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Time and Again by Jack Finney
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Time and Again (original 1970; edition 1995)

by Jack Finney

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2,601None2,290 (4.02)100
Member:damfino83
Title:Time and Again
Authors:Jack Finney
Info:Touchstone (1995), Paperback, 400 pages
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Time and Again by Jack Finney (1970)

1880s (14) 19th century (23) 20th century (17) American (18) American fiction (11) American literature (9) fantasy (130) fiction (420) historical (17) historical fiction (93) history (12) illustrated (12) Jack Finney (9) literature (18) mystery (26) New York (73) New York City (94) novel (67) own (19) paperback (11) read (38) romance (31) science fiction (250) sf (47) sff (21) time travel (418) to-read (53) unread (22) USA (11) wishlist (10)
  1. 70
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (infiniteletters)
  2. 60
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (Kichererbse, browner56)
    browner56: Both of these are well-written stories that deal with the concept of time travel in an interesting way.
  3. 30
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (bnbookgirl)
  4. 30
    To Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  5. 20
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (sanddancer)
    sanddancer: Time travel books involving journeys back in time.
  6. 31
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (zwelbast)
  7. 20
    Dreamland by Kevin Baker (bnbookgirl)
  8. 10
    The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  9. 10
    Time on My Hands by Peter Delacorte (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Two very similar books about travelling back in time to a vividly-imagined past, and the problems of changing history...
  10. 00
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (sturlington)
  11. 00
    The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Novel of New Amsterdam by Bill Greer (Manthepark)
    Manthepark: Travel back even further in time to when the Dutch settled New York. An imaginative, authentic and funny novel.
  12. 00
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
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» See also 100 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
You know the drill: if you're going to write about time travel, you're going to run into paradoxes and other problems. How to give a believable explanation of the science of time travel? How do you go back in time to change something in the past, if by changing it, you wouldn't have ever needed to go back in time in the first place? It's enough to make your head explode (mine just did).
Fortunately, in Time and Again, Finney doesn't bother going through the gymnastics of trying to make it all airtight. He doesn't waste the reader's time on the whys and hows of time travel: instead, he focuses on telling a story and describing the world of New York in 1882, the setting to which our protagonist travels.
Si Morley, an artist who is unsatisfied with his advertising job, is approached by an ultra-secret government agency. They are recruiting him as a candidate for a new project, one in which he will attempt to go back in time.
As Morley moves between his contemporary 1970s New York City and the city of the 1880s, he takes in his surroundings with an artist's eye, and that is half the pleasure of the book right there: leisurely, loving descriptions of fashions and architecture of the day; passages describing the everyday world of 1882 and its inhabitants, going about their everyday lives. It all comes to full-color life, in contrast with the static, monochromatic photographs and relics that survive from the era.
Needless to say, Morley gets in over his head in 1882, and through chance and recklessness, threatens to upend history and the lives of those he encounters. He also runs into an ethical dilemma as the ultimate goal of the government project evolves into something other than time travel for its own sake.
Finney makes amazing use of photographs, illustrations and newspaper articles from the time, weaving them into his story and giving it life and resonance. Along the way, there is plenty of suspense and drama, but be prepared to take your time, as there is no lack of description. Finney wants to make sure that the reader really sees New York in 1882, and he succeeds on that count.
Time and Again can be forgiven if it doesn't give us a blipping, beeping, science-filled description of a time machine; it also earns forgiveness for setting aside the paradoxes of time travel. Instead of tangling us up in explanations, Finney surrounds us with a living, breathing world, a time and a story well worth stepping into.
( )
5 vote ksimon | Feb 6, 2014 |
A gentle book, almost quaint at times, unusual in style and approach. Featured a low-tech approach to time travel that made the story seem far away from typical science fiction.

The characterization and plots are rather flimsy, but they aren't the point. The heart of the book is its portrayal of 1880s New York City--lavishly described and meticulously researched. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I used to work with two women who thought this was one of the great genre books ever. I wouldn't go quite that far, but it's damn good. Very 1970s in some ways. ( )
  ehines | Feb 6, 2014 |
Time-travel sci-fi? Historical fiction (New York City in the 1880's)? Love story? Mystery?

It's all here. A real favorite. ( )
  wrk1 | Jan 15, 2014 |
Outstanding tale of time travel from 1970 (semi) modern Manhattan back to 1882 New York. Though the details and believability on the time travel process itself are skimpy and underwhelming, the story is poignant. The author's detail (and accurate) descriptions of New York in 18982 almost place the reader there.
I read this upon a suggestion at the end of "11/22/63" by Stephen King. ( )
  starkravingmad | Jan 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Time and Again sends out a huge valentine to the past. It's nostalgic and there's something deliciously comforting and escapist in its promise of a New York Eden.
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Finneyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carr, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moll, C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In shirt-sleeves, the I generally worked, I sat sketching a bar of soap taped to an upper corner of my drawing board.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From Amazon.com: Si Morley is bored with his job as a commercial illustrator and his social life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, when he is approached by an affable ex-football star and told that he is just what the government is looking for to take part in a top-secret program, he doesn't hesitate for too long. And so one day Si steps out of his twentieth-century New York apartment and finds himself back in January 1882. There are no cars, no planes, no computers, no television and the word "nuclear" doesn't appear in the dictionary. For Si, it's very like Eden, somewhere he could find happiness. But has he really travelled back in time? The portfolio of tintype photographs and sketches that he brings back to the present day convince the government. But then all Si wants is to return. . .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684801051, Paperback)

"Sleep. And when you awake everything you know of the twentieth century will be gone from your mind. Tonight is January 21, 1882. There are no such things as automobiles, no planes, computers, television. 'Nuclear' appears in no dictionary. You have never heard the name Richard Nixon."

Did illustrator Si Morley really step out of his twentieth-century apartment one night -- right into the winter of 1882? The U.S. Government believed it, especially when Si returned with a portfolio of brand-new sketches and tintype photos of a world that no longer existed -- or did it?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Simon Morley is selected by a secret government agency to test Einstein's theory of the past co-existing with the present and is transported back to 1880s New York.

(summary from another edition)

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