Saturday, February 11, 2012

time traveller's wife

Monday, February 6, 2012:
Niffenegger has woven a tale that is at once longingly romantic, stunningly hopeful, and crushingly melancholy. I've never read a story that so jangled the sentimental nerve that hides in the back of my throat, with simultaneous feelings of joy and sadness.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012:
Ahh... Audrey? You're staring to make me late for work.

Thursday, February 9, 2012:
That's some pretty funny stuff Miss Niffenegger. And some pretty heart wrenching stuff too. And in there together, cheek by jowl, as they say.

Saturday, February 11, 2012:
Dude(tte)--I was up until, like, 2:30 in the morning finishing this thing! Couldn't put it down.

So those were my thoughts as I read The Time Travelers Wife over the past week or so. Audrey Niffenegger has really put everything into this, her first novel. The writing is engrossing, and the tale itself is deep, complex and very tightly and intricately wound. Told in first person from the POV of the two main characters (the time traveler, and his wife.) you know, in case it wasn't obvious ANYways, Niffenegger must have thought long and hard about time travel and those pesky paradoxes that show up in every time traveling... thing, because she seems to have them pretty well worked out, and worked into her storyline and very interesting ways.

Miss Audrey uses time travel like a wire armature, around and upon which she builds her story, layer upon layer, and then continuously shows us the story from different angles, as she turns and builds. We work with her as she steps back to look from a new view point, and then, again, turns to work on a new portion, that changes and colors what we've read before. Time travel becomes an allegory for drift; a loss of mooring in one's life, relationships, direction, or purpose. And love--love and dedication--becomes the anchor to keep us grounded, or the beacon to lead us home.

In a word: enthralling.

The ultimate answer to the rhetorical question: would you go back (forward) in time, if you could? Like any outlandish, what-if thought experiment, there are bound to be both good and bad things that could result. Audrey Niffenegger has been strict in telling a story that touches on as many of the potential benefits and drawbacks to an experience like time travel as she could imagine.

Niffenegger has a new book out called Her Fearful Symmetry, that appears to be going for pretty cheap on Amazon. Not sure what that means, but if I see it around at a book sale, I'll give it a go based on my experience with this one. She's also and artist, and teaches Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts in Columbia College’s MFA program. Check out her website.

And then... Read this book.

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