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Tony Grist

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The Time Traveller's Wife [Jul. 17th, 2008|09:54 am]
Tony Grist
On reflection I hate this book. Two wealthy, beautiful, American, white people fall in love and get married. They are supported  in their idleness by life-affirming people of colour.  He and she claim to be punks and class warriors whilst  sucking up to her big corporate daddy, wallowing  in privilege and growing rich through what can only be described as insider trading- because- see- he's a time traveller and he's got the dope on the coming dotcom boom. Ah, but  there's the rub! Time travel isn't all fun: for one thing he never goes anywhere interesting (Wot, no ancient Romans? wot no, spacemen?)  and secondly its dangerous and embarrassing.  Sadly, he can't control it- it's a genetic aberration (yeah, right!)- and what  if he disappears in the middle of the wedding ceremony and embarrasses daddy in front of his powerful friends? The ending is tragic- long drawn out and dripping with molasses (Oh, just get on with it!)- but not to worry, because they have a perfect child and he (the traveller) isn't entirely dead because earlier versions of him keep popping up in his family's future.

I'm sure there's a film in the pipeline- probably starring a soulful Jim Carrey. There has to be.  Perhaps it already came out and flopped. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2008-07-17 10:06 am (UTC)
From your summary, you are so right about the Jim Carey-ness of it all. And I haven't even read the book!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 10:11 am (UTC)
I don't often feel I've wasted my time reading a book, but- well- I guess I got an LJ post out of it.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-07-17 10:44 am (UTC)
Yay! Someone who affirms my opinion. I did NOT like this book. (I also remembered their child as a daughter, but as I say I didn't like the book.) You can bet if they make a movie of it, it will be well received - it's just the kind of pap that most people seem to love.

I like the Outlander books, when it comes to time travel. They aren't historically accurate, but they're fun, even if my Scot professor refers to one of the main characters as 'Jamie with the Laughing Thighs'.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 12:53 pm (UTC)
You're right; the child is a girl; the "he" refers to the Time traveller; I guess I'd better go back in and make that clear :)

My favourite time travelling fiction is Michael Moorcock's Dancers At The End Of Time.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-07-17 02:37 pm (UTC)
I"ll have to look that up, thanks!
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2008-07-17 03:05 pm (UTC)
That's a good one - JWLT, hmmm I stopped ready when they switched location to Virginia but wallowed in the Scottish episodes.
For reasons I couldn't fathom I've been avoiding the The Time Traveller's Wife. Now I see my presentiments have been accurate. Thank you for saving me from wasting time and money.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-07-17 04:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, he called him 'Jamie with the rollicking thighs' but I couldn't go back in and change it. I've continued reading because I want to follow the saga to the end. And I'm very glad you avoided the Time Traveller's Wife.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 09:27 pm (UTC)
At least I didn't spend any money on it. My copy was a hand-me-down from my sister.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-07-17 11:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for the review--I'll pass on it, then. I keep seeing it in the library.

I'm reading a book that's so darkly witty, and it keeps reminding me of your style. I'm laughing out loud reading it--Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother, about (loosely) a rather delicately balanced, hypochondriacal middle-aged Londoner:

Here's a quote:

"He was going to die.

"Maybe not this month. Maybge not this year. But somehow, at some time, in a manner and at a speed very much not of his choosing....

"With blinding clarity he realized that everyone was frolicking in a summer meadow surrounded by a dark and impenetrable forest, waiting for that grim day on which they were dragged into the dark beyond the trees and individually butchered.

"...Unaccountably he was now on all fours between the armchair and the television, rocking back and forth, attempting to comfort himself by making the sound of a cow."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 12:55 pm (UTC)
That sounds like fun. I believe I've heard of Haddon. I must look him up.

Right now I think I need to go back to Balzac to cleanse my palate.
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2008-07-17 12:57 pm (UTC)
Only yesterday I was discussing Jim Carrey with coworkers, how I didn't much care for his brand of comedy, and his turns at drama even less. It's like Forrest Gump with three pounds of sugar dumped on it.

Haven't read the book, though. ;)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 01:10 pm (UTC)
I liked The Truman Show. I might have liked it even more if someone other than Carrey had played the central role.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-07-17 01:22 pm (UTC)
I thought that was deftly portrayed--I also liked that movie a LOT.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 01:46 pm (UTC)
It's a good movie.

And it seems a lot less far-fetched now than it did when it first came out.
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2008-07-17 03:07 pm (UTC)
Jim Carrey = Forrest Gump on a mega sugar high - excellent image.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-07-17 03:48 pm (UTC)
"Criminal Minds" had almost the same story line last night!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not really surprised. There's nothing very original about the idea.
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From: athenais
2008-07-17 03:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank god, someone else who didn't like that book. It did not deserve the accolades it was getting.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 06:34 pm (UTC)
I'm amazed at how many people agree. I was thinking I'd get a lot of grief for this post.
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[User Picture]From: zoe_1418
2008-07-17 05:34 pm (UTC)

Contrarian vote

I *loved* the book and found it totally compelling.

Go figure.

Don't really want to see it made into a movie, I don't think. It would get hung up on special effects.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 06:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Contrarian vote

I knew someone would leap to its defence.

It's well written and very skillfully put together- I'll grant you that. :)
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2008-07-17 08:22 pm (UTC)
I feel less bad about never getting around to reading this book. The most interesting recommendation I have ever heard is that it can be taken as a version of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, with time travel standing in for shellshock, but if so I think Dorothy Sayers is going to be haunting the author.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-17 09:26 pm (UTC)
I like that description and- yes- there's something to it.



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[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2008-07-18 02:38 am (UTC)
I haven't read it, but I could tell it was unlikely to be too good when it made it onto Richard and Judy's book list. Or was it Oprah's? Either way, once a book appears on one of those it's the kiss of death for it as far as I'm concerned.

Verdict: one to miss. Glad to have seen this though, in order to triply confirm that it should be avoided. Life's too short.
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[User Picture]From: mokie
2008-07-18 09:28 am (UTC)
I thought it had already come out, with Denzel Washington, but I'm remembering another flop about somebody's wife.

The synopsis I read sounded like an interesting idea, like poking around at a life from all the odd angles and such, but alas, they chose to play it safe..
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-21 06:56 pm (UTC)
I think it's due out later this year.

Yes, it's an interesting idea- that's why I wanted to read it.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-20 01:50 pm (UTC)
Aw, i loved that book. It was so lovely. oh well never mind!

http://web.mac.com/alicegrist

Check out my new webpage please - at wedding was great to see you. xxxx
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-21 07:06 pm (UTC)
Tastes differ....

Love the website!
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