Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nose in a Book: Time and Again by Jack Finney

Tonight my reading discussion group will talk about Time and Again by Jack Finney. When I went to pick it up at the library, I was surprised to see that it was a Science Fiction book. I hadn't read SciFi in years, and wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it enough to finish it in 4-5 days.

Surprisingly, I finished it in 2! Granted, I got nothing else done on Saturday, since I read it until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, the time travel aspect of it was very interesting (I love the idea of time happening all at once, but we just don't perceive it that way), but I was more drawn into the mystery, and then the action close to the end.

Si Morely is the main character. He's asked to work with the government on a secret time travel project. He agrees, as long as he can go back to the time and place that has plagued his girlfriend, Kate, since she was young.

Even when the project is seen as dangerous and questions arise about its ethics, Si becomes absorbed in finding out what haunted a man in New York in 1882 enough to cause him to take his own life years later. But that wasn't the only draw to 1882-- Si starts to "go native", thinking of the new time as home and seeing modern day problems through the primitive lenses of the previous century.

There were the standard questions that often arise with time travel stories-- how do our actions impact the lives of those around us, etc-- time travel stories often take those questions to a higher level. But in this case, I was impressed with the idea of what a government would do if it had that kind of power. Si's story gives us a chance to reflect on the nature of that power.

I mentioned that I am now a part of Helium. They have a place for book reviews, so I reviewed Time and again there as well. Click here to read that review. I'll still have my "Nose in a Book", but on my blog, it's a little more personal:)

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