About 5 years ago I developed this horrible little OCD habit. Yes, I have several of these, but this one more than any of my random quirks affects the people around me. I cannot watch a movie if I know it’s based on a book… until I actually read the book first. Yes, I know it is completely absurd, and 70% of the time I can knock said book out in a week, but every once and a while I get bogged down and then my poor unfortunate family is stuck watching ridiculous “B” movies instead of the recent Box Office smash.
That is of course my reason for reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” (Which will be out on DVD in Feb.) To be perfectly honest I had zero desire to read this book. The movie trailer caught my eye and I thought, “Wow…what a fantastic concept” but the idea of it being played out in the written form seemed a tad bit of a reach. I was right.
The first 20% of this book is almost unbearable. Not because it is awful and the writing is lacking, but because it is jumpy. The book is written from 2 perspectives, Clare and Henry, but each entry (as if it was a diary) is stamped with dates, times, and ages; and to keep track of where you are, or what is going on, as a reader I found myself constantly flipping back to confirm the details.
After you have managed to get past the challenge of knowing where and when the characters exist you are then thrust into 200 pages of boring, meaningless filler. Yes, some of it is interesting, but I more or less got the impression that “Niffenegger” was simply trying to make her book longer, not more interesting.
The DeTamble family journeys were mildly entertaining (it’s kind of hard not to be when 1 of you likes to play a wrinkle in time) but the reality of it all (to me) seems nothing short of “real life” for a large number of normal non-chromosomally challenged married couples in “today’s” society. There are families on every corner that have conception problems, wives are left alone on a regular basis while their husbands jaunt off to “their” secret world, and accidents happen. To all of us.
I won’t go as far as saying I didn’t enjoy the book, because if I detested it as much as I’m making it sound, I wouldn’t have finished it. What I do think is that for the first time ever… the movie might actually be better than the book, and that is hard for me to swallow.
Read it ONLY if you are a bandwagon person and feel the need to read what the masses deem as “worthy.” For the rest of you…watch the movie, enjoy it, and move on.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites, and remember… you have free will, use it.
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