Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Audrey Niffenegger

I admit right away that I liked this story. I didn’t expect to. Basically it’s science fiction. The main character, Henry, has a genetic disorder that causes him to dislocate in time whenever he feels stressed, or even when he’s not stressed. It just happens, and when it does, anything he’s wearing gets left behind, creating many difficult and often dangerous situations. The time travel is mind-bendingly (well, for someone with ME it is!) complicated to follow, and I’m not even going to begin to try and explain it here (I can’t). I’m not a fan of this kind of story.

However it’s also a love story, and there’s something so irresistible – for some of us, mainly women I presume – about ‘true love’ that lasts forever and never dies, the kind of love when you know without any doubt whatsoever that that person is the one true love of your life and the absolute certainty of knowing that your feelings are reciprocated. But the agony – and hence the tension in the story – of having circumstances beyond your control pull the two of you apart. It’s a real weepy, no doubt about it! I just watched the trailer for the film, several weeks after having read the book, and I began crying all over again. Aside from any of this, Niffenegger is simply a good writer. She knows how to write, how to make the story and the dialogue feel real. I wasn’t surprised it had been made into a film so quickly. I can understand people not liking the book; there are many one star reviews on Amazon among the flood of positive reviews and the writers bring up good points; but I liked it – and I’m not going to apologize or try to explain any further.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I really liked this book too!

Her second book, "Her Fearful Symmetry," is also really good. I really liked it and couldn't put it down. She wrote the whole thing before trying to sell it (I'm talking about book #2) and then got a $5 million advance for it! http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/books/11niff.html