Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Doomsday Book (1992)

by Connie Willis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Oxford Time Travel series (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,638268756 (4.11)1 / 678
  1. 244
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (amberwitch, Othemts, Patangel)
    amberwitch: A much lighter story set in the same universe.
    Othemts: To Say Nothing of the Dog is a more light-hearted time travel adventure which is sort of a sequel to Doomsday Book. Both are excellent, enjoyable novels.
  2. 152
    Blackout by Connie Willis (bell7, loriephillips)
    bell7: Some characters return in this story, set in 1944 England, and involving similar themes of how people react in a crisis.
  3. 102
    Eifelheim by Michael Flynn (Ape)
    Ape: Far from identical stories, but both are sci-fi takes on the black death (Eifelheim: Aliens, Doomsday Book: Time Travel.) There are numerous similarities, and I think if you like one the other might be worth looking into.
  4. 102
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (labfs39)
  5. 70
    The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein (Kichererbse)
  6. 50
    The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: A non-fiction book about everyday life in C14th England, written as though you the reader are there. Kivrin would have found this essential reading to prepare for her journey into the past.
  7. 40
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (Kichererbse)
  8. 30
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Both amazing books featuring dangerous flu like viruses and how people cope in emergency situations
  9. 76
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (JGolomb)
  10. 10
    The Annals of Ireland by Friar John Clyn (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: The Annals of Ireland was referenced and quoted a few times in Doomsday Book
  11. 11
    Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (Othemts)
  12. 00
    The Plague by Albert Camus (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two books that depict how communities deal with plagues.
  13. 02
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: This is another book that really brings a period of history to life around you.
  14. 02
    The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (JGolomb)
  15. 47
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (cmbohn)
  16. 15
    Timeline by Michael Crichton (labrick)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (263)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  All (267)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
Oxford, London in the 2050s. Time travel has been invented, and historians use it to immersively experience the past. Kirvin is taking her first trip back, to the middle ages, supposedly a relatively safe trip to observe everyday life around the Christmas holy days. But of course, this is a story, so things go wrong …
Connie Willis’ time travel books are not about time travel. They are about letting the audience immersively experience a period in the past as her historians do, while still having a reason to have a modern voice commenting on the differences. She does this very well, bringing home what it must have felt like to live in the middle ages when disease was rampant and hope had been abandoned. She writes characters that I genuinely like and care about, who seem to be good people, and she does a good job of letting you get into their heads.
Sometimes too good of a job. The minor frustration I have with this novel is the amount of time characters spend mentally spinning their wheels, worrying about so-and-so, wondering what they are doing now, abandoning hope and recovering it again. It is part of what lets you feel immersed in their lives, but it can be tiring after a while. Similarly, this is an age where time travel is relatively routine, but for the sake of story something has to go wrong, and the series of coincidences and misfortunes required to generate the plot sometimes gets tiring. And as this was written in 1992, many of the predictions of the future feel dated – it feels like most of the future part of the book is spent with someone waiting by a phone for people to call, or being unable to get through to someone, without a cell phone, pager, or even answering machine in sight.
Despite these minor annoyances, this was a very good book that sucked me into the world and wouldn’t let go. In the few days I was reading it I had frequent dreams about being in the world setting, a sure sign that a book has caught hold of my imagination. Having read this immediately after reading two of her other oxford time travel books I think I’ll take a break before returning to read the rest of the series, but I definitely will be coming back, and soon! ( )
  mazlynn | Jan 6, 2017 |
Quick review on this one. I read this book before several years ago and it's an unusual take on time travel. In the book, time travel is used by scholars to investigate and report back about certain periods of time. One such scholar wants to check out the Middle Ages but she's accidentally placed into the middle of the Black Plague near Oxford. Fortunately she has been innoculated against it, but the people of the past have not, and to her consternation, are dropping like flies.

Back at Oxford of the 21st century, people are dying from a virulent version of the flu. Connie Willis writes in a diary style that is both interesting and provocative. I really liked the story and plan to read it again!

( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
1/2014 ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
Time travel, time of the Black Plague, and faith. God never truly abandons us, always sends an angel of hope. Hard, but a good book. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Part historical fiction, part British comedy of manners, disguised as a time traveling story. In a sense, some of the colorful side characters were the real stars of the book, endearing themselves to the reader throughout the novel. The latter parts of the book also contain some meditations on the Problem of Evil, though the characters (and possibly also the author) do not admit this to themselves explicitly. I do have to say that Willis's prose was fluent, competently interspersed with situational dry wit. Though, I'd say that it's only as engaging as the reader's interest in the characters. ( )
  igor.kh | Nov 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobus, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuittinen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marín Trechera, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van Son, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanderstelt, JerryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, Jamie S. WarrenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"And lest things which should be remembered perish with time and vanish from the memory of those who are to come after us, I, seeing so many evils and the whole world, as it were, placed within the grasp of the Evil One, being myself as if among the dead, I, waiting for death, have put into writing all the things that I have witnessed.
    And, lest the writing should perish with the writer and the work fail with the laborer, I leave parchment to continue this work, if perchance any man and any of the race of Adam escape this pestilence and carry on the work which I have begun . . . " Brother John Clyn, 1349
To Laura and Cordelia - my Kivrins
First words
Mr. Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.
I'm in a lot of trouble, Mr. Dunworthy. I don't know where I am, and I can't speak the language. Something's gone wrong with the interpreter. I can understand some of what the contemps say, but they can't understand me at all. And that's not the worst of it. I've caught some sort of disease. I don't know what it is.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Primary sources
Researched by time-travelling
Brave historians

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553562738, Mass Market Paperback)

Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A grim story of a 21st century academic marooned in a 14th century English village being ravaged by the Black Death. Willis' story is the greatest post-modern time travel story of them all, a novel that combines a genre work with all the required components and a tour de force piece of storytelling.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
309 wanted5 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.11)
0.5 6
1 27
1.5 4
2 63
2.5 26
3 246
3.5 93
4 601
4.5 131
5 712


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 111,734,659 books! | Top bar: Always visible