Friday, March 1, 2013

Change of URL + THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger

Okay, first off, I'm changing my URL, so it'll no longer be "". 

What will it be? - "". So, yeah.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - May 27th, 2004
Synopsis: A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

God, I've heard people gush about this book. So many women have placed this on their Favorites lists! 

I saw the movie, and was genuinely excited about reading this after falling in love with the characters of Henry and Clare through the adaption (played by the handsome Eric Bana, and the beautiful Rachel McAdams, respectively). And rightfully so, because the story, book and movie, is wonderful!

But what isn't is the writing in the book.


I could only get about 175 pages into this book, and then I had to stop. SHE JUST INCLUDED WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

I actually really enjoyed what I got to see of the book side of Henry and Clare, and what the characters Bana and McAdams played on screen came from, you know-the originals? And, as I said, I did/do love the story, writing aside. The writing comes very beautifully at times, and I even read some lines where I questioned why someone hadn't already copied it in flow-y handwriting on a scrap of paper, taken a picture of it with one of Instagram's hipster filters, and then uploaded it to the Quotes section on Pinterest. There's some genuinely delectable turns of phrase on display here!

But then I got hit with one of the author's info dumps, these ocassional speed bumps in the otherwise flowing prose, perhaps a handful of references to obscure artists the author thinks every reader should know the work of (something like, "Clare liked the work of [insert name of 17th century French painter], who worked with [some weird medium of papermaking we've never heard of], in [rural countryside town in Europe you've never heard of], while listening to [name of 15th century Austrian musician].")

Thankfully those speed bumps didn't come up that often, so I could get past them after a while.

What I had an even harder time getting past was the chapter headers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. The beginnings of the chapter were insane! These are the things she listed at the beginning of each one:

1. A chapter title.
2. Clare's and Henry's age.
3. The year it took place.

4. WHERE it took place.

5. And if there were two Henry's (because of one of them time-travelling) she listed the SECOND HENRY'S AGE, TOO.
(This is what happens to a reader when you overload them with too much information to contain.)

Then the info dumps kept coming, and coming, to the point where she'd just talk about all of these philosophy/art/music references that confused me and made me feel totally lost, because I couldn't quite grasp what these characters obviously seemed to be experts on. I started to skip through these parts, and nothing would have come out of them, so I was like: 

I left at the point in the story where Ms. Niffenegger decided to drop the icing on the cake of info dumps, a point where Henry and Clare were playing a game of chess: SHE GAVE EVERY CHESS PIECE MOVE. WHAT. NO. DON'T TRY, AUDREY, DEAR. NO. UGH.

Seriously. She literally listed every move: "Rook to A-12. Knight to J-9. Queen to R-1." It was AGONIZING.

So... Yeah. This book definitely does not get my stamp of approval for the fact that of the author's use of pretentious references, her large and therefore ultra-confusing chapter beginners, and her info dumps that never end up serving purposes.

See ya!

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