Monday, June 29, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Time Traveler's Wife is a story about a man who travels back and forth in time and creates an enduring relationship with his future wife.

I loved Audrey Niffenegger's concept but the book fell far short of my expectations. Her characters were inconsistent and because of the inconsistencies it was difficult to become involved in their lives and care about their futures.

The biggest problem in the book is with Niffenegger's endless attempts to make her characters hip with long lists of subculture bands and the arts not to mention her use of obscene language. She tries much too hard to add hipster credibility and, frankly, it is forced and boring--the opposite of what she was trying to do with these characters.

The second problem with the story is the writing itself. While there are moments of greatness in the writing, most of the content is wordy and tiring yet somehow through all those words, wonderful minute details were lost leaving the characters lacking depth. There was an entire paragraph devoted to the contents of a shopping list but the anger Clare feels at always being left behind is only briefly mentioned at various points through the story.

I appreciate the general idea of the story. That story would have been a great story to tell. Unfortunately, it ended up hidden behind Niffenegger's idea of a hipster, wordy language and flat characters.

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