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Time and Again (Time, #1)
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Time and Again > T&A: Wait, WHAT? *spoilers*

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message 1: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2880 comments Strange ending. So we've got (view spoiler) but that's okay because people frolic in the snow.

Did I miss something? How were (view spoiler)


message 2: by Fredrik (last edited Nov 18, 2015 03:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Fredrik (Fredurix) | 189 comments Yea... even with the bad stuff acknowledged in the story, the book presents a naively romantic view of the past; in particular the references to people of the 1880s being so alive and "moving with purpose and determination" compared to the dull and disillusioned people of the 70s made me roll my eyes.
I can live with a bit of rose-tinting, though, and even appreciate it to some extent.

As for the ending, the implication is that Julia got through to Pickering and promised to keep his secret if he'd call off the dogs. Presumably he wanted to avoid any hint of scandal.


Sean | 313 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "Strange ending. So we've got [spoilers removed] but that's okay because people frolic in the snow.

Did I miss something? How were [spoilers removed]"


I was really bothered by all that stuff, too. It's one thing to focus on the more positive aspects of life back then, but Si seems to almost deliberately ignore the less pleasant bits. Yes, life seems great and wonderful, but most of the people he interacts with are upper middle-class WASPs.

And yes, Si may be worried about the horrors of WWI, but what about the Spanish-American War, or the Philippine-American War? The not-so-pleasant overtones of imperialism, which the US will gleefully take part in? I guess all that's just fine, because everyone (or at least those who actually matter) are just so happy.


message 4: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2304 comments Keep in mind that the author was in his late 50s when he wrote this. Si might be 28, but his creator came of age in the Depression and clearly remembers the 1920s (Finney was born in 1911). His attitude toward the changes of the 60s may well have informed Si's take on the 1880s.


message 5: by Sean (new) - added it

Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 2348 comments Rick wrote: "His attitude toward the changes of the 60s may well have informed Si's take on the 1880s."

Changes like the civil rights movement and women's liberation lead him to idealize an era when blacks and women were second class citizens? "Oh no, people fighting for their rights are inconveniencing me. Why couldn't I live in a time when those people knew their proper place?"

It makes perfect sense that Finney wrote this book in 1969/70, right after Nixon won the presidency on a campaign to restore "law and order" to the United States -- code words for cracking down on blacks and the anti-war movement through the implementation of the War on Drugs, the militarization of the police force and aggressive domestic spy programs. White America in 1970 was totally down with the idea that civil rights, women's rights and anti-war activists were ruining America and the past had been a better time.

Totally unlike today.


message 6: by Rick (last edited Nov 17, 2015 10:51AM) (new)

Rick | 2304 comments Sean - I don't KNOW that he disliked those changes. I'm not familiar with his life and attitudes so take my above post as speculation vs fact. But there were a lot of people who came of age in a different era and who didn't like the 60s attitudes. It's less that the opposed civil rights and more that the world was changing around them in ways that they didn't understand. Also, change is risk and these were people close to the end of their lives for the most part (within 15 years or so, on average). They didn't have a lot of room to accommodate upheaval and the risks it brings plus they'd SEEN upheaval having seen the Depression and a world war.

Some of these were people who came through the Depression and WW2 and felt that much of the 60s was disrespecting the people who'd made the freedoms of the 60s possible in the first place. These were people who'd fought (directly or indirectly) Hitler and Japan to preserve the US and to see the flag they fought for trampled... is it really that odd they'd feel threatened by changes that seemed to challenge everything they stood for?

Too, it's an age thing. I'm in my late 50s (oh god...) and I see some friends becoming insular. They play music that we all loved in our 20s, etc. And this is a generation that didn't go through the Depression or a world war. People change as they age and it's not atypical to become more about safety and less about new things. I find that sad and guard against it but... I was raised by parents who were born in 1915 and 1922 and who took me, when I was 10, to San Francisco for vacation (this was 1968) because they thought it was great stuff happening. I'm not typical.

PS: Especially if you're young (20s, early 30s) keep in mind that people like Finney lived through not one but 2 world wars and an economic depression far worse that the 2008 crash. Their parents were likely born when royalty ruled Europe and the US was only about 100 years old with the Civil War not that far in the past (my own grandparents were born in the 1890s, just a generation after the Civil War).

The 50 years from 1910 or so to 1960 or so saw an IMMENSE amount of change and that doesn't even touch on the discoveries in science, etc. It's not that odd for people to, at some point, react to change by saying "enough!" in some way.


message 7: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2880 comments Hoodie Sean wrote: "I was really bothered by all that stuff, too. It's one thing to focus on the more positive aspects of life back then, but Si seems to almost deliberately ignore the less pleasant bits. Yes, life seems great and wonderful, but most of the people he interacts with are upper middle-class WASPs."

It reminded me the Twilight Zone episode "Willoughby" where the Willoughby stop on a commuter train leads to the 1890s. He eventually decides to get off and stay. Yeah, the town square looked nice, but how about the rest?


Ivi_kiwi | 85 comments Fredrik wrote: "Yea... even with the bad stuff acknowledged in the story, the book presents a naively romantic view of the past; the references to people of the 1880s being "so alive" "moving with purpose and dete..."

Exactly my thoughts.

About the relationship of Julia and Si:
(view spoiler)


Caitlin | 327 comments I thought once they figured out (view spoiler)


message 10: by Sean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sean | 313 comments Caitlin wrote: "I thought once they figured out [spoilers removed]"

They did. That was actually an interesting twist. Too bad it (and the plot built around it) took up so little of the book.


message 11: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2880 comments Plus, the final twist is actually really good. Just 470 pages of buildup to get there.


Rochelle | 69 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "Plus, the final twist is actually really good. Just 470 pages of buildup to get there."

Yeah, the final twist really intrigued me. It was almost better that I totally didn't see that coming, but it did seem to take a really long time to get there.


message 13: by Kristina (last edited Nov 20, 2015 08:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kristina | 588 comments Caitlin wrote: "I thought once they figured out [spoilers removed]"

Thats what I remembered. (view spoiler)


message 14: by Teadragon (last edited Nov 26, 2015 12:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teadragon | 23 comments Sean wrote: "Rick wrote: "His attitude toward the changes of the 60s may well have informed Si's take on the 1880s."

Changes like the civil rights movement and women's liberation lead him to idealize an era wh..."


To many people from that earlier era, 1970s society seemed plain, evil, and crass. From my own modern point of view, many people in the early 20th century were unbelieveably naive and ignorant. However, if you grew up in a time when you were one of those naive, ignorant people, I imagine that having to carry the knowledge of the darker side of the world (which you later acquired as an adult), would seem a heavy burden. Perhaps you'd long for that time you recall from before you were mentally aware, because that was easier? This is where most nostalgia for an earlier time originates. Focusing on the perceived good qualities of an earlier time, while ignoring the negative aspects of that time, and simultaneously focusing on the more negative aspects of the more modern time. It's just a matter of degree difference among individuals.

There were many small moments of sexism in the book that bothered me a slightly, but they were apropriate to the 1970s.


message 15: by Sean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sean | 313 comments Yes, but remember - Si is supposed to be in his late-20s. He would have been in college in the early 1960s, and might have seen first-hand (or even participated in) some of that social upheaval. At the very least I'd expect him to be aware of the discontent. But if he was, I didn't pick up on it, at least not in any way other than a "those darn kids" vibe. To me, Si sounds more like a guy in his late-40s or 50s rather than someone the age he's supposed to be (though much of that could have been the reader for the audio version).

I'm not saying that this makes Finney a bad writer, but it does make me wonder how well he was able to write POVs that differed greatly from his own.


Fresno Bob | 483 comments I was put off by how quickly Si could fall in love with women he barely knew....


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