Posts Tagged ‘time travel’

11th February
2014
written by Steph
A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Is there anything worse than a book you expected to love but didn’t? Since setting out to travel the world, the frequent discrepancy between reality and one’s lofty expectations is something I’ve become accustomed to, but I still think I am most disappointed when I’m prepared for a book to sweep me off my feet only for it to leave me rather cold instead. That’s pretty much what happened with this book: I wanted to love it, and by all accounts, I should have loved it, but I didn’t.  It has many of the literary elements and quirks that are like cat nip to me such as discussions of quantum physics and parallel universes (I’ve never met a book that grapples with these ideas that I’ve been able to resist; see: my love affair with Scarlett Thomas, for starters), while also delving into a topic that has become near and dear to my heart over the past few years—meditation and the struggle to live in the present moment. Truthfully, I didn’t even know the book dealt with any of this before I picked it up, so all of these things should have been a delightful surprise. They were, and yet, they still couldn’t tip me over into unabashedly loving this book. (more…)
27th October
2011
written by Steph

We don't feature a lot of sci-fi or fantasy novels on this site, which is kind of weird because Tony is something of a sci-fi aficionado. I, on the other hand, don't care for the genre very much. I don't know why, because I like science and I like fiction, but put the two together and it's like they repulse one another (or at least me!) and I want nothing to do with what you're offering. I have no idea why this is, because I like Fantasy well enough, so flights of fancy obviously don't bother me. But if your book involves outerspace or aliens, I will likely give it a wide berth. I do not, however, have an official stance regarding time travel: sometimes I like it (e.g., Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban) and other times, I hate it (e.g. The Time Traveler's Wife... though to be fair, the time travel was perhaps the thing I disliked least about that book!). So although I did not read and review Thomas Mullen's The Revisionists, Tony did, and I have to admit it actually sounds kind of cool. And since it seems to fall into the nebulous "speculative fiction" genre which, as Margaret Atwood informed us, is NOT the same thing as science fiction, nary a spaceship or alien is in sight! Huzzah! The Revisionists is one of those books that had a lot of pre-pub buzz, but I've not read many reviews of it since it's release, so if you were one of those people who was intrigued by the premise of one man being tasked to travel through time to ensure that the events of world history as we know them to have occurred (even the bad ones) do in fact happen the way they are supposed to, all so that we can one day reach a utopian future, then you'll want to check out Tony's review. Heck, this one sounds good enough that even if it had a laser or two, I would probably still read it! For a more in-depth review from someone who has actually read the book, check out Tony's review at BookPage here!
6th August
2009
written by Steph
He'll be back... but will we?

He'll be back... but will we?

When I was younger, I remember being obsessed with Terminator 2.  My parents gave me this little TV that had a built in video recorder, and one of the few things I remember recording was Terminator 2 off of one of the local tv stations (that and a clip off of Entertainment Tonight or some such entertainment new program about Jonathan Taylor Thomas when he was filming Tom and Huck… what?!?  I would have been 12 years old at the time!  Clearly that’s a forgivable offense!).  Flash forward to 2009 at the ripe old age of 26, and while I still remember thinking T2 was awesome, I pretty much only know that it starred Edward Furlong as John Connor, had a shapeshifting T1000, and ends with Arnie giving us a big old thumbs up as he is lowered into a pit of molten metal... And maybe there is something with a playground?  Clearly I had some gaps to fill in. (more…)
28th May
2009
written by Steph
It likely will live long and prosper

It likely will live long and prosper

Last weekend, Tony and I took advantage of the fact that there is a drive-in movie theater not too far outside of Nashville where you can watch two recent movies for just $7 per person, and all from the comfort of your own car!  Ok, so it’s no Imax experience, BUT it’s kitschy and fun, they have a great snackbar (funnel cake!  philly cheese steaks!), and it’s actually a great way of watching movies you’re kind of interested in seeing but don’t want to pay full price to see.  We tend to go when there’s at least one movie playing that we want to watch, but have never left after just watching one of the movies… which is how we’ve wound up watching such cinematic gems as The Mummy 3 and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (sadly, I am serious). But ok, sometimes there is a perfect storm where we wind up getting to see TWO movies we actually want to see.  Like last Sunday when after weeks of wanting to go to the drive-in but unwilling to sit through the Hannah Montana movie or Hotel for Dogs in order to do so, we saw they were airing a double header of the new Star Trek movie followed by I Love You, Man (which we had already seen, but enjoyed so much we were happy to see it again). (more…)
27th March
2009
written by Tony
My, my. Aren't we scary?

My, my. Aren't we scary?

I’m pretty sure Adrian Brody can really only play one character, but he at least does so with aplomb, and thankfully this movie is interesting enough that his acting isn’t the lone highlight. I found this movie on a list titled (I think) "Top Ten Mind Fuck Movies." Indeed. So I went ahead and added it to our Netflix queue (among some others) as I had heard about it previously and had always been curious. It’s hard to say much about the film, as giving away too much of the plotting will spoil some of the revelations that occur (which are, believe me, few and far between) as the film develops. Essentially, Brody plays an Iraq war (the first one, the movie isn't quite that prescient, though it did come out right about the time we were getting in over our heads a second time) vet who was shot in the head and lost his memory. Once he is home he is inadvertently swept up in a situation where he again suffers amnesia and is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Being determined mentally unstable, he is sent to a rather ominous asylum where the head doctor (yes, both meanings of "head") begins an experimental treatment regime that is essentially drug addled sensory deprivation. (more…)
7th March
2009
written by Steph
If I could travel back in time, would I read this book again?

If I could travel back in time, would I read this book again?

Guys, I think I’m becoming cynical (cue loud rounds of: “BECOMING?!?!”).  This is the most recent book in a string of books in which I have utterly failed to empathize and connect with the characters and have just wanted to wring their necks and point out how stupid/selfish/in need of therapy/terrible they are… and this is supposed to be a Romance.  Not good. To be fair, I didn’t loathe The Time Traveler’s Wife.  There were moments I thought were quite interesting, or that I admit touched my rock-hard heart, and I thought the central conceit of the time traveling and the narrative possibilities it opened up was very cool and well done, but in the end things didn’t completely add up for me, and there were more things that I disliked about it than liked.  Which means that this is going to be a really fun review to write!  😉  Seriously though, my trajectory for reading this novel was mild intrigue but general indifference for the first 200 pages, then acute and fierce hatred for the next 250 pages, and then slight horror at myself for the remainder when I found myself somewhat moved and touched by the events that tie up the novel even though it had been obvious that this was the natural course the novel would take for quite some while (mostly because Niffenegger states outright that this is where things are heading). But before I get too far ahead of myself in dissecting the novel, I’ll let the 12 of you who haven’t read it know what it’s loosely about.  The Time Traveler’s Wife essentially traces the life of Clare Abshire & Henry DeTamble, as they meet, fall in love, get married, and live their lives together.  The only thing is, Henry has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel during moments of extreme stress, so Clare and Henry actually first meet when Clare is 6 and Henry is 38.  While Clare’s life moves forward linearly, suffice it to say that Henry’s kind of doesn’t.  So it’s a love story with a twist.  And really, that’s all I can say without giving away specific plot details that it would probably be best you discovered on your own if you intend to read this book.  And if you do intend to read this book, you should probably stop reading here because after the jump, I am going to get into the specifics of what did and didn’t work for me in this book. (more…)