It is 1888 and Ned Henry is shuttling between the 1940s and modern day, researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron who wants to rebuild it. But when ...Show synopsisIt is 1888 and Ned Henry is shuttling between the 1940s and modern day, researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron who wants to rebuild it. But when the time continuum is disrupted, Ned must scramble to set things right.Hide synopsis
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This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It's nominally a Sci-Fi book, as it revolves around time travel, but if you are interested at all in how people lived and thought in Victorian England, you will probably love this book, Sci-Fi addict or not. The plot centers around the "butterfly effect". Someone from a time travel institute in the future has taken something from the past that seems to be causing a time anomaly. Others must find and correct whatever happened, in order to preserve the "future" (their own time). The search eventually centers on Victorian England, although the scenarios that take place during the Blitz in London really make you feel you are there as well. And as mentioned, it is laugh-out-loud funny. I have given out a few copies of this book; my sister read it on a plane, and she confirms that she couldn't stop herself laughing out loud, and reading passages to her husband. Enjoy!
Another time-traveling historical fiction novel by Connie Willis. It has some of the same characters as Doomsday Book, but a totally different scenario. In this book, an obsessed woman called Lady Shrapnell wants to rebuild Coventry Cathedral exactly as it was before it got destroyed. So she sends historians from a futuristic Oxford back in time to study every little detail (because "God is in the details"). Ned Henry's been on so many time-trips he's suffering from time-lag illness but to escape Shrapnell sending him on another mission, he goes back in time to Victorian England to rest up for a week. Only instead of resting he ends up on another mission to solve/find something, with a time-traveling historian cohort and a bulldog and cat in tow.
I never got far enough to appreciate the cat. I slogged through 93 pages and thought to myself: why don't I quit now and read something I enjoy? Perhaps it's because I don't appreciate slapstick comedy? Or that I never read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, which apparently Willis based much of this book on (and made no pretense to hide it; her characters quote heavily from it). I just could not get into this one.
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