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Blackout by Connie Willis
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1,9751433,430 (3.84)319
Authors:Connie Willis
Info:Spectra (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, time travel, England, war, London, Blitz

Work details

Blackout by Connie Willis

  1. 160
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (loriephillips)
  2. 130
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (pwaites)
  3. 50
    Fire Watch by Connie Willis (clee67)
  4. 30
    Farthing by Jo Walton (SusannainSC)
  5. 20
    Ha'penny by Jo Walton (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both set in World War II-era London, one an alternate history and the other incorporating time travel.
  6. 01
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (becksdakex)
    becksdakex: Time travel, WWII, Change history?

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» See also 319 mentions

English (141)  Polish (1)  German (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Very disappointing. Repetition of the same questions, the same answers, for 450 pages! There's no way I'm going to slog through the next book to see how the story ends. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
This was such a disappointing book. I knew that it was the first part of a two parter, but I was still caught off guard when there just stopped being words rather than even a hint of an ending.

I strongly dislike books and film that do this, but I'd have been willing to go on and read [b:All Clear|7519231|All Clear (All Clear, #2)|Connie Willis|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320549311s/7519231.jpg|9735628] if the story in Blackout was at all interesting. The characters were annoying at best (seriously, WWII "historians" who don't know anything about the war beyond their own small area of interest? really?), and utterly innocuous at worst. Their individual perils were real enough, but it was hard to care much about them when all the peripheral characters were in more danger. The overarching mystery didn't really grab me either.

I just didn't care in 512 pages - it seems improbable that another 600 pages are going to do the job. ( )
  darushawehm | Oct 24, 2015 |
okay, so...I read the Doomsday Book a couple of years ago for a class in grad school and was, no joke, head over heels in love with it. even as someone who doesn't love historical fiction and doesn't read a ton of Sci fi, I couldn't get enough of it. so, since then, I was like "I really need to read more Connie Willis," and Blackout kept crossing my path. I finally gave in....

unfortunately, it did not blow me away. Of the 3 main characters, I really only liked one of them a whole lot-Merope/Eileen. I could have done without michael completely, and I really just found myself confused most of the time.

Granted, part of my trouble with this audiobook could be due in large part with me. my mind has been on other things, and so my attention would drift in and out (and when michael was around, it was out a lot of the time).

the attention to historical detail was amazing, the narration was brilliant...there was just something lacking for me. I didn't feel invested in the characters or the story in the way I would have liked to be. this was just an overall miss for me :-( ( )
  klack128 | Oct 11, 2015 |
Historians from 2060 are sent back in time to observe pivotal events of World War Two. You'd think this would open the door to tons of great storylines but nothing ever seems to happen. The historians become increasingly annoying as they whine and complain about their mundane tasks, getting used to early 20th century culture and finally, becoming "stuck" in time.

If you want to learn about the Blitz or the evaucation at Dunkirk this provides some insight however I would be hesitant to even call this a sci-fi novel. There is no real explanation as to how the time travel is achieved. Plus, once they do travel back in time, that's it, they don't travel back to 2060 nor do they bring anything with them from the future to assist them in their work. They get there, they complain, they get stuck and then the complaining is turned up to 11.

Equally frustrating is that there is no indication that this is part of a series, the novel ends abruptly. I feel obliged to read the second one (All Clear) just in the vain hope that these snivelling yellow-bellies meet an untimely end at the hands of the Luftwaffe. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
I like time travel books and this one had an element of suspense that I thought was well done. The author puts you right in the thick of things during the Second WW in England. The situation of the three main characters get a bit dicey. i'll have to read the sequel to find out what happens. ( )
  janismack | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Science fiction and the historical novel only seem to be utter opposites. I mean, future vs. past, right? In fact, the two genres are closely related. Both transport the reader to strange, disorienting worlds, where the people, beliefs and social norms are often distinctly alien to a present-day sensibility.

In certain kinds of time-travel stories, it's often difficult to tell the two genres apart. Is "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" historical fiction or proto science fiction? Certainly, Connie Willis's new novel, her first since "Passage" (2001), about near-death experiences, is as vivid an evocation of England during World War II as anyone has ever written. It's also indisputably science fiction. . . .

If you're a science-fiction fan, you'll want to read this book by one of the most honored writers in the field (10 Hugos, six Nebulas); if you're interested in World War II, you should pick up "Blackout" for its you-are-there authenticity; and if you just like to read, you'll find here a novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness that Preston Sturges might envy.

That said, "Blackout" does end with a cliffhanger, which may leave some readers dissatisfied: The whole story won't be completely resolved till October when Ballantine/Spectra publishes a second and concluding volume titled "All-Clear." Still, this is Connie Willis, my friends, which means she's worth reading now, and she's worth reading in the future.
What she's also able to do is to play her reader like a newly tuned piano. Scenes that could be milked for every last mawkish drop somehow get around your defenses and wring out your heart.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brock, ChalresCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brook, CharlesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, SteveText Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omori, N.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, J.K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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History is now and England. - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
To Courtney and Cordelia, who always do far more than their bit.
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Colin tried the door, but it was locked.
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Book description
In Oxford, 2060, time-traveling historians are sent into the past so they can learn more about the events that have shaped world history, and as a new group of historians, including Merope, Michael, and Polly, travel back to World War II, they find that instead of being simple observers, their assignments are causing history to spin out of control.
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When a time-travel lab suddenly cancels assignments for no apparent reason and switches around everyone's schedules, time-travelling historians Michael, Merope, and Polly find themselves in World War II, facing air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, rationing, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history.… (more)

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