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The Tourist by Robert Dickinson
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The Tourist (edition 2016)

by Robert Dickinson (Author)

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629280,594 (2.68)1
Member:rhian_of_oz
Title:The Tourist
Authors:Robert Dickinson (Author)
Info:Redhook (2016), 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:borrowed, January 2017

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The Tourist by Robert Dickinson

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Time travel / Detective fiction that'll put your brain through a mincer. ( )
  P1g5purt | Mar 21, 2018 |
When I first read the premise of this novel, I thought that it was weird and elusive, but interesting. After trying to read this novel and make sense of it, my verdict is that this novel is weird and elusive. That's it. I thought that the novel would open up into this really interesting mystery. Instead, it just kept me confused. The basic question of "what is happening" was never properly answered, so the whole time I was reading this novel, I was just perplexed. It made no sense. As in, actually no sense. I get that the author was trying to make the reader put on the detective hat... but it really shouldn't be that hard to go around and find the clues. Also, I really wasn't expecting to do that much "work"; I just wanted an engrossing, fast-paced novel with big reveals that would blow me out of the water. Unfortunately, this novel wasn't any of that. For those reasons, I'm giving this a 1/5 stars.

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  veeshee | Jan 29, 2018 |
Spens, a tour guide with the cut-rate Tri-Millennium Tours, notices one of his charges is missing when the party returns to their low budget resort after a trip to a shopping mall – in which the biggest excitement is a bumper bashing.

The twist is that they are all from the 24th Century, a drear and dystopian world following a Near Extinction Event: the remaining population use Time Travel to holiday in the early 21st Century, an era safely before the NEE.

Spens has to find the missing tourist and hope to avoid a temporal paradox… The Tourist is a literary SF thriller and the excursions into the fourth dimension can be as confusing as they are intriguing, so be prepared. ( )
  adpaton | Aug 10, 2017 |
I’d seen The Tourist by Robert Dickinson at the library several times before I picked it up. I was intrigued. The cover looked generic, the synopsis sounded like a typical thriller novel, and the spine was marked as science fiction. Something didn’t add up to me, and I was very reluctant to say that it was tagged wrongly by the library staff, a lovely group of people who have consistently remained there since I was about nine years old. I stumbled across this on Goodreads more recently and on my last trip to the library I finally picked it up.

In this novel, time travel is not only possible, its rather commonplace. It’s main use? Tourism, almost with historical and scientific research. On one particular excursion to a local mall, one time traveling tourist goes missing. Spens, the main characters, must find her. After all, there are no records from the future stating that she stays missing. The missing tourist, however, seems to be doing everything she can to stay missing as society around them begins to fall apart.

I’ve heard about this book before, mostly along the lines of ‘it’s very confusing’, something which is also reflected in the reviews left on Goodreads. However, I really didn’t find this at all.

If anything, the book suffers from miss-marketing. I do not think the blurb does the novel justice, portraying the novel as more of a thriller/mystery. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have realized this was a science fiction novel at all if the library hadn’t stuck the sci-fi tag on the spine of the book. While there is a definite mystery aspect to the novel, this is not the only or most important aspect of the book. Time travel is a very, very important part of the novel. The book doesn’t stop for any long discussions on time travel, how it works, or popular theories or paradoxes. It expects the reader to already be familiar with time travel and time travel related theories.

The Tourist is a bit ‘timey-wimey’. If you don’t read or watch a lot of time travel science fiction, this book may be a bit hard to follow. If you’re a fan of a show like Doctor Who, I don’t expect any confusion while reading.

There are a lot of things that I really do like about this novel. I did enjoy the time travel aspect. I’ve always liked the discussion on how exactly time travel works. How do relationships with family and friends change when time travel is involved? Do things like death matter in a future with time travel in the same way they do now when family can merely go back in time and visit the deceases? If you have the possibility of looking at your own future, would you? Can past, or future, events be changed, even if they’re already recorded?

This novel tackles all of those questions, providing commentary throughout the novel via the character’s actions. Some seem to have hard answers. Others, maybe not so much. It’s a fascinating study of the genre.

In addition to this, I found the futuristic society portrayed quite fascinating. Dickinson did quite a bit I loved and don’t often see. The future doesn’t have only one language. The way different cities, or societies view one another is completely fascinating. One sees another as evil, an almost dystopic place. The future world seems to be teetering. Those from one city view another as despotic, an almost dystopian society.

The majority of the novel takes place in our world around current times. The people of the 21st century are well aware of the 25th century sightseers that live and work in their midst. Both modern and future humans think of the other as strange, odd. Both sides view the other as all having a strange sameness, neither side really being able to tell one person from another in the same way those of the same century do. Neither side really understands the other. Those of the future are understandably careful with information released about themselves and the future Earth. Those of the past are an enigma due to a severe lack of information existing from the surrounding time period due to a time period of widespread extinction and global disaster. I feel that these things aren’t portrayed in quite the same way in any other book. I liked seeing these people of different times interact. The flaws and misconceptions each had for the other were very human and understandable, even if I didn’t agree with or like the character’s opinions.

As for the characters themselves… Well, I had some issues with them.

None of the characters are ‘bad’ per say. The pasts, likes, and dislikes of both main characters and side characters were all woven into the narratives. All of the characters were very three dimensional, and I found myself drawn to several characters. However, all of those I was drawn to were side characters. And this is due to a very important reason.

The Tourist follows two separate characters. One of these characters narratives is told in first person point of view. The other is told in second person point of view. Let’s talk about the first person point of view first. Usually, I find stories told in first person full of life and personality. Unfortunately, the main character of this narrative, Spens, was utterly bland. There was no personality in his voice at all. It felt more like a third person limited point of view that just happened to have ‘I’ pronouns instead of ‘him’.

As for our other main character, I don’t think using second person point of view necessarily hurt story. However, it certainly didn’t add anything special to the narrative. I didn’t find this style hard to get into, but it is very rarely used and I can see this style being an issue for some other readers.

Despite some gripes, I really did like The Tourist by Robert Dickinson. I found the subject matter interesting and the story being told had be gripped from beginning to end. If you like time travel narratives or books with alternating point of view, pick this one up. If you aren’t well versed in time travel stories or you don’t like second person point of view, this might be a book to skip. ( )
  kateprice88 | Jul 22, 2017 |
The Tourist by Robert Dickinson is a time travel novel that left me wanting. I did manage to get to the end, but it was a struggle at times. The tidbits of information that were supposed to move the plot along were few and far between and ambiguous at best. I love books that make me think and put all the puzzle pieces together in order to have that climatic moment where I can sigh with relief because I get it. That did not happen for me with this book. There were too many puzzle pieces missing for me to get a complete picture. Therefore, I was left wanting in the end.

Then to make matters worse the plot jumps around in time, to various places and different people. Making it more difficult to keep up with what was going on and whose time line I was reading about. I especially did not care for the use of second person for one of the characters. I have read other books were that technique worked well. Its use here turned murky waters to muddy.

On a bright note, I have never read such a unique time travel story. I always love when an author has the imagination to do something this distinctive. It is a pity that so many other elements of this book just did not work.

For those readers who love time travel, you can probably overlook the flaws and enjoy this one. I could not. This is the reason for my low rating and why I could not bring myself to write a synopsis.

I received a free copy from the publisher, via Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review.

See more reviews and author interviews on my blog at www.thespineview.com ( )
  purpledog | Jun 10, 2017 |
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The future is already written.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316399426, Hardcover)

THE FUTURE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

It is expected to be an excursion like any other. There is nothing in the records to indicate that anything out of the ordinary will happen.

A bus will take them to the mall. They will have an hour or so to look around. Perhaps buy something, or try their food.

A minor traffic incident on the way back to the resort will provide some additional interest - but the tour rep has no reason to expect any trouble.

Until he notices that one of his party is missing.

Most disturbingly, she is a woman who, according to the records, did not go missing.

Now she is a woman whose disappearance could change the world.

With breathtaking plot twists that ricochet through time, this is the most original conspiracy thriller you will read this year.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 09 Jul 2016 13:21:54 -0400)

"It's expected to be an excursion like any other. There is nothing in the records to indicate that anything out of the ordinary will happen. A bus will take them to the mall. They will have an hour or so to look around. Perhaps buy something, try the food. A minor traffic incident on the way back to the resort will provide some additional interest--but the tour rep has no reason to expect any trouble. Until he notices that one of his party is missing. Most disturbingly, she is a woman who, according to the records, did not go missing. Now she is a woman whose disappearance could change the world." --Jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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