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Time and Time Again (2014)

by Ben Elton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4552145,595 (4.1)1 / 8
It's the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history. Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it?… (more)
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    Making History by Stephen Fry (Shijuro)
    Shijuro: A tale of time-travel to prevent a world war.
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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Hugh Stanton is sent back in time to stop the Great War. The scientists from 2025 think that if the Great War is stopped the wold would be a better place. So interesting and well written, the characters are well developed and you follow along for the ride. ( )
  janismack | Mar 24, 2022 |
I remember Ben Elton for his talented writing of the Blackadder series. The 'blurb' attracted me to purchase this. Its the e-book that I read.

Novels are something new to me, by him.

I enjoyed this it was an interesting idea and quite well executed.

I enjoy science fiction, especially when mixed with some version of reality. This book has a couple of interesting twists in it that would be considered spoilers if discussed in a review.

The story flicks between 2024/5 and 1914. The main protagonist is an ex special forces, and TV survivalist (too close for comfort I would have thought with a certain real life individual). He is bounced back in time to complete a mission to save the 20th century.

While reading it I couldn't help drawing parallels between other science fiction (books and film) of this genre - The Butterfly Effect, Terminator series - springs to mind. It also seemed to me that there was a bit of confusion about what the main style should be. There was the science fiction element of time travel and alternate reality, several 'set pieces' such as the Orient Express, romance and action sequences. The secondary characters aren't particularly well developed, making them more of scenery than people. Unfortunately the scenery (worlds of 2024/5 and 1914) also lack development. The world of 2024 relies on our perceptions of 2014 to flesh it out. The historical 1941, likewise, relies on the readers' to fill in the banks. One could be cynical and suggest that this work was written with the primary aim of making it attractive to a film producer...we shall wait and see.

As I said. Enjoyable. Also easy reading and interesting ideas. Three stars because there were a few plot lines that really didn't go anywhere - Bernadette being one of them - and some confusion over the novel's identity - sic-fi, historical, romance, action? ( )
  Sandman-1961 | Mar 6, 2022 |
Ok, first thing: Overall, I think I liked it. It was an easy read and a very captivating at that. I spent half of the night reading cause I just couldn't stop, i wanted so much to know what happens next.
But. BUT.
Second thing: it was interesting and disappointing at the same time.

The main character was as unsympathetic as they come.
He is a James Bond slash Bear Grylls slash soap opera whiner type. He's all like "I'm tall and handsome and super trained in arms and combat and can survive in wilderness and omg i'm so famous it's so unfortunate and i'm so sad cause my family died and i will never be happy again or fall in love again because did i mention my wife died?.."
He spends about 30% of the book whining about that which doesn't stop him at all to sleep with another woman (why not, eh?) and assessing the other (who is actually a visitor from future so she's an important ally) in terms of "she can be even beautiful". Yeah, cause that's what's important about her.

Anyway. The main character's idiocy aside, there's some author's idiocy. No, sorry, don't wanna be rude. It's not idiocy actually or even being stupid, it's just a very superficial approach to the research.
The sandwich theory, really? Let's popularize that idiotic idea some more.
Using "gulag" as a synonym for a "camp", really? Does Ben Elton even knows, what "gulag" means? (Spoiler alert: it doesn't mean "camp"). "...died in Russian gulags", "... was sent to the Stornoway gulag", my god.
Saying something like "German Soviet Communism", really? German Soviet? Because "soviet" is such a german word? Gosh.

But, going back to the positive side, it is interesting.
And it does have a nice twist closer to the end (it was really a WOW moment for me). So I suppose if you're looking for a weekend read that is not so bad and has a time travel plot, this one can be it. ( )
  alissee | Dec 8, 2021 |
I really like this time travel book - it actually makes sense, which is not an easy feat for time traveling. Plus, it covers a very interesting time period and has some surprises up the sleeve that I actually did not see coming. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
It's been a while since my last Ben Elton and I was totally entranced from the very first page. I loved the characters, the prose, the premise and the execution.

This was a book that I read in under 24 hours and I could easily have handled another 300 pages. Such a great story: the relevant historical period was well researched and the future visions were believable.

Time travel is a particular favourite topic of mine and Mr Elton did it justice. ( )
  joweirqt | Jan 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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To History teachers. History was my favourite subject at school — and has been ever since
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In Constantinople, on a bright, chill early morning in June 1914, Hugh Stanton, retired British army captain and professional adventurer, leant against the railings of the Galata Bridge and stared into the waters below.
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It's the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history. Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century? And, if so, could another single bullet save it?

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