1.08.2010

The Time Traveler's Wife



The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.


"Meh."


I don't often read of-the-moment fiction unless it comes highly recommended or the cover catches my eye. This was an Oprah read, apparently (?), and a movie, so I figured it must be good to have such national fervour. (And please, who doesn't love Rachel McAdams? Anytime she's in a movie I pay attention. I didn't go as far as to SEE it, but the commercial reached me out of all the impressions that are made on me per day through ads, etc.)


I got this as book on disk to listen to while commuting -- it was my second such experience with audio books. I really got into this one while I was "reading." But in the end I look back with a measured level of shame at having been so invested.


The concept is really interesting. The book was a fun look into lives -- into an interesting situation. However I felt that it was a great idea fleshed out into a novel that just didn't need to be. The author made up a reason for the book to have been written to frame an interesting idea, via the challenges the main couple faced -- I guess because you can't just write about happy lives punctuated by time travel. There has to be some arc to the plot, some conflict, problem, eventual resolution -- or else you'd have a boring story or no story at all. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I found the non-conflict related matters of the story much more interesting than the points where I was supposed to be biting my nails and holding my breath.


Clare's relationship with her family, friends, even the relationships of her family to one another and Henry's own family dramas...these things were well developed, interesting, textured. Their relationship with each other was sweet...a little weird (age difference in past) but sweet. (Note: there was a lot of the "C" male part word in the book...ok in print but when you're commuting and here that in your car, it's a bit surprising) Could have done without the forced sex details, which almost seemed an afterthought to me, but that's just me. I was with them the whole time, trying to conceive, I was there and I was feeling it for them (I won't ruin anything here, don't worry).


Gomez emerged to be a "sleeper" character -- you didn't see your attachment and investment in him coming, but all of the sudden, there it was. I empathized with him and was disappointed that he wasn't given more resolution, whether for good or for bad, when the novel ended.


The ending, however...just didn't sit well. I felt like it was a strangely upsetting culmination, a hasty end to a long, detailed novel. I felt that a few things were left up in the air. And as a result, I felt that my time had been wasted.


Anyone else feel this way? Or was it just me?




This is a great read, btw. Highly recommend although I object to some of the entries, as I'm sure many would. If you're a bibliophile like me, it's a good time :) Happy Friday!

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