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Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel, #1)
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Doomsday Book > DB: November 2017 Pick - Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (last edited Oct 20, 2017 04:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6887 comments Mod
As Tom and Dave already indicated in the voting thread Doomsday Book by Connie Willis won the poll for our November pick.


Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1416 comments Hmm, not in my library....

If I recall correctly a very well written but dark text.


Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 506 comments Already on my bookshelf, but I suspect I'll go with the audio book this time round so that I can finish it in time to discuss it ...


message 4: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6887 comments Mod
I'm doing the audio. I'm a bit overloaded on books, and my library has the audio on Overdrive. I sampled it on audible, narrator sounds decent.


message 5: by Sean (new) - rated it 1 star

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments My recommendation: Once the time travel happens, skip all the future scenes unless you think Three's Company is the best sitcom ever.


message 6: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
Sean wrote: "My recommendation: Once the time travel happens, skip all the future scenes unless you think Three's Company is the best sitcom ever."

No, but I liked the earlier British version, Man About the House, when I was a kid :-)


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1339 comments I have it, the pages are yellow and I doubt it will survive the read. I do not think the previous owner read it as the spine is perfect.


message 8: by terpkristin (new) - added it

terpkristin | 4188 comments Blah. Too bad. Really not the one I wanted to read.

I guess I'll eventually get to it. Or not. Everybody says it's depressing. I don't need that right now.


message 9: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim | 477 comments I wouldn't call it that depressing, not as much as some of her other books.


Tamahome | 6350 comments Sean wrote: "My recommendation: Once the time travel happens, skip all the future scenes unless you think Three's Company is the best sitcom ever."

I liked Three's Company better.


message 11: by Sean (new) - rated it 1 star

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments I just can't stand stories where the audience is expected to sit through endless misunderstandings that could be resolved with a single two minute conversation.


message 12: by Lena (new)

Lena Oooh, I hate that too.


Michele | 1154 comments I love this book, so sad in parts, and highly amusing in others. Her comedy does tend to lean on caricature, or having a character represent the worst clichés, or on the broadest of cultural differences clashing. Still, I can totally believe there are people who act as badly as her characters (I have met them) - it's just her books tend to have a higher percentage of them all crammed in together and being absurd.

Everyone take note and be prepared for there to be no cell phones in her version of the future. Yes, she missed that technological advance. Get it out of your system now :)


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments Sean wrote: "My recommendation: Once the time travel happens, skip all the future scenes unless you think Three's Company is the best sitcom ever."

Funny you should say that as I too though Willis took all her British Characterizations from a sitcom. I was thinking more along the lines of 'Last of the Summer Wine' rather than 'Man About the House' :)


message 15: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "Everyone take note and be prepared for there to be no cell phones in her version of the future. Yes, she missed that technological advance. Get it out of your system now :) "

A world without mobile phones. What a wonderful place that would be :-)


message 16: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John | 2 comments This is one of my favorite books. I've read it half a dozen times. It's sad but somehow very uplifting. Kivren, Dunworthy, and Colin are all great characters. The audio book is excellent. I loved Father Roche's faith in God and Kivren's faith in Mr. Dunworthy.


message 17: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John (agni4lisva) | 225 comments Rob wrote: "I'm doing the audio. I'm a bit overloaded on books, and my library has the audio on Overdrive. I sampled it on audible, narrator sounds decent."

26 hours of audio book... that is a lot of audio book. Just saying!


message 18: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6887 comments Mod
John wrote: "Rob wrote: "I'm doing the audio. I'm a bit overloaded on books, and my library has the audio on Overdrive. I sampled it on audible, narrator sounds decent."

26 hours of audio book... that is a lot..."


That's average for me..


message 19: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John (agni4lisva) | 225 comments Rob wrote: That's average for me.. "

Do you listen on accelerated listening speed? I tried that and although I liked it at first (it is great to power through a book quickly) after a while I decided it ruined the story telling aspect of the narration, which has become a huge part of the reason I enjoy audio books so much


message 20: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6887 comments Mod
No. I don't like listening at accelerated speed. I just average 20+ hours/week of listening time. About an hour in the car each day, plus time getting ready for work and daily bike rides. Plus when I do chores around the house, grocery shopping, etc. It all adds up.


message 21: by Lena (new)

Lena I listen at 1.25x so often that when I go back to normal speed it sounds achingly get-on-with-it! slow.


message 22: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth | 1137 comments My reading list is currently so congested (and Oathbringer is out soon which ain't gonna help!) that I am seriously tempted not to bother with this pick. Maybe I'll see how I'm getting on towards the end of the month.


Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 506 comments John wrote: "Do you listen on accelerated listening speed? "

I listen to most narrators at 2x normal speed. So suddenly that 26 hour audio book is only a 13 hour listen.

Same with podcasts. If I ever met Tom or Veronica in real life, I'd wonder why they were speaking so lethargically.


Kevin | 5 comments Should I read it again....hmmm...... I've been wanting to get back to Connie Willis as I did enjoy this story.


message 26: by Lena (new)

Lena I think I’m going to read Crosstalk and then if I can take a sad tale I’ll join in later.


message 27: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John | 2 comments Lena, If you want to try Connie Willis but don't want a sad story, I recommend "To Say Nothing of the Dog". It a fun book with hints of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers, and a lot of time travel. it's better than Crosstalk.


Kevin | 5 comments Add that one to the list!


Kevin | 5 comments Thank goodness that one was already on the list John. Can't add more than one book to the list each day can I.


message 30: by Lena (new)

Lena I’ll try that one too John, thank you. I bought a pretty copy of Crosstalk from Subterranean, that’s why I’m going to be reading it soon.


Sheila Jean | 325 comments Finished this morning. I absolutely loved it.


message 32: by Fredrik (last edited Oct 30, 2017 05:48AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Fredrik (fredurix) | 221 comments Michele wrote: "
(...) I can totally believe there are people who act as badly as her characters (I have met them) - it's just her books tend to have a higher percentage of them all crammed in together and being absurd.

Everyone take note and be prepared for there to be no cell phones in her version of the future. Yes, she missed that technological advance. Get it out of your system now :)."


I've just reached Book II, and to adress your first point; yes the characters are lively, and completely exasperating. I especially want Gilchrist to drop into a coma so he'll shut up with his self-righteous ass-covering blather :p

And to your second point, I made a tweet how it's funny that the phones are all video, but wired. I got a response suggestion that maybe increased solar activity have screwed up the mobile networks. If you need an immersion patch, that'll work. Or maybe it's all the time travel causing interference ;)


message 33: by Ivy (new) - added it

Ivy | 45 comments Lena wrote: "I listen at 1.25x so often that when I go back to normal speed it sounds achingly get-on-with-it! slow."

I prefer 1.25x as I find that is the speed I read at in my head. There are some books that I'll slow down to 1x though if I don't want to get to the end. Yes, I know that weird, but you can only read a book the first time once, and this isn't a race!


Bruce (bruce1984) | 41 comments Lena wrote: "I listen at 1.25x so often that when I go back to normal speed it sounds achingly get-on-with-it! slow."

I didn't know you could do that. Is that in Audible? Now I want to try it.


Bruce (bruce1984) | 41 comments I'm about a third through and liking it so far. I see the point about the characters being caricatures, but that's part of the charm too. It's kind of wordy, though, I wish I could read at 2.00X.


Bruce (bruce1984) | 41 comments Michele wrote: "Everyone take note and be prepared for there to be no cell phones in her version of the future. Yes, she missed that technological advance. "

The historical views of the 1300s are interesting, though. Kind of makes me glad to live now.


message 37: by Beth (new) - rated it 3 stars

Beth | 1 comments I think this is probably the weakest of her Time Travel series--too much running around madly in all directions to little purpose.


message 38: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 277 comments Hmm.. I usually skip the Lasers (because I have far too much else on, and I'm more of a Sword), but also I'm a medieval historian. So maybe I need to give this one a go?


Bruce (bruce1984) | 41 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Hmm.. I usually skip the Lasers (because I have far too much else on, and I'm more of a Sword), but also I'm a medieval historian. So maybe I need to give this one a go?"

If you're into medieval history you might like this book.


message 40: by Gary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Fisher | 30 comments I’m at 22% and I’m mostly listening to the audio book while I drive to & from work. However, I started reading it in the Kindle app on my iPad. Jenny Sterlin’s devivery of Dunworthy’s lines makes everything he says sound crabby. Not the voice I heard in my head at all.

Then again, Gilchrist comes across as an incompetent sleezebag. If I was Dunworthy by now Gilchrist would probably be sporting a bloody nose.

And, I know suspense needs to be built, but if Chaudhuri says, “there’s something wrong” without clarification one more time I may Lem this book. Sheesh!


Robert Lee (harlock415) | 263 comments Gary wrote: "I’m at 22% and I’m mostly listening to the audio book while I drive to & from work. However, I started reading it in the Kindle app on my iPad. Jenny Sterlin’s devivery of Dunworthy’s lines makes e..."

I don't mind Baldri saying there's something wrong, it's saying it and then conveniently passing out.


message 42: by Gary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Fisher | 30 comments Exactly.


Imbunche | 12 comments I'm about half way through and on one hand I'm enjoying the story, but on the other as a microbiologist, reading this makes me physically uncomfortable.


message 44: by Isak (new) - rated it 3 stars

Isak Theodorsson | 37 comments Beth wrote: "I think this is probably the weakest of her Time Travel series--too much running around madly in all directions to little purpose."

I'm also listening to the audible audiobook version and got a little over half way through now. While I have enjoyed it so far I think I'm getting to the point soon were there need to be a bit more happening and a little less repetitions to keep my interest. And it feels like I'm nearing the point where I've gotten more than I can take of some of the characters, I'm afraid.


message 45: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4074 comments About 60%. The "comedy of manners" thing was funny through about 30%, along with the toilet paper gag and people worrying endlessly about trivial parts of their lives while more important things happened around them. Then that started to get old.

Modest spoilers follow for 60% through...
(view spoiler)


message 46: by Gary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Fisher | 30 comments I’m a little more than halfway through and I’m pretty sure I know where this is going. I just wish they’d get on with it. A novelette’s worth of plot expanded to novel length. I wonder if George R. R. Martin read Connie Willis as a kid...


message 47: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6887 comments Mod
Yeah, I'm getting frustrated too. It feels like we're being taunted with no payout thus far. She has her characters repeat dialogue a lot too. That's especially painful in audio despite a good narrator.


message 48: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 846 comments Gary wrote: "I wonder if George R. R. Martin read Connie Willis as a kid..."

Given that George published first by over a decade (in the field, anyway; Connie got her practice writing for True Romance magazines), and Connie's only two years older, I suspect not.


message 49: by Gary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Fisher | 30 comments 😁


Michele | 1154 comments @ Gary - I'll be interested to know if you predicted correctly.

The book isn't about action though. It's about people dealing with crises in a variety of ways. You really shouldn't rush through that in writing about it.


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