Saturday, November 21, 2009

It’s a time waaaaarrrrp!

At first I was going to write about The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch, then I thought maybe I should do The Long Wait for Tomorrow by Joaquin Dorfman instead. Then I realized I chose them both for the same reason—time travel. So let’s just explore them both, shall we?

Since I first witnessed the DeLorean ride back in time, I have enjoyed time travel fiction. I love the paradoxes and circular thought involved—I love how we’ll never know, so anyone can make up anything they want, and just have to be convincing enough on paper to make it work in my imagination. I love the what-ifs, and the moral dilemmas faced by any time traveler. Each time travel book is a little different, and yet certain aspects are the same, and I’ve never met a time travel book I didn’t like.

I read the young adult novel The Long Wait for Tomorrow a few months ago. Three high school friends have to figure out what’s going on when one of them, the popular jock Kelly, wakes up and says he’s actually a forty-year-old version of himself that just woke up in his 18-year-old body. Kelly tells his friend Patrick that before he woke up in the wrong-aged body, he was in an insane asylum—but he can’t remember why…and that’s where I say, “and the plot thickens.” Kelly doesn’t know why he’s back or what he’s supposed to do, but eventually he realizes he isn’t going to leave his younger body. It’s a fun story wrapped in a few mysteries. Dorfman explores some time traveling philosophies, and uses the technique that the past cannot be changed—or can it? He leaves the ending deliberately ambiguous, but satisfying all the same.

Now let’s jump a few years into the future, and talk about an adult book about a guy jumping back in time one hour at a time. It’s called The 13th Hour, and it’s a book of the future for you fine folks, as I read an advanced copy. In this book we follow the protagonist back through time as he tries to save his wife from a very brutal murder. In each hour he has to try to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it before the end of the hour, where (when?) he will be transported back in time 2 hours to relive the hour he just relived. Confusing? A little, at first, but it’s quickly explained and interesting after that. The book starts out on chapter 12, then goes backwards as we go backwards with him, but the plot is quite linear besides the fact that he’s reliving his day. Most chapters end with a surprising discovery, whether the protagonist discovers something, or the reader just gets a secret peek into someone else’s life. It was a fun read and definitely a quick one. It would be a good beach read as it’s pretty mindless and fun.
So there you have it. To make up for the fact that I have been neglecting my posts, I have written about two very fun books. They’re worth checking out. As are these other two time traveling books that just came to mind:
The Time Traveler’s Wife (I guess you’ve all heard about this one—but so good. Don’t read the ending first!!)
Time and Again by Jack Finney. I mention this one often because my husband read it and really enjoyed it, and recommended it, but I never got around to it, so maybe if I mention it enough I’ll feel obligated to read it.

1 comment:

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    Clemens P. Suter
    Author of TWO JOURNEYS, ISBN 1439250138 -