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

by Jack Finney

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,908981,984 (4)125
Member:Veej53
Title:Time and Again
Authors:Jack Finney
Info:Scribner Paperback Fiction (1995), Paperback, 399 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Fiction - Literary

Work details

Time and Again by Jack Finney (1970)

  1. 80
    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.
  2. 70
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (infiniteletters)
  3. 61
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (zwelbast)
  4. 40
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (bnbookgirl)
  5. 40
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (sanddancer)
    sanddancer: Time travel books involving journeys back in time.
  6. 40
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  7. 20
    Dreamland by Kevin Baker (bnbookgirl)
  8. 20
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (sturlington)
  9. 10
    The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  10. 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...
  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. 01
    Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
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» See also 125 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
A strange cross between a secret-govt.-project time-travel sci-fi novel, a period mystery and a 19th-century NYC nostalgia-fest.
Liberally illustrated with period drawings and photographs that purport to be by the main character (although they obviously aren't) - but it's an original and interesting aspect.
This novel is notable for being by the guy who wrote Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
As is the case with most time-travel stories, the logic of the time-travel concept doesn't really hold up - you need a good suspension of disbelief - but the main focus of the book is a joy and appreciation for the details of New York City life in the 1880's - and the mystery and the romance do hold up their end as far as interest...
I don't know if I'd call it a 'masterwork', but it was interesting to read... ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
"In November 1970, Simon Morley, an advertising sketch artist, is approached by U.S. Army Major Ruben Prien to participate in a secret government project.
He is taken to a huge warehouse on the West Side of Manhattan, where he views what seem to be movie sets, with people acting on them. "
It seems this is a project to learn whether it is feasible to send people back into the past.
Si travels by what appears to be self hypnosis to NYC 1882.The past holds blackmail, subterfuge, romance among other things.
Initially, his activities in the past are making no difference to the present.
Dr Danzinger (originator of the project) resigns when it appears that time manipulation has occurred in another wing of the project.
The plot evolves............
---------------
Bear in mind that the book was written over 40 years ago
Things may appear simplistic and not very challenging to the reader
While not an engrossing tale, it's an enjoyable tale.

3.5 ★ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 31, 2016 |
Fun time travel novel in which our hero travels back to January of 1882. The way he goes, via self hypnosis, strikes me as improbable, but I suppose as a mechanism it functions as well as any. Essentially a historical novel rather than sci-fi, the book not only takes us back with a story, but also shows us pictures and drawings from around the time - adding to the verisimilitude. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is a time travel book but without the bells and whistles of technology. Simon was selected by a super secret off the books government entity with the information that he was special, very few people passed the entrance requirements and until he did pass, he would never know the details of the project for which he was being recruited. It is not a spoiler to let readers know that after a lengthy orientation procedure, Simon entered training to use a specific method for time travel, a sort of advanced yoga or meditation method that required a lot of information about the desired time and place of the destination. The information was gained through a lot of research by teams assigned to the secret organization. Simon then entered into an appropriate trance and woke at the time and place desired.

As with any good tale, there are conflicts. The huge conflict at the center of this book is the effect on changes in the past. How will they affect the present? Can there be changes in the past that will make significant changes in the present? Are all changes in the past significant to the present? How can we tell?

Then there is an ethical conflict. Will military forces take charge of the project? How about business interests? Or will this project only be used for good (whatever that is)?

There is a romantic interest. Julia, Simons’ love interest in the past, seems to be in an abusive relationship. Can Simon rescue her? How will that affect the present? Possibly due to Julia, Simon develops a love for the past and thinks about staying there. Can that be done?

All of these complex parts make for a very entertaining story, but they are not the best part of the book. The description in very detailed minutia of daily life in New York around 1880 will appeal to lovers of New York and historians interested more in social customs. Details of how to wash and attach a collar (for men) and the various layers of clothing necessary for modesty (women) are interesting. The details of building construction, the operation of firefighting teams, the history of 1880s disasters, and the familiar names of the startup ventures of some of today’s familiar businesses will keep the reader going from page to page without regard to time (pun intended).

And there are illustrations, giving the reader the sense of reality that being there is possible, at least for Simon.
( )
  ajarn7086 | Jan 23, 2016 |
My goodness. I'm glad that's over. Not that this is a bad book ... or badly written. It is neither. Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. First of all, I am a very literal thinker, and to suspend belief that self-hypnosis will actually and literally place you in the past was something I could never quite attain. If I am reading about vampires, I know that they don't exist, so there is really no suspension of belief needed. There was never any belief to begin with. With this one, though ...

Si is a likable character, as is Julia. Rube and Dr. Danziger are likable enough on the periphery. Kate played a big role in the beginning and then just disappeared. I never felt any compassion or affinity for any of the characters. I was never invested in whether or not the project continued, whether or not Julia married Jake, or whether or not Si ever accomplished his goals. The twist at the end left me neither hot nor cold.

I can't say that I don't recommend the book, but there are so many other books out there with time travel which I found to be more engaging. I would recommend those, instead. I will not be reading any further in this series. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (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 way I generally worked, I sat sketching a bar of soap taped to an upper corner of my drawing board.
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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. . .
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:38 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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