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Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
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Doomsday Book (original 1992; edition 1994)

by Connie Willis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,500256790 (4.12)1 / 660
Member:divinenanny
Title:Doomsday Book
Authors:Connie Willis (Author)
Info:Bantam Books (1994), New York, Mass Market Paperback, 578p.
Collections:Your library, eBooks, LonCon3, Read, Read 2010, The List, Buy and Get 2010, Readable
Rating:****
Tags:time travel, ukfeb2010, science fiction, 1400s, england, read2010, hugo, fiction, nebula, locus

Work details

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992)

  1. 234
    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, loriephillips)
    bell7: Some characters return in this story, set in 1944 England, and involving similar themes of how people react in a crisis.
  3. 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.
  4. 102
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
  5. 70
    The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  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. 30
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (Kichererbse)
  8. 20
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Both amazing books featuring dangerous flu like viruses and how people cope in emergency situations
  9. 76
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (JGolomb)
  10. 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
  11. 11
    Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (Othemts)
  12. 00
    The Plague by Albert Camus (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two books that depict how communities deal with plagues.
  13. 02
    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. 02
    The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (JGolomb)
  15. 47
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (cmbohn)
  16. 15
    Timeline by Michael Crichton (labrick)
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English (252)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  All languages (256)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
It was very good no doubt, but on the other hand, emotionally draining. After reading Outlander last year, I was looking for a good time travel (Outlander I did not find satisfactory in that regard), and I was not disappointed this time. It's my first Connie Willis book, and not quite what I expected to find - I had a vague idea that she also wrote To Say Nothing of the Dog, which sounded like a funny book, and I wrongly assumed that all of her books would be in that vein.... big big mistake. I got myself in the middle of 2 epidemics - 1 in the book's present time and one in 14th century Europe (yes, the plague...)
I was browsing some reviews to see what other people thought of this book, and it's interesting how they either absolutely loved it or they very much hated it. It's not a book you forget when you put down or feel indifferent about. Some complaints were related to the fact that the first part is monotonous and repetitive. Indeed the characters seem to go round and round and round, they are having their little obsessions and doing the same things over and over again - to me this seemed almost hypnotic, it was like pulling you into the rhythm of the characters, like a spider weaving its web around you... And then all hell breaks loose... It was strange that having characters dropping like flies every other page, in the end it was the cow that nobody cared to milk that finally broke my heart...
All in all, it is an admirable book, but I do not imagine I would ever want to read it a second time. ( )
  LauraM77 | Jun 28, 2016 |
Finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. This was a very good book although found it a bit slow moving at first, this may be because it was an audio book and therefore read in smaller chunks. It gives a very good picture of life in the14th Century and the devastating disease and effect of The Black Death. This book picked up pace and you came to care about the characters both in the Modern Day and the 14th Century. The second half of the book galloped along. ( )
1 vote Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
hmmm... it was OK. There were some nice ideas and OK story, but overall a little too YA for me. Jarring speech elements too - I am sure that the author was trying to place a near future time with imagined slang, but for Oxford college professors to be talking about "vac"s instead of holidays and "mufflers" unstead of scarves.. it struck (a lot of) false notes as she used these words so often. As with contemps.
I kept thinking Father Roche would develop into a more interesting character, perhaps a fellow time traveller, but nothing that twisty happened. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |


Good story, adventurous and thought-provoking. Though too long for my taste and not my favorite genre, I had trouble putting it down. Recommended.
( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Wow ... excellent book.

Yes, time-travel is involved, which is why I wanted to read it in the first place, but this was also really moving ... yes, I cried. Sigh, I cry easily.

The depiction of life in the 1300s was immensely detailed, and the people brought to life ... making the reader really care about what happened to these people.

I've read a couple of other books by Willis, and must say she's one of my favorite authors. ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobus, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuittinen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marín Trechera, RafaelTranslatorsecondary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 4 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 3 descriptions

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