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The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife
By Audrey Niffenegger

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Average customer review:
(2855 customer reviews)

Product Description

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #251487 in Books
  • Brand: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Published on: 2004-05-27
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .90" h x 5.30" w x 7.90" l, .98 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 546 pages


  • Great product!

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor. The expressive, evocative performances of both actors convey the protagonists' intense relationship, their personal quirks and their reminiscences, making this a fascinating audio.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
On the surface, Henry and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he is or what he is doing. It drops him naked and vulnerable into another decade, wearing an age-appropriate face. In fact, it's not unusual for Henry to run into the other Henry and help him out of a jam. Sound unusual? Imagine Clare Detamble's astonishment at seeing Henry dropped stark naked into her parents' meadow when she was only six. Though, of course, until she came of age, Henry was always the perfect gentleman and gave young Clare nothing but his friendship as he dropped in and out of her life. It's no wonder that the film rights to this hip and urban love story have been acquired. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

"A powerfully original love story." -- People

"Tremendous grace and imagination . . . A love story without softness or flinchiing." -- The Washington Post Book World

"[A] time-travel love story par excellence. . . . [A] soaring celebration of thhe victory of love over time." -- Chicago Tribune

Spirited . . . Niffenegger plays ingeniously in her temporal hall of mirrors." -- The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
5One of my new favorite books. I will read this again.
By Hilander
I have put off reading this book for a long time. I had no idea why it kept popping up in different suggestions for me. I enjoy Time Travel books but this sounded more like a love story. So I kept putting it off. Then finally read an article that referred to this story as one of the best time travel stories so I decided to give it a chance.
I was immediately rewarded. This book engaged me in the first few minutes and never let go. What an amazing and unique perspective on this genre.
This is a great story.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
4The Time Traveler’s Wife is a good read. The story is told first person present ...
By JM Wilson
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a good read. The story is told first person present tense with the point of view switching back and forth between Clare and Henry. I have to be careful and not tear into this story because I know people who loved this novel. I didn’t, but I don’t want to be lynched so I’ll tread as lightly as I can. This is probably a good time to mention I don’t believe in time travel.

I liked the eighties punk rock references, but she doesn’t give any mention to Fear, Bonnie Hayes and the Punts, The Circle Jerks, The Commandos, etc.

Now that I’ve got what I liked out of the way I’ll only mention a few things that I tended not to like, the artsy stuff, the claw footed bathtubs everywhere, someone being held at gunpoint while duct taped to a tree and having an erection, someone being shot with a rifle by a hunter in the shotgun only zone of Michigan, putting frost bitten feet into hot water, the protagonist letting a guy smoke a cigarette while having sex with her, the alcohol and drug use, I could go on, but you probably get the idea.

I wanted Henry arrested for pedophilia and Clare arrested for child abuse.

About half of the time I read everything from nonfiction to westerns. The other half of the time I read sci-fi and fantasy.

Sci-fi and fantasy authors I like include Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Arthur C. Clarke, Earnest Cline, Suzanne Collins, Abe Evergreen, Diana Gabaldon, William R. Forstchen, Joe Haldeman, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Hugh Howey, George Martin, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, George Orwell, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, John Steakley, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Andy Weir.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
3A story about a relationship
By Bethany B
This is a story about two people (Henry and Claire) and the challenges of their relationship. In the case of Henry and Claire, their biggest challenge is Henry's spontaneous time traveling and the problems it creates - uncertainty, absence, two lives that are lived in two different orders, questions surrounding free will, anxiety about Henry's safety, issues with conceiving a child.

I had mixed feelings about this book. Once I got into the rhythm of jumping about in time, I was very intrigued by the story. I thought it was an exciting premise and expected more twists and turns because Henry's time traveling is dangerous. However, the story doesn't really take that direction. It remains a story about relationship ups and downs, and love and loss.

I thought this book had many moments that were very thought-provoking or very moving. Some of those scenes or themes really stayed with me. At the same time, the story also got bogged down by a lot of details about punk bands they like, food they cook, etc. Dreams are often described in extreme detail (not my favorite thing). By around the mid-way point, I was getting bored and I would set the book aside for days at a time. I think you could easily trim 100+ pages from this book and not lose anything significant.

By the end, I was eagerly turning through the last 100 pages quickly to reach the resolution, and that last section had some very touching moments. However, there is also a lot of build-up to the final scene that occurs on the last 2 pages and I was a little let down by it. The final scene was barely more than a page and I thought more detail would have been nice since both the reader and one of the main characters are waiting for this moment to arrive. I felt a little sold short by it.

Also - a side note: Though it's called "The Time Traveler's Wife," I really didn't feel like I knew Claire as well as I knew Henry. It seemed like more of the alternating 1st person perspectives were from Henry's point of view, and I cared for him more as a character. I felt some distance from Claire's character.

Overall: Interesting premise. Pretty writing (though sometimes it meanders and the pace is often slow). Thought-provoking. Dreamy, sad love story. Just don't go into it expecting an exciting time travel adventure.

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