Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife. Book Review.

I have just finished reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, and my feelings are mixed. On one hand, it is a very engaging novel, a page-turner, an interesting blend of science fiction and romance. At different times, the story made me hold my breath, envy, smile, and (almost) cry. There is one big "BUT" though.

To put it simply, I would have enjoyed the book much, much more if the characters were, well, nicer people. I don't see how casual use of drugs, getting drunk, and (SPOILER!) sleeping with one's best friend's boyfriend/spouse on two separate occasions add to the plot. I'm not trying to ignore reality here - I know that a lot of people practice destructive behavior, but I am against making it look normal. The numeral occurrences of the "f-word" and other vulgarities seem unjustified as well.

Also, there is (in my humble opinion) a major plot issue: until Henry and Clare meet in real time, he leads an absolutely selfish yet self-destructive life. He is the kind of person I would pity, but wouldn't want to have anything to do with. And then Clare comes along, and he suddenly turns into a nearly angelic being. Just like that. "I don't believe it!" - as Stanislavski would have said.

All in all, it was a good read, but not something I would purchase, want a hypothetical teenage daughter to read, or recommend to my pastor's wife.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010