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Blackout by Connie Willis
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2,0621533,224 (3.84)338
Authors:Connie Willis
Info:Spectra (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Unowned, Audibled
Tags:sf, read

Work details

Blackout by Connie Willis

Recently added byInfonomist, rlangston, private library, Kkamm, hpldraspanish, memccauley6, MK_SFF_Club, Lhachwen
  1. 160
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (loriephillips)
  2. 130
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (pwaites)
  3. 60
    Fire Watch by Connie Willis (clee67)
  4. 30
    Farthing by Jo Walton (SusannainSC)
  5. 10
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (Navarone)
    Navarone: Both books are about time travel and how the future is affected due to the actions you make.
  6. 01
    The Little Book by Selden Edwards (becksdakex)
    becksdakex: Time travel, WWII, Change history?

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» See also 338 mentions

English (150)  Polish (1)  German (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
Readers new to Connie Willis will probably not enjoy her time traveling chaos, even though it is extremely well-written. Fans of The Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Fire Watch (like myself) will probably be thrilled to read another volume about Mr. Dunworthy’s harried interns from Oxford and all of their bizarre adventures in World War II England.

I suspect that all of the threads will be tied up in the sequel, All Clear, and Willis’s subtle genius will be revealed – I love her way of dropping clues in the midst of the overwhelming, often hilarious, red tape of ordinary life.

I have always thought that Willis’s stories are intentionally circular and frustrating - to demonstrate the sheer absurdity of the situations the characters are in, and to shine a light on the Dilbert-esque qualities of bureaucracy. However, the ending to this one does not seem the least bit intentional. I felt as if someone had sawed my book in half.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
The first third of the book was slow going. But once the different storylines and characters were established it got very interesting. I'm very eager to read the sequel. ( )
  bradylouie | Apr 13, 2016 |
I liked this book, it was entertaining and thought provoking about life in the blitz. I'm only giving it a 3 as a comment to the publishers. I know that the publishing business has taken hits lately, but surely it is better to publish a big book than to just cut a book in half, and that's exactly what happened here, no question. My only other disappointment is that I really didn't feel like I got to know much about the historians themselves. Otherwise, very interesting and I'm on to the next one. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
In Oxford in 2060, the history department is a chaotic place with historians time traveling to many different times and places. In WWII England Eileen is studying the experience of evacuated London children at a country manor, Polly is observing the lives of Oxford Street shopgirls during the London Blitz, and Mike is seeking out examples of heroism of ordinary individuals during the evacuation of Dunkirk. But as Eileen, Polly, and Mike work on their projects, it slowly becomes clear that the rules of time travel aren't behaving like they should be. Suddenly Eileen, Polly, and Mike must face the unthinkable: that it is possible for historians to change the past.

Time travel, WWII-era England, and slow-build of tension made this novel an obvious hit with me. While I did find it helpful to have read Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog prior to this book, it is by no means a requirement. A great combo of science fiction and historical fiction, the novel will appeal to readers of both genres. With three central characters that the novel follows, it can sometimes be tricky to keep track of some of the smaller details and remembering exactly when Polly, Eileen, and Mike are, which becomes important over the course of the novel. As part of a duology, the novel does end on a bit of a cliffhanger so I do recommend having the follow-up novel on hand to dive into right away. ( )
  MickyFine | Apr 6, 2016 |
A great idea for a story. A bit annoying the with constant "looking for the drop" routines and the italicized internal thoughts. But, I'll read the sequel to see what happens. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (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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