Sunday, June 22, 2008

Book: The Time Traveler's Wife

I just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Emily had suggested it several times, and she hasn't ever recommended a book I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, so I added it to my library list. Needless to say, she was right again, and I read this one in about 3 days. I literally could not put it down.

At its most basic level, The Time Traveler's Wife is a very romantic love story involving, you guessed it, lots of time travel. Henry is a man with a genetic "disease" that sends him whirling through time without warning (or clothes), to next week, last year, 20 years ago, 50 years from now, etc. The story is narrated back and forth between Henry and the love of his life Clare. Clare meets Henry as a young girl when Henry from the future shows up in her life by accident. And while it could easily be creepy that he is in his 30s or 40s and she is 6, it just isn't.

I don't have a lot of complaints about this story. There was a great deal of the story including a couple of subplots, that were very real, and there was not a lot of glossing over things that would be very difficult in reality, such as infertility, alcoholism and drugs. Henry is not the pristine protagonist that many would look for in a book. He has so much baggage and isn't always likable. But Clare makes him such a good man, and you are so busy rooting for him along the way, that it is hard to be annoyed at him when he is making stupid decisions.

A movie of this is being made, starring Eric Bana & Rachel McAdams, and will be released in December. Not sure how I feel about this. If you read the book, you will understand how complicated it would be to translate the depth of the book to screen. But I am also willing to give a try. Generally, I look at the film adaptation of a good book as an accessory for entertainment purposes only. Let's hope this one doesn't disappoint.

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