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Timeline by Michael Crichton

Timeline (original 1999; edition 2003)

by Michael Crichton

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9,387136315 (3.54)98
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:Ballantine Books (2003), Edition: 1, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, time travel, historical fiction, medieval, France, 14th century, adventure

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Timeline by Michael Crichton (1999)


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English (131)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
This was a very fascinating read. Very enjoyable. Was such a nice escape from my reality to this adventure. I had a very hard time putting this down. I am not usually a Michael Crichton reader but I did enjoy this one more than most. He has done some pretty good research for this book and has blended the technology with the middle ages pretty well. It took a few pages but after that I was hooked. ( )
  ladyofunicorns | Oct 4, 2015 |
  rouzejp | Sep 2, 2015 |
One of my favorite books, i'v read it many times and i always find something new in it. Excellent fiction reading, i would highly suggest it to anyone. ( )
  C-Sharp | Aug 10, 2015 |
Not one of his best though ten times better than the crappy movie.

Students discover portal being built by rich guy and go back in time to rescue their professor who decided to go walk about. One dickhead brings some explosive and proceeds to get brained with a mace which results in the destruction of the machine so they are trapped in history yayyyyy!!!

Bunch of stuff happens they escape just in time and Billy Connelly is not at all funny. ( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
Because this story started so slowly, I almost put this book in my abandoned queue; but I 'm glad I didn't. I enjoyed the story and liked how the authored used quantum theory to make time travel possible. Once the main characters went back in time, there was non-stop action and a gripping plot. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
''Timeline'' ends with Doniger delivering a caustic denunciation of the ''mania for entertainment'' that pervades American culture, in which jaded consumers increasingly seek an ''authenticity'' of experience that not even the most sophisticated ''artifice'' can offer. (Doniger wants to market time-travel as the ultimate amusement-park ride.) The irony, of course, is that few entertainment products are as artificial as Crichton's own work. Like shiny windup toys, his novels are diverting -- they're manically entertaining. (I gobbled up ''Timeline'' in a single sitting.) But like anything mechanical, they just end up repeating themselves. Whatever time Crichton is in, he's always writing the same book.
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"All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind."
"If you don't know history, you don't know anything."
"I'm not interested in the future. I'm interested in the future of the future.
For Taylor
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He should never have taken that shortcut.
Yet the truth was that the modern world was invented in the Middle Ages. Everything from the legal system, to nation-states, to reliance on technology, to the concept of romantic love had first been established in medieval times. These stockbrokers owed the very notion of a market economy to the Middle Ages. And if they didn't know that, then they didn't know the basic facts of who they were. Why they did what they did. Where they had come from. Professor Johnston often said that if you didn't know history, you didn't know anything. You were a leaf that didn't know it was part of a tree.
Today, everybody expects to be entertained, and they expect to be entertained all the time. Business meetings must be snappy, with bullet lists and animated graphics, so executives aren't bored. Malls and stores must be engaging, so they amuse as well as sell us. Politicians must have pleasing video personalities and tell us only what we want to hear. Schools must be careful not to bore young minds that expect the speed and complexity of television. Students must be amused – everyone must be amused, or they will switch: switch brands, switch channels, switch parties, switch loyalties. This is the intellectual reality of Western society at the end of the century.

In other centuries, human beings wanted to be saved, or improved, or freed, or educated. But in our century, they want to be entertained. The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom. A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do. A sense that we are not amused.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345417623, Mass Market Paperback)

When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole," and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords, and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the social front, you should avoid provoking "the butcher of Crecy" or Sir Oliver may lop your head off with a swoosh of his broadsword or cage and immerse you in "Milady's Bath," a brackish dungeon pit into which live rats are tossed now and then for prisoners to eat.

This is the plight of the heroes of Timeline, Michael Crichton's thriller. They're historians in 1999 employed by a tech billionaire-genius with more than a few of Bill Gates's most unlovable quirks. Like the entrepreneur in Crichton's Jurassic Park, Doniger plans a theme park featuring artifacts from a lost world revived via cutting-edge science. When the project's chief historian sends a distress call to 1999 from 1357, the boss man doesn't tell the younger historians the risks they'll face trying to save him. At first, the interplay between eras is clever, but Timeline swiftly becomes a swashbuckling old-fashioned adventure, with just a dash of science and time paradox in the mix. Most of the cool facts are about the Middle Ages, and Crichton marvelously brings the past to life without ever letting the pulse-pounding action slow down. At one point, a time-tripper tries to enter the Chapel of Green Death. Unfortunately, its custodian, a crazed giant with terrible teeth and a bad case of lice, soon has her head on a block. "She saw a shadow move across the grass as he raised his ax into the air." I dare you not to turn the page!

Through the narrative can be glimpsed the glowing bones of the movie that may be made from Timeline and the cutting-edge computer game that should hit the market in 2000. Expect many clashing swords and chase scenes through secret castle passages. But the book stands alone, tall and scary as a knight in armor shining with blood. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:10 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A Yale history professor travels back in time to 15th century France and gets stuck, unable to return to the present. His colleagues organize a rescue and on landing in France become involved in the Hundred Years War.

(summary from another edition)

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