Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"To Say Nothing Of The Dog" by Connie Willis

This book was lent to me by my aunt-in-law who thought that I might like it.

Summary: This book follows the adventure of Ned Henry, a historian from the year 2057. With the discovery of time travel in the early 21st century, the profession of historian became a lot more interactive. Ned works for Lady Shrapnell, a ridiculously wealthy woman who has devoted enormous amounts of money and resources to rebuild the Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed in 1940 by the Luftwaffe. Lady Shrapnell insists on recreating every detail exactly as it was right before the air raid, including the Bishop's Bird Stump, an artifact adored by her great- great- (not sure how many) grandmother, Tossie.

Ned is sent a lot of missions, quickly becoming disoriented from time lag. He is finally sent on a simple quiet mission to 1888 where he will be able to rest for 2 weeks and come back refreshed. Unfortunately, everything starts unraveling. One thing after another gets worse and worse, and with the help fellow historian Verity, they try to get everything sorted out before the space-time continuum collapses!

This book is heavily inspired by the Book "Three Men in a Boat" Jerome Jerome and by several old detective series like Lord Peter and Harriet, Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie. There is also a lot of Victorian era poetry, mainly Tennyson.

What I Liked: This is an irreverent book in which Ned is constantly thinking something sarcastic, or hilariously cynical. The humor is multi-level and has well executed running jokes throughout the novel. Ned also spends a lot of time considering how the space-time continuum is kept stable with so many historians bouncing around. The laws of time travel physics are explored and discussed in a way that I found exciting. Also, the cast of characters is wonderfully eccentric, each uniquely interesting and fitting for their role.

What I Didn't Like: I wish I had read more old Victorian murder mysteries.

Rating: Must Read.

Also Read by this Author: None.

Reviewed by: Nick

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