The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

19 May

 ‘This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this uncontrollable force, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable’.

I may as well be brutally honest from the outset, this had no impact on me whatsoever, it wasn’t moving in the least and was not entirely unforgettable because I remember predicting the ending with half the book to go, in short leave your brain at home for this one.

This may be seen as an overly harsh way of doing it, but I spent time on the book and I don’t want to lose too much on the review as there are many more books more worthy of your time than this. I’ll split this into a good points bad points review, partly to mix it up from the usual style and partly so you can see my overwhelming negativeness at a glance:

Good Points

  • Forwards/backwards in time meeting plot device
  • It won’t take long to read.
  • Shiny front cover.

Bad points

  • the lack of characters character, we are told a few things about both and they are repeated throughout, which for the size of the book isn’t enough.
  • Nothing to like about the cardboard characters. In fact I’d go as far as to say I severely irritated by them all by the end.
  • This is not the original plot I was conned into thinking it was.
  • A ton of plot holes.
  • Never really any feeling of time passing.
  • The obvious from miles away ending.
  • Poorly written.
  • It’s all just so plain awkward.
  • I will never be able to go back in time and not read this book.

Posted by on 19/05/2012 in Fiction


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27 responses to “The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

  1. boomiebol

    19/05/2012 at 22:31

    Ha ha honest review…” I will never be able to go back in time and not read this book” they made it into a movie…it was terrible. Guess I understand why now, if the book was bad then really the movie would only follow suite lol. Thanks for sharing


    • StetotheJ

      20/05/2012 at 08:41

      Normally i’m not so harsh, but with only so much time to read all the books ever written, this is not the ideal way to spend it. I thought I would get some angry comments from the post but I am glad you appreciated it. I hear that they are publishing the book without the shiny cover as well now either!


  2. Hannah

    20/05/2012 at 11:33

    My mum has just been given that book as a present, it is not on my to read list to check out how bad it really is…. xxx


  3. StetotheJ

    20/05/2012 at 11:41

    Long may it stay off your to read list, unless you want something really easy and superfluous to read. But i know you have many better things to read. xx


  4. Tom

    24/05/2012 at 09:00

    Unflinching. Honest. Timeless. Hilarious.

    That is you, sir.


  5. shiningstar85

    22/06/2012 at 00:53

    I like the idea of this book from the original description and the time travelling although it does sound a bit weird. have to admit i laughed at the last 2 good points you mention about the book. ‘the cover is shiny’. 🙂 by plot holes do you mean things started and didn’t finish or they weren’t sort of tied up?


    • StetotheJ

      22/06/2012 at 21:28

      The plot holes were things that didn’t tie up logically, some were so unsatifactory you could have driven a bus through them, or maybe done a sideways handbrake turn through them. Don’t ask me to name them though, I have managed to forget the objects of my frustration.


  6. shiningstar85

    22/06/2012 at 00:58

    And now I’ve just read a comment saying in some copies the cover isn’t even shiny 😀 Someone I know went to see the film but didn’t really enjoy it because apparently it was more about the wife than the time travel/ler, is this correct? You didn’t really talk about this although I know you don’t like to give too much of what it’s about away. Though by the look of it you didn’t think this book was worth the effort! are you going to review 50shades of grey? That will be another negative review!


    • StetotheJ

      22/06/2012 at 21:32

      I have been told, and I quote, “Ste J I think maybe it’s time to step away from fifty shades (physically and emotionally)”, having only skim read 162 pages it wouldn’t be fair to review it on that, however your summise that it would be negative is 100% correct.

      As i remember the book was split between the two but I think he did ‘happen’ to her life more than vice versa, it was a nice concept to have them moving through time in opposite directions as it were, even if the science was dubious. Perhaps I should engage in more willing suspension of disbelief, after all we’d all do it for Shakespeare.


  7. shiningstar85

    22/06/2012 at 01:01

    Ooh it won’t let me keep the smiley faces I do, do you dislike them that much? now i can’t do a sad face either because it probably won’t include. I know what punctuation is for, I just wanted you to know I was smiling. Might as well leave another comment since it’s actually left me logged in!


    • StetotheJ

      22/06/2012 at 21:34

      I don’t think I have done anything to deactivate the smileys, i’ll have a look at the settings and make them work for you. It is nice to know how my loyal readers are enjoying (or not) my musings and ramblings.


  8. Andrea Kelly

    15/07/2012 at 19:09

    I loved the idea of the book, but was very disappointed in the execution! For having a female main character and a female author, I was really surprised that the voice sounded so…inauthentic. (Never heard a woman refer to her own anatomy using the C* word before…found that rather offensive in fact.)

    Haven’t seen the movie, but I think this is the one time around I HOPE it’s better than the book.


    • StetotheJ

      16/07/2012 at 07:42

      I’d forgotten about the ‘C’ word bit, I was annoyed by both characters being so flat. You only ever discover four or five things about them, that are repeated incessantly, there is no true emotion from either of them and I found it harder to care for them than I would a big angry boa constrictor.

      Would you dare put yourself through the movie? If it wasn’t better than the book then it would be a travesty but tyhen relying on Hollywood is never exactly a wise thing to do. Films and books should leave each other alone, it’s the only sane option. I mean Fifty Shades as a film? The thought makes me want to weep (in a manly way).


  9. Andrea Kelly

    16/07/2012 at 17:23

    It’s true, the book was really one-dimensional…that’s honestly the only reason I would think the movie would be better – since they tend to massacre books maybe they made a bad book better? Although it’s been out for years and I still haven’t seen it 😛

    But yes, I agree, in general, the thought of turning a book into a movie, hurts a little (no one I know will watch a movie based on a book with me anymore, because I won’t stop yelling at the screen “THAT NEVER HAPPENED LIKE THAT!!”) In general movies and books should be kept entirely separate in my opinion.

    And please, don’t even get me started on 50 shades…I’m pretty sure it was already based on a movie. From an adult shop. That is NOT literature.


    • StetotheJ

      16/07/2012 at 17:36

      Haha, i’m stealing that adult shop line, sorry I mean ‘recycle’, I have to do my bit for the environment afterall. This weekend I watched Hugo Cabret, and whilst it understandably added in more storylines as the book was short, I quite enjoyed it. It Went on a bit though but it had such a lavish look I didn’t mind. Books still win though.


      • Andrea Kelly

        16/07/2012 at 22:06

        🙂 Go for it! That actually sounds interesting, I might have to check it out…
        But yes, I agree, nothing beats a book!


        • StetotheJ

          17/07/2012 at 05:20

          It’s part words and part pictures, very lovely, a proper family book. And the film isn’t to bad either. It’s always great to bump into like minded and staunch book people.


  10. Claire Ady

    19/07/2012 at 18:38

    ha ha! I loved it, I cried like a crazy middle aged woman when she dies. it doesn’t matter to me that you can predict the end, and the end isn’t as great as it could be. film was pretty good too, i thought. I read her most recent one about ghostly sisters or something or other on the back of this one, that was a bit wishy washy


    • StetotheJ

      20/07/2012 at 16:06

      I was going to avoid it anyway but now you have given me a proper excuse to avoid it. I suppose the end being predictable worked as you knew they couldn’t avoid the onrushing fate, maybe I am just a little to picky. I’ve never met someone who has the emotions of a crazy middle aged woman but isn’t one. The thought unsettles me, lol.


  11. aliceatwonderland

    06/08/2012 at 17:52

    This book annoyed me as well. It seemed like such an interesting idea, but it got confusing pretty quickly and I never did finish it.


    • StetotheJ

      06/08/2012 at 20:14

      The ending is so predictable it’s really not worth it. Having said that the sheer inevitability of it does make it fascinating in a way but not enough to make it a good book.


  12. philosophermouseofthehedge

    21/10/2012 at 19:53

    Sounds like a good idea badly executed. Will leave this one on the shelf


    • StetotheJ

      22/10/2012 at 05:04

      Yes! I urge it, it is way to simplistic and unsubtle for anything other than beach reading but then again I wouldn’t even read it there.


  13. cricketmuse

    20/07/2015 at 16:26

    I saw the movie and actually liked it because I’m easily intrigued by weird plot devices and love stories with a twist–like Lake House. I hadn’t intended on reading the book since I’ve seen the movie, but shiny covers are also a weak spot.


    • Ste J

      21/07/2015 at 18:08

      If I still had my copy I would have sent it to you because I am right nice like that. The actual device of the meeting through time was quite nice even if it didn’t quite work, I just found it all too heavy handed. Give me a cheesy 80’s film and I will be happy though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cricketmuse

        21/07/2015 at 19:36

        Aww! That is a nice thought. I think once is enough for watching it, especially since I know the ending now. Cheesy 80 film night–there ya go.



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