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Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
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Doomsday Book (original 1992; edition 1993)

by Connie Willis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,136285963 (4.11)1 / 739
Member:agbram
Title:Doomsday Book
Authors:Connie Willis
Info:Spectra (1993), Mass Market Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction, Science Fiction

Work details

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Author) (1992)

  1. 254
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (amberwitch, Othemts, Patangel)
    amberwitch: A much lighter story set in the same universe.
    Othemts: To Say Nothing of the Dog is a more light-hearted time travel adventure which is sort of a sequel to Doomsday Book. Both are excellent, enjoyable novels.
  2. 142
    Blackout by Connie Willis (bell7)
    bell7: Some characters return in this story, set in 1944 England, and involving similar themes of how people react in a crisis.
  3. 111
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
  4. 102
    Eifelheim by Michael Flynn (Ape)
    Ape: Far from identical stories, but both are sci-fi takes on the black death (Eifelheim: Aliens, Doomsday Book: Time Travel.) There are numerous similarities, and I think if you like one the other might be worth looking into.
  5. 60
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Both amazing books featuring dangerous flu like viruses and how people cope in emergency situations
  6. 50
    The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: A non-fiction book about everyday life in C14th England, written as though you the reader are there. Kivrin would have found this essential reading to prepare for her journey into the past.
  7. 61
    The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  8. 40
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (Kichererbse)
  9. 30
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (Anonymous user)
  10. 86
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (JGolomb)
  11. 10
    The Annals of Ireland by Friar John Clyn (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: The Annals of Ireland was referenced and quoted a few times in Doomsday Book
  12. 00
    The Plague by Albert Camus (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two books that depict how communities deal with plagues.
  13. 12
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: This is another book that really brings a period of history to life around you.
  14. 12
    Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (Othemts)
  15. 34
    Timeline by Michael Crichton (labrick)
  16. 02
    The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (JGolomb)
  17. 48
    World War Z by Max Brooks (cmbohn)
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English (280)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  All languages (284)
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
4.5 stars

Kivrin has decided she wants to travel back to 1320, as she’s always been fascinated with the Middle Ages. She is prepared, but when the day comes, she is sent back in time, but things go wrong! When she arrives, she is sick. Not only that, one of the techs who sent her back is also ill (still in the 21st century). Kivrin is coping with being in the 14th century while ill, while Bahdri, the tech, can’t make himself understood to someone who could help Kivrin as to what exactly went wrong with “the drop”. Meanwhile, the illness (in the 21st century) is spreading like wildfire.

A little bit of time travel, a little bit of suspense, a lot of historical fiction. All things I like. The last one-quarter to one-third of the book had me on the edge of my seat and I just wanted to keep reading. At the same time, as the book continued on, it was heartbreaking. A roller coaster of emotions for this one. ( )
  LibraryCin | Aug 29, 2018 |
It is 2054, and the history program at Oxford is sending Kivrin back to the year 1320 to experience two weeks in the Middle Ages. Immediately following the event, however, it's clear something has gone wrong -- they're unable to confirm a successful transmission, and a previously-unknown epidemic suddenly breaks out in the present-day, making it impossible to recall her.

A charming and well-done time travel novel, and one I wish I'd read years ago. It's admittedly a bit unfair to hold it against the author for being unable to foresee the future, but it was amusing to note that the technologies of 2054 did not include even mobile telephones. ( )
  ryner | Aug 15, 2018 |
This book did for the Dark Ages what [b:Fire Watch|24986|Fire Watch|Connie Willis|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1339503624s/24986.jpg|2324159] did for WWII. It brought a human element into the loss that the black plague created, and it put a face and feelings to those that are now gone. To have a book so compellingly bring home the scope of this sort of tragedy is a truly amazing thing, and to do it in such a novel way is even better.

While certain aspects of the book are date - notably the lack of cell phones - it doesn't really take away from the story so long as you step back and suspend your disbelief.

Truly stunning book. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
4.5 stars

I think Agnes is my favourite character. Enthralling even on a reread, in spite of the historical inaccuracies. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Love this story. The whole idea of University 'field trip' to the time of the plague intrigued me and I could not put the book down once I started it. ( )
  jhullie | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Willis, ConnieAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobus, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuittinen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marín Trechera, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Son, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanderstelt, JerryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, Jamie S. WarrenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"And lest things which should be remembered perish with time and vanish from the memory of those who are to come after us, I, seeing so many evils and the whole world, as it were, placed within the grasp of the Evil One, being myself as if among the dead, I, waiting for death, have put into writing all the things that I have witnessed.
    And, lest the writing should perish with the writer and the work fail with the laborer, I leave parchment to continue this work, if perchance any man and any of the race of Adam escape this pestilence and carry on the work which I have begun . . . " Brother John Clyn, 1349
Dedication
To Laura and Cordelia - my Kivrins
First words
Mr. Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.
Quotations
I'm in a lot of trouble, Mr. Dunworthy. I don't know where I am, and I can't speak the language. Something's gone wrong with the interpreter. I can understand some of what the contemps say, but they can't understand me at all. And that's not the worst of it. I've caught some sort of disease. I don't know what it is.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In the mid-21st century, scientists have discovered how to travel back in history in order to conduct research on the past. Kivrin Engle, a young history student at Oxford University, decides to go back to the year 1320 in England. She thinks she has thoroughly prepared for a brief stay by studying the language and customs of the time. But the project takes a frightening turn when Kivrin arrives in the past delirious with fever. When she recovers, she's facing many dangers -- chief among them the fact that she can't recall the rendezvous point for her return. Meanwhile, back in Oxford in the 21st century, a mysterious virus is causing a deadly epidemic. Will Kivrin be marooned in the past? Will her colleagues at Oxford figure out what went wrong, and survive long enough to rescue her?
Haiku summary
Primary sources
Researched by time-travelling
Brave historians
(pickupsticks)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553562738, Mass Market Paperback)

Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A grim story of a 21st century academic marooned in a 14th century English village being ravaged by the Black Death. Willis' story is the greatest post-modern time travel story of them all, a novel that combines a genre work with all the required components and a tour de force piece of storytelling.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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