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Tunnel Through Time by Lester Del Rey
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Tunnel Through Time (1965)

by Lester Del Rey

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1705107,133 (3.68)1 / 11

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This is a science fiction story about what it would be like to go back 80 million years in time and see what the Earth was like then.

A scientist has created a device that tunnels through time. The protagonist is his son, 17 year old Bob Miller. Bob and his father's friend, Doc Tom, and Doc Tom's son Pete volunteer for a time travel journey even though the device is not perfected.

The time travelers wander through the Ice Age and other primitive surroundings, equipped with only the barest essentials. They have to rely on intelligence to survive and to escape imprisonment. They encounter dangerous prehistoric monsters and even face the possibility of never returning to the present.
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
I had this as a kid and for a Year of Nostalgic Rereads, it was a no-brainier...once I stumbled across it again earlier this year. I had another copy of the same 1971 Scholastic edition from my childhood that I found at a Half Price Books but that's gone now. I'm pretty sure that this was the first book I read that involved time travel - I was 10 and don't recall another earlier written exposure. I was enamoured, though even my 10 year old eyes saw that Lester del Rey mixed up his timelines (I had another Scholastic book on dinosaurs and knew that Archaeopteryx did not live in the same period as T. Rex). But it was still cool.

Unexpected, as an adult reader, was this nugget of wisdom (emphasis mine):
“It’s what we see or think we see that’s crazy. Not truth. Not reality.”
“Uh-huh. Do you suppose we’ll ever really know?”
“I doubt it. Man keeps discovering truths — truth here — truth there. But always a truth. Never the truth. Do you get what I mean?”
A welcome depth in a children's book... ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
I literally picked this one up off the sidewalk. One evening whilst out strolling, we came a cross a neighbor's house with boxes of books for the taking sitting out along the sidewalk. It looks like the St. Alphonsus School Library was cleaning house and didn't feel like sending someone all the way down to the Goodwill. Anyway, I tell you this to explain why I bothered to read this particular book. Tunnel Through Time is a science fiction tale written for kids. Bob Miller is the seventeen-year-old son of a physicist who's invented a method of time travel. His dad has convinced a paleontologist, Doc Tom, to make the first trip into the past. Doc Tom insists on pushing the machine to the limits, going back in time 80 million years. When he doesn't return, Bob and Doc's son, Pete, convince Dr. Miller to send them back as a rescue party. So begins a teen-age adventure in time. As time travel tales go, I found this one to be pretty lame. 'Tis a thinly veneered science lesson, imparting the latest paleontology information from the mid-1960s. The whole plot was also pretty hard to swallow. Maybe when I was a kid I would have found the tale believable, but nowadays I know that in the real world, Doc Tom wouldn't have even gotten near the time machine until it had been properly debugged. If then. Ah, well. It was a historical curiosity, if nothing else.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Oct 10, 2008 |
This is the book that started my love of fantasy as a child. A great adventure for the son of a scientist who invents a time machine. It's been over 25 years since I read it but I still remember how it captured my imagination. ( )
2 vote MDLady | Nov 5, 2007 |
One of my favorite books when I was a kid. Two explorers use a new invention to travel to different periods of history. ( )
1 vote jimandpatti | Jul 6, 2006 |
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I knew there was something in the wind from the way they were talking there after dinner -- Dad and Doctor Tom.
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