Teaching people to share

25 Jul

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Whoever recommends sharing in all things obviously never tried reading the same book as someone else. I managed to nab a copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife from the library (not an easy task), then Rose Red promptly noticed it, thought “Oh, that looks interesting”, and before you can say “yoink” we’re having to … negotiate … who gets to read it.

(It should be no surprise that it’s not my turn at the moment.)

The story is interesting and entertaining, though confusing (which should also be of no surprise – it is a time-travel story after all). The usual issues arise of free will/determinism, paradoxii, etc. along with an … unusual type of future-self/past-self interaction. It’s rather like siblings in that what Henry (the titular traveler) actually says to himself would be considered rude except that he understands exactly what he means by it. Of course, he still gets annoyed at himself, because he knows what he’s like. In some ways, you’d expect him to have a very clear perception of himself due to being able to see himself from other peoples’ perspective as well.

Again, the author does a decent job of adjusting the written voice depending on whether the scene is from Clare (the titular wife) or Henry’s perspective, as well as their current age (though I’m glad there wasn’t more from 6-year-old Clare). Their ages – along with the time-frame – are helpfully noted at the beginning of each section. At least, I found them helpful; Rose Red prefers to ignore them and just enjoy the story, finding it more helpful to have already seen the movie. Each to their own, I suppose.

In terms of the actual story (without the time-travel), it so far is following fairly traditional ground: boy meets girl, they fall in love, he has to try to win over her friends, and then her rich-but-dysfunctional family, eventually she’ll get to meet his estranged father who he hasn’t got on well with since his mother died, etc. I’m sure the unique circumstances will present some interesting dilemmas.

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Posted by on July 25, 2010 in Time Traveler's Wife


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