Tracy's Reviews > Doomsday Book
Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel, #1)
by Connie Willis
by Connie Willis
Jan 31, 2009
Read in January, 2010
I first read this book shortly after it was published in the early 1990s. I serendipitously read it at Christmas time, not realizing the Christmas sesason was a key part of the plot. I loved the book back then, and it has always been on my "favorites" list, as well as a book I regularly recommend. I re-read it for the first time at Christmas '09, because I wanted a seasonal read, and also I wanted to see if it held up to my memories. Hmmm. I did still like it very much, but I think if I were reading it now for the first time it would garner only an "it's okay" rating. The story bounces back and forth between Christmas 2054 and Christmas in the Middle Ages. Kivrin, a university student at Oxford, is sent back in time to study the middle ages, but things go awry in both time periods, and we don't know who will survive in either time period, or if Kivrin will even make it home. When I read the book in 1993, the future in the book seemed, well, futuristic, but now 2054 seemed oddly antiquated, because a large part of the suspense in 2054 stems from Mr. Dunworthy not being able to get a hold of people. What happened to texting, email, cell phones? It just seemed odd that he still had to stumble to public phones and use directory assistance. All of those troubles would be irrelevant if he had 2009 technology on his hands. I realize this book was written before such technology was widespread, but still, it unfortunately weakened the book for me. Overall, though, the main themes of human nature, friendship, dealing with a crisis, remain strong, and I still like the book and recommend it.
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