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The Map of Time: A Novel by Felix J Palma

The Map of Time: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2012)

by Felix J Palma

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Title:The Map of Time: A Novel
Authors:Felix J Palma
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The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma (2008)

  1. 00
    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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English (99)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
2.5 (for now)
If you haven't read or you are planning to read The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, do it before reading this book since it is almost completely retold here. The Time Machine is too good to be read as a retelling for the first time.

I can't remember the last time I had difficulty rating a book. Sometimes I can't make up my mind right away, but it doesn't last long. With The Map of Time it is even worse than that. On the one hand some things are five star material and on the other, there are quite a few things which deserve one star rating (for me, at least).

That being said, The Map of Time is a very strange story. I've read only the blurb, which is so misleading that you will wonder if you've read the same book. I went into it without reading any reviews. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. I was surprised a few times, which is a good thing. But I was also bored at times, especially when occasional tedious history or literary lessons started. Further more, after reading the complete story, I have this feeling that everything I've read isn't new and that it can be found somewhere else.

The novel is divided into three parts, three overlapping stories. It is told by an omnipresent narrator, another thing which I'll come back to, and each of the three stories have their own shorter ones.

The first starts with a young man preparing to commit suicide on the eighth anniversary of the death of his beloved, the last victim of Jack the Ripper. His cousin offers another solution. The rest of the story is their attempt of saving the girl with the help of H.G. Wells and his time machine.
The second story chronologically starts before the first, but as the annoying narrator tells us (yes, us) he chose that order just because "there are stories that cannot begin at their beginning, and perhaps this is one of them." It doesn't matter anyway. This is about an upper-class woman bored with everything and everyone around her, dreaming of all-consuming love and uncontrollable passion. A company Murray's Time Travel offers journeys to the year 2000 on their flier and Claire decides to go with her friend and see the final battle between automatons and humans. Her plan is to stay there. Her attempt to stay behind triggers a strange chain of events. This story also involves H.G. Wells. It's up to us to decide if it is a true happy ending.
While Wells is a glue that holds this book together, he is only a side character in the first two stories. In the third he is directly involved. Someone is killing people in London leaving them with a hole in their chest and quotations from novels not yet published. Their wound is so strange that Scotland Yard inspector suspects a time-traveller, so Wells is the one who tries to find the murderer who may be from another era.

What I don't like in this book is its omniscient narrator who constantly reminds us of his presence and knowledge. The story is often interrupted by the narrator to tell us this or that about the characters, the events, the future and whatnot.
Next, the book is pretty slow. It would have been better if it hadn't meandered all around the place (we don't have to know every single tiny thing about a character passing through a hallway).

Some reasons why I am not rating this higher are those occasional tedious history lessons (especially near the end of the book), the depiction of women (not one of the women has any personality), wrong origin of one of the most famous people in science and retelling of The Time Machine almost in its entirety. Since I've read The Time Machine it wasn't so bad and I was just reminded of the events, but still there was no need for all that. These are just my personal preferences.

We are warned by that omniscient narrator that the story is not what you think it is. Neither is what I just wrote here. If you want to read it, expect a lot more than you could find in what I wrote.

Anyway, I'll play it safe and rate it almost I like it. For me this definitely wasn't a four/five-star book, but I but I'll probably try the second one anyway.

( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
Went on a bender from a really good read to a really strange one very quickly. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
If this series interests you, consider reading the second book, "The Map of the Sky" first and then approach this novel as the prequel. "The Map of the Sky" is not only a novel that stands well alone, but it is also intelligently written, complete with action and social analysis. In contrast, "The Map of Time" is an enjoyable read but lacking in the philosophical intrigue and action sequences present in the second. In addition, what the reader doesn't know about the series serves as an advantage for the second book, which would otherwise be lost were the books read in their original sequence. ( )
  Meghanista | Sep 20, 2015 |
I found the framing annoying, groping desperately for post-modernism and trying too hard to be smart. All of these are aspects to a book that will not warm me to it.

It was a struggle to read this one, I honestly didn't care if all the characters were killed. This story has a mishmash of ideas about time travel that are all thrown at the reader, sometimes in long letters, featuring H G Wells as a main character, with cameos by Bram Stoker and Henry James and honestly it didn't engage me. It features a lot of theories about time travel and many different twists and turns that end the reader in knots. Yeah, there were some parts that moved faster but I was very willing to leave long gaps between reading.

There are readers for this book, I'm not one. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Aug 25, 2015 |
My God, that cover. Oh, and the blurb. I want this book. Now.
  KillerCorp | Jul 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (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 editionsconfirmed
Caistor, NickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marchetti, PierpaoloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solum, KristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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
Fate, choice: would you go back in
Time to change your life?

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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)

(summary from another edition)

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