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Time and Again

3 Ungluers have Faved this Work
[Comment by Audrey Niffenegger, on The Guardian's website][1]: > Time and Again is an original; there is nothing quite like it. It is the story of Si Morley, a commercial artist who is drawing a piece of soap one ordinary day in 1970 when a mysterious man from the US Army shows up at his Manhattan office to recruit him for a secret government project. The project turns out to involve time travel; the idea is that artists and other imaginative people can be trained (by self-hypnosis) to imagine themselves so completely in the past that they actually go there. Si finds himself sitting in an apartment in the famous Dakota building pretending to be in the past . . . and ends up in the Manhattan of 1882. > The story makes good use of paradox and the butterfly effect, but its greatest charms lie in Si's good-humoured observations of old New York and the love story that gradually develops between Si and the beautiful Julia, who doesn't believe Si when he tells her he's a time traveller. Time and Again is laden with authentic period photos and newspaper engravings which Jack Finney works into the narrative gracefully. When I first read WG Sebald's Austerlitz, a very different book in both subject and mood, I realised that it owed something to Finney's innovative use of pictures as evidence within a novel. Really, the pictures seem to say, this did happen, I saw it, don't you believe me? The pictures cause us, the readers, to sway slightly as we suspend our disbelief; they look like proof of something we know is unprovable. Isn't it? > There is something wistful about time travel stories as they age: 1970 is now 41 years past. A lot happened in those years, and these characters are blissfully unaware of the future. I get a little shiver of nostalgia in the book's opening pages: gee, people used to go to offices and sit at drawing boards and get paid to draw soap. What a world. Perhaps if I could imagine it completely enough, I could visit . . . but no. I'll just read about it, again and again. [1]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/14/science-fiction-authors-choice

Why unglue this book? Have your say.

(Oct. 8, 2012, 10:43 a.m.)
This is one of the best time travel books ever written, especially for those who love Manhattan history. The novel makes it impossible to look at the Dakota, Central Park or the Madison Park again without thinking of Finney's hero.

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Keywords

  • Accessible book
  • Fiction
  • Fiction in English
  • History
  • Large type books
  • Protected DAISY
  • Time travel

Editions

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