I think I might have whined to you about this already, but I can't remember, but the reason I never do discussions over theree is that I hate the way they split all the books up into a million threads with different questions. I think it stifles conversation?

I did read in one of the reviews here that when they went to rescue, Kivrin they had a locator for the drop site. It pissed that person off because so much of the book was Kivrin not being able to find her drop site, so where was her locator. I can't actually remember anything about a locator so I don't know. But otheer than that I think Willis did an awesome job with her time travel rules. It can't be easy to set up a world like that and have it run smoothly.

I think it probably was deliberate to have the 2054 set humorous. I feel like since she had it set in England she was going for a bit of a British humour bit or a comedy relief? She did have to kill off an aweful lot of people with the plague so I feel like it did a good job of lightening the book up.


Kathy What I found fun (funny) was all the people waiting in line to use the phone; the author missed the prediction of us all using cellphone, ipads, kindles, email and my favorite...Facebook, and it is only 2011 not 2054.

Hi, Jayme. I really liked the book too.


Jayme I liked the line-ups for the phones too! And I feel like that's something she could have foreseen if she had really thought about it. Cell phones were around, even if they weren't anywherre near what they've become today. But still, it wouldn't be as cute if she'd gotten it right.


Cindy I figure with the locator thing that it was against the rules normally. It was brought through by young Colin who dove into the Net just as the drop was happening. He also brought the aspirin. So, Kivrin wouldn't have been allowed technology and objects that didn't fit into the time period? It probably would have been dangerous for her to have them - with all the worry about burning witches.

In To Say Nothing of the Dog, Willis makes it clear that only inconsequential objects can be brought through the net - things that won't be missed and won't change history. Maybe if Kivrin had brought a locator, the Net wouldn't have functioned? So in general, they avoid that?

Totally speculating, here.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Perhaps the locator and the aspirin both got through the net because there were no living people in the target zone?


Cindy Oooh, interesting, Susanna! I like the idea of an observer-dependent rule for the transporter. I have yet to read Blackout/All-Clear. I wonder how it behaves there?


Jayme I need to read more of these books too.


Cindy Yes you do!


Jayme You've read To Say Nothing of the Dog right?


Cindy I have! I liked it more than Doomsday Book.


Jayme Consider it downloaded. Now if only I could add one more hour to the day to actually read it.


Cindy Yes! My fiefdom would have a mandatory reading hour.


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