Item description for The Time Traveler's Wife (Today Show Book Club #15) by Audrey Niffenegger...
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.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.4" Height: 2" Weight: 2.05 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2003
ISBN 1931561648 ISBN13 9781931561648
Availability 0 units.
More About Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a guide at Highgate Cemetery. In addition to the bestselling novels "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Her Fearful Symmetry", she is the author of three illustrated novels, "The Three Incestuous Sisters", "The Adventuress", and "The Night Bookmobile". She lives in Chicago.
Audrey Niffenegger currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Time Traveler's Wife (Today Show Book Club #15)?
Did not live up to the hype Sep 15, 2008
I read this book with high hopes mostly because of the great review on this site. I'm very confused by the five-star reviews. Did Oprah recommend it or something? Personally, I didn't care for it very much.
The characters were not likable (except for Kimmy), and so much of the story was flawed. Also I'm not a prude, but some of the language just didn't fit in with the tone of the rest of the story (explained in the Spoiler section).
When the dates and ages are given, some of them are off. I know this because Claire's birthday and mine are very close...when they gave her age on certain dates, I immediately recognized that they were off. She wasn't the time traveler, so it made no sense. I know this is a minor thing, and if the story was really good, I would never bring it up.
**** SPOILERS ALERT******
There were some other weird inconsistencies. Claire and Henry are out Christmas shopping in Chicago. Claire is sitting in some store resting her feet. Henry takes Alba off somewhere to see Santa. Now, if your husband is known to just disappear and go off time traveling with no power to control it, would you really let him out with your young daughter alone in the middle of Chicago?
Claire has "baby rabies," which just gets downright annoying. Henry is just plain creepy. The detailing of completely mundane things was exasperating. For instance, in once scene Claire details every single item that Henry takes out of the grocery bags....every. single. item. Do we really need to know all of this? Also, the time they spent figuring out baby names was just ridiculous. I know some people go through this, but it seemed overboard.
The use of the words c*nt and c*ck in relation to the female and male genitalia just didn't fit in the story. It sounded completely coarse and unnecessary. Also, some of the sex scenes were just strange. It seems like this couple had sex constantly. Nothing wrong with that, but it really seemed unrealistic. Of course, this is a story about time traveling, so realistic kind of goes out the window. The scene with Henry having "relations" with himself was also kind of disturbing. Also, what was the point of Claire having sex with Henry's best friend (her best friend's husband) right after he died?
******END OF SPOILERS**********
Overall, I thought the book was a disappointment. However, the ending brought tears to my eyes, which tells me that at least at some level, the story touched me.
There and Back Again - A Time Traveler's Tale Sep 14, 2008
"Why is love intensified by absence?" asks Clare DeTamble in the first few sentences of this moving debut novel by erstwhile Columbia College professor Audrey Niffenegger. "The Time Traveler's Wife", a tale of the aforementioned Clare, an artist, and her husband Henry, an unpredictable time traveler, seeks to answer this question in most unusual and fascinating ways. Told in first person narrative which alternates between husband and wife from childhood to old age, Niffenegger has crafted a daring and unconventional love story that avoids the fluff of most literary romances, yet still manages to be beautiful in its vunerability while gently exposing the souls of its patient lovers.
Clare gets her first introduction to Henry's unusual gift when she is merely six years old, his involuntary sojourns into the past leading him to her childhood home. As she becomes accustomed to his comings and goings, she prepares for his arrivals by always having a change of clothes and food at the ready. Often times she is baffled by his physical and emotional states when he arrives agitated or vexed and/or cut and bruised, which he rarely ever explains in the effort to avoid upsetting her with future events. Eventually Henry confesses he is her future husband and Clare readily falls in love with him but he refuses to consummate their love, telling her to wait until they meet in real time (which isn't until she is 20 years old). Though the Henry of the present has no idea who Clare is when their paths inevitably cross, their courtship is quick and intense and they marry soon afterward (just wait until you read about the wedding and how Henry swings that one). The rest of the novel sees them through the difficulties of any typical marriage, including Clare's fears of Henry's frequent absences, their struggle to have a child and the desperate research and experimentation that a doctor conducts to try to keep Henry in the here and now.
Niffenegger writes with an engaging style and keeps the story moving along, despite many retreats into the past as well as the future; the author does her utmost to avoid confusion by always stating dates (month, day, year) and the ages of her protagonists so that the reader knows where and when in time Henry is. Niffenegger pulls from her own experiences as an artist and judging by her dedication of her novel to Norbert and Elizabeth Tamandl (DeTamble is nearly an anagram of this name), probably pulls from their relationship and Elizabeth's sense of loss as well as her own.
The story does leave some questions about Henry's condition that will go unanswered, such as the reason for his time travel (the book claims it is a genetic mutation called chrono-displacement) and the nature of it. Why does he transport with all major organs intact but no clothes? I have to wonder if this was done in order to create some comic relief and give Henry the humility needed to make him a character worth sympathizing, since he's a hard-drinking womanizer before he officially meets Clare. How was a middle-aged Henry able to find Clare in her childhood if he never officially met her (in real time) before he turned 28? Why didn't Henry end up in places he didn't even know, miles from where he grew up (e.g. a different country altogether)? Niffenegger offers no answers for these circumstances and it can frustrate those who want all their facts laid out on the table. The story avoids taking too strong a scientific approach (H.G. Wells, this is NOT) but it is riveting fiction and can be appreciated for Niffenegger's excellent storytelling capabilities. I eagerly look forward to her next novel and it will be interesting to see how a film version of this book plays out (supposedly due out this year starring Eric Bana as Henry and Rachel McAdams as Clare).
Bottom line: If you're looking for a good love story with some interesting quirks, "The Time Traveler's Wife" should be at the top of your "To Be Read" list and will warrant repeated readings for it's anti-sequential chain of events.
Beautiful Love Story Sep 8, 2008
This was a wonderful book. It was a page turner throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the characters and the plot all the way through. I highly recommend this novel.
Forgivingly flawed Sep 3, 2008
Sweet and well written. Easy to read. Loved the characters. There are certainly flaws, but I easily forgave them because I was so engrossed by the story. Like many other reviewers, I was sad it ended and could not stop thinking about it for days after.
emotional roller coaster Aug 29, 2008
I may be too old for romances (I'm more in love with grandchildren than lost loves these days} but I read this book upon a recommendation from a friend and I appreciated the emotional power of this book. It reminds us of love found and lost over a life time. I would recommend it to anyone with an open heart. It is very moving.