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The Map of Time (2008)

by Félix J. Palma

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Map of Time (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7221227,078 (3.54)119
London, 1896. Andrew Harrington's lover Marie Kelly was murdered by Jack the Ripper and he longs to turn back the clock and save her. Meanwhile, Claire Haggerty, forever being matched with men her family consider suitable, yearns for a time when she can be free to love whom she choses. As their quests converge, it becomes clear that time is the problem -- to escape it or to change it. Hidden in the attic of popular author -- and noted scientific speculator -- H.G. Wells is a machine that might offer them the hope they need!… (more)
  1. 10
    The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Anubis Gates and The Map of Time blur the line between Science Fiction and Fantasy, presenting intricately plotted time travel stories with a hint of Mystery that feature appearances by 19th-century literary figures alongside more fantastical elements.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock (brianc6)
    brianc6: A wonderful story of time travel and the 19th century.
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» See also 119 mentions

English (111)  Spanish (4)  German (3)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
A good but strange book, interesting how it's broken into three parts and focuses on different characters ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
In short, not spec-fic-wonder enough to really enchant me, but not quite pretentious enough to really piss me off.

It's more about the concept of time travel than the performance thereof, and at one point I pondered if really it was making the point that the brain is a time-machine, but both dwelling in the past and daydreaming about the future were things that could really mess up the present for you. But it's also about storytelling as time travel, using nested narratives (which, to be honest, is a style choice I always dislike) to illustrate the point. And it's also about mankind's willingness to believe - encapsulated in both brain and storytelling - and how it is both a great strength and a tremendous weakness.

It was fun to read. I found the omniscient author mostly charming (but I can see how he might be found irritating) and the Victorianesque style flowed well. The wider plot was clever and well unfurled - including a couple of hidden-in-plain-sight tells that I totally missed until they emerged as plot-significant - though I found the conceptual sum-up at the end a little bit twee (and far more literary than sci-fi; the former can flourish a clever concept at you and expect applause, but in my opinion, sci-fi is ruthless and must always pay the piper).

But in the end, it was just a bit too light-touch, a bit too smug and clever about its fourth-wall shenanigans, a bit too scaldingly blunt about its characters for me to elevate it to four-star enjoyment.

(I did finally cave to pressure and google Derek Shackleton. Somewhat amused to discover the name was familiar to me because he bowled for England.) ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Generally a fun and quick read, although I think it would have been better if it had been shorter. The final third wasn't as strong as the first two. I wonder if this book reads just as quintessentially Victorian (at least to my American ear) in the original Spanish? Whether it does or not, I think the translator did a great job. The whole book is a love letter to HG Wells, but the author's bad attitude toward Bram Stoker and Henry James in the 3rd section is downright snarky. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Couldn't finish this one. Too much of a weird mix; still don't know if it's fantasy, sci-fi, semi-historical story or what... The prose is often pretty good, but I'm just left with a feeling it's going nowhere fast. ( )
  Guide2 | Nov 9, 2018 |
In 2011, I walked into a Barnes and Noble (which still exists, btw, strangely enough) and, just like normal, the front display was of New Releases. I normally peruse these books with casual interest, maybe lift the cover of one or two to read the synopses and look with disdain on the rest of them (mostly because I'm generally not a serial reader and most authors get published with one character and decide they have to stick with that character for the rest of their lives.) I never buy from the New Releases .. mostly because hardcovers are usually more expensive than paperbacks and my To Be Read pile is so large that I can wait for the paperback.

This visit in 2011 was different. I walked into Barnes and Noble, looked at the New Releases display, turned the cover of a book with VERY interesting cover art and read the synopsis .. then I read the prologue .. then I got halfway through the first chapter .. then I realized what I was doing and that little voice in my head said, "This is a BOOK STORE not a LIBRARY" .. and so I picked up the book and bought it on the spot.

Cue the To Be Read pile. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that I only JUST finished that book.

You see the problem is that it's a book in print and I have less time to sit down and read than I do to listen to audio books (which I used to and still kinda do consider cheating). But it's more than that, because I've sat down to read other books since this one. So why did this one take me so long to read?

It's fantastic. It's one of those books that just sticks with you. The Narrator is the best version of an Omniscient Narrator that I have ever read. The characters are beautifully rendered in this manner that's not-quite-real, as if they're pictures of real people that have been tweaked with an editor's contrast setting to make them seem both more and less than what they are -- and thereby they stand out all the more. The setting of H.G. Wells' 19th century London is always a favorite of mine. Clean, dirty, elegant, and despicable neighborhoods all clash together around the characters as they travel and the story as it's told. And the plot? Time Travel has always fascinated me and this one definitely has the pre-requisite twists and turns. While not what I would call riveting like an action novel (though it has its moments), the plot definitely sticks in the reader's memory -- so much so that I could read other books for years and still come back to this one right where I left off without having to start over. The weave of the characters with each other and with the plot is like trying to untangle a matted basket of different colored embroidery floss. Just when you think you've got everything solved, trust me, you don't. One knotted thread leads to another knotted thread, and you feel like if you just pull this one string, everything will become clear .. but it doesn't -- not until the very end.

No, I really can't say more. To state even a detail more feels like I'd be giving too much away.

It's 609 pages of excellently crafted story. If you have the time to be truly enveloped by a story, The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma does not disappoint. ( )
  KitKatReed | Jun 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Though the novel occasionally moves slowly, there is so much going on that one is almost grateful for being able to take a breath, before being whisked back into the adventure. And that is what The Map of Time truly is, despite its steampunkish inclinations, and a bit of masquerading as literary science fiction: a rollicking good adventure yarn that, with a nudge and a wink and a bit of sleight of hand, is sure to leave delight in its wake and a smile on one’s face. And that, Dear Reader, is really all one can ask for.
 
Palma wanders in and out of genres—is his book science fiction? literary fiction? fantasy? Whatever the answer, it’s great fun to read, particularly for those with a bent for counterfactual history.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Jun 1, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Félix J. Palmaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Caistor, NickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marchetti, PierpaoloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solum, KristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion, but a very persistent one.
- Albert Einstein
Mankind's most perfectly terrifying work of art is the division of time.
- Elias Canetti
What is waiting for me in the direction I don't take?
- Jack Kerouac
Dedication
First words
Andrew Harrington would have gladly died several times over if that meant not having to choose just one piston from among his father's vast collection in the living room cabinet.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

London, 1896. Andrew Harrington's lover Marie Kelly was murdered by Jack the Ripper and he longs to turn back the clock and save her. Meanwhile, Claire Haggerty, forever being matched with men her family consider suitable, yearns for a time when she can be free to love whom she choses. As their quests converge, it becomes clear that time is the problem -- to escape it or to change it. Hidden in the attic of popular author -- and noted scientific speculator -- H.G. Wells is a machine that might offer them the hope they need!

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Londres, 1896. Innumerables inventos hacen creer al hombre que la ciencia es capaz de conseguir lo imposible, como demuestra la aparición de la empresa Viajes Temporales Murray, que abre sus puertas dispuesta a hacer realidad el sueño más codiciado de la humanidad: viajar en el tiempo, un anhelo que el escritor H. G. Wells había despertado un año antes con su novela La máquina del tiempo. De repente, el hombre del siglo XIX tiene la posibilidad de viajar a otras épocas, como hace Claire Haggerty, una joven acaudalada e insatisfecha que está convencida de que ninguno de sus pretendientes puede ofrecerle el amor verdadero. Esa insatisfacción la llevará a viajar al año 2000, donde se enamorará de un hombre del futuro, un hombre que en su época aún no ha nacido, con quien vivirá una historia de amor a través del tiempo. Pero no todos desean ver el mañana. Andrew Harrington es un joven que pretende suicidarse al comprender que nada podrá borrar el dolor que que siente por la muerte de su amada, una prostituta llamada Mary Kelly, que fue la última víctima de Jack el Destripador. Pero abandona la idea cuando le ofrecen viajar ocho años en el pasado para salvarla de la muerte él mismo. Y el propio H. G. Wells sufrirá los riesgos de los viajes temporales cuando un viajero del futuro llegue a su época con la intención de matarlo para publicar sus novelas con su nombre, obligándolo a emprender una desesperada huida a través del tiempo, atravesando la II Guerra Mundial y los años ochenta hasta perderse en un futuro tan remoto como insondable.

Google translation of the above: 
London, 1896. Countless inventions made man believe that science is able to achieve the impossible, as evidenced by the appearance of the company Temporary Trips Murray, which opens ready to realize the most coveted dream of humanity: to ride in time, a desire that the writer HG Wells had awakened a year before his novel The Time Machine. Suddenly, the man of the nineteenth century has the ability to travel in time. Claire Haggerty, a wealthy and dissatisfied young woman is convinced that none of her suitors can offer true love. That dissatisfaction causes her to travel to the year 2000, where she falls for a man of the future, a man who in her time has not yet born, and they live a love story through time. But not everyone wants to see tomorrow. Andrew Harrington is a young man who intends to commit suicide when he realized that nothing can erase the pain that he feels for the death of his beloved, a prostitute named Mary Kelly who was the last victim of Jack the Ripper. But he  abandons the idea when offered travel eight years in the past to save Mary from death itself. HG Wells himself suffer the risks of time travel when a traveler of the future comes to his time with the intention of killing Wells to publish his novels in his name, forcing Wells to embark on a desperate flight through time, through World War II and the eighties to get lost in such a remote future as unfathomable.
Haiku summary
Predestination,
Fate, choice: would you go back in
Time to change your life?
(passion4reading)

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