Customer Reviews for

The Time Traveler's Wife

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

60 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic story, looking forward to the movie!

The Time Traveler's Wife is a heart-wrenching account of a time traveler named Henry, who spontaneously "travels." He cannot control when the time travel happens and it leads to a very unpredictable life. Henry meets Clare and thus begins a love story of two people who ...
The Time Traveler's Wife is a heart-wrenching account of a time traveler named Henry, who spontaneously "travels." He cannot control when the time travel happens and it leads to a very unpredictable life. Henry meets Clare and thus begins a love story of two people who can never be completely together.
The Time Traveler's Wife will stay with you well after you've read the ending. I read the ending over and over again wanting to relive the last moment these two lovers were together. Melancholy follows the two lovers and propels you to keep reading. There is deep symolism in the novel, though the circumstances around the two main characters is outlandish, the feelings behind it are real. How can you truly be 100% with someone who can never be there for you? It's a question a lot of relationships face and Niffenegger answers it beautifully.
The movie is coming out this November and is starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. I hope that the movie lives up to the book, though it will be hard. Interesting read, I recommend it with 5 stars.

posted by 148253 on October 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

One of the worst books ever!

This may be THE worst book I have ever read. Yes, it's that bad. I had high expectations for this book, given the reviews. The most important thing to note is that this is NOT a love story. It a story of a twisted, obsessive, controlling relationship. Henry...
This may be THE worst book I have ever read. Yes, it's that bad. I had high expectations for this book, given the reviews. The most important thing to note is that this is NOT a love story. It a story of a twisted, obsessive, controlling relationship. Henry travels back in time after he meets his wife and develops a relationship with her as a child. How sick is it for a grown man to appear buck naked in front of a young girl, then tell her its ok because he marries her in the future? It gets worse. This book has unnecessarily graphic sex and gory scenes that add nothing to the story. The language is vulgar. I really can't believe a woman wrote this garbage. One of the worse scenes is when Henry travels back in time to have sex with himself! Who could even imagine that, let alone actually write it down? Ugh. Then there's the story, if you can even call it that. The book jumps around in time and there is no plot thread at all. The kindest thing I can say about it is that it is confusing. It jumps around between Henry and Clare narrating, yet they both have the same voice because its written so poorly. At first I kept looking back at the start of the chapter to see who was talking, then after I while I didn't even bother. The characters were totally unlikable and I didn't even care enough to try to figure it out. The saddest thing is that I actually read the entire book. I kept thinking that it had to get better, or that everything would get tied together at the end. But it didn't. Reading this book was a total waste of time. Don't make the same mistake I did.

posted by Anonymous on October 5, 2008

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting read with hedging ending.

    Magical and tragic. Painful and frustrating. You have to really open yourself up to fiction to really enjoy the whole concept of a character who has a genetic disorder that allows time travel. There were a few times that I felt the plot was dragged out too far, yet there are characters that could have been given more depth (Kimmie, the marriage of Gomez and Charisse). Overall, I really enjoyed this story, however, it left me feeling bereft with sadness and frustration. We learned the fate of Henry, I don't understand why the author could not leave us with what happened to Clare. We know she lived at least until the age of 82, but what happened inbetween? Did she remarry? Did the several pairs of golashes allude to grandchildren, a husband??? What happened to Gomez and Charisse (Charisse feared that Gomez would leave her for Clare when Henry was gone)? Did Clare live the rest of her life in the present like Henry asked her to? After investing so much time into this book, the ending was unfair to the reader. Good writing, new concept and idea as far as time travel goes.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Can't get it out of my head.

    This book was definitely confusing during the first 30 pages or so and I did have to reread wondering of I was getting it right but after a while you start to catch on to the writing technique. It is a love story that is demented but you do start to believe in the characters and understand their thoughts. The last quarter of the book I found it very hard to put the book down and knew that it was not going to be a happy ending. The author tried to make it a happy ending but it wasn't a good enough happy ending. I am sure the movie is going to romanticize the book way more than it is and if the ending is the same, I don't want to see it. Just too sad for me.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Great! (minus the last two pages)

    I really fell in love with these characters and was touched by their love for each other. The plot and character development was excellent, but sometimes the story line was predictable. The last two pages just put a damper on the story. I didn't feel satisfied by the ending. There was also something that happened to Henry that was just so uncalled for. It offered nothing to the story and just made him unnecessarily miserable.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book!

    This was one of those books I've picked up and put down several times. I finally decided to read it after I saw the movie preview and am now sorry I didn't read it sooner. Yes, it was kind of hard to follow at first (the date/times) but once you get into it you figure it out. The writing itself isn't too terribly descriptive or engaging, but I still had a hard time putting it down until I was finished. It's simply a sweet, amazing love story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Incredibly well written

    This book is unlike any other book I have read. Audrey Niffeneggers imagination and attention to details surpasses any book I have read. I read this with my book club and highly recommend it for book club readers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2010

    Good read

    This book surprised me. I thought it would be about the wife more than the time travelor, but it was an equal mix of both and their touching story of the love that grew from his point of view and from her point of view. A friend told me to not pay attention to the time stamps, however, this is a must for me to understand the time frame and putting the characters into perspective. The ending was very touching and deeply moving. A good book to escape and definitely going to be reread many times.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2010

    suspend your disbelief!

    Yes, it is about time travel but not the typical sci fi with whirling machines. The only thing whirling is probably the reader, as it takes a while to "ground" yourself with this book, and even when you think you are, you are probably not. The timelines are at first confusing but soon that very "flaw" turns into an important plot hinge. It is primarily the love story of Henry and Clare, and I was rooting for that improbable love story from the beginning. The trajectory of Henry's life leads one to wonder if there ever was a different choice for him. It seems at first that Clare does have real choice, but that too appears illusory, at least to me. I was riveted by the unusual plot, and the compelling characters. I couldn't put the book down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    The Time Traveler's Wife review

    The movie does not do this book any justice. Of course most movies cannot because of the time it would take. The book helps in developing the characters and their personalities further. You will get a much better understanding of the main plot. This epic love story is a twist on the typical love stories and will probably need to be read more than once to sink in. Every time I read this book I find out something new that I missed the previous time that I read it. Although the movie was alright, the book is much better and should not be judge just on the movie.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    The book I read was the 40th printing since 2003 -- That must tell you something.

    I am a foracious reader of science fiction and paranormal -- among many other subjects. Stephen King is good. Analog Scince Fiction and Fact is good.
    Time travel is facinating, even though it is quite impossible. In this story, the time travel is beeing handled most differently from anything else that I have read in over 60 years. Going back and forth in time is interesting. Not controlling the time jump makes for interesting story. Meeting yourself is interesting. Seeing your child at different ages playing with herself. Not being to take anything from one time to another -- what a concept.
    Where does the time traveler go when he is gone?
    When you are into time travel, it is difficult to recommend this book to ORDINARY persons.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A love story that makes time stand still

    The Time Traveler's Wife is a riveting tale of Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire. At a young age Henry learns he has the ability to time travel, but unfortunately he has no control over when he travels. Jumping through time, Henry often visits the past, where he meets his future wife Clare. When they eventually meet in the present, things become a bit tricky for the two of them as Clare is almost always waiting for Henry's return. Clare spends most of her childhood waiting on Henry. Henry and Clare find that there are only a few people in their life that they can trust with Henry's secret. This traditional love story with some unusual twists did not leave me disappointed.
    I grew to love the characters and was greedily waiting for the next action to take place. I really liked Clare's point of view. Her point of view provided useful insight into Henry's world as well as their own life together.I also loved her character, and how she was so faithful and trusting of Henry, when she had to keep waiting for him. Something unique to this book that really grabbed my attention were the settings. The two main settings, the meadow and the city, represented the two different moods in this book. To me the meadow represented the happy times and the city represented the rougher times in Henry and Clare's life.
    Although I did not especially like the science in this book, it did add more depth and mystery to the plot. It was also thought provoking, thinking there was a gene that could make one time travel.The ending to this book is also really ironic and I wish that it did not end the way it did. The style in which this book is written is kind of confusing at times, but after reading through the whole book, it makes sense, because it all comes together at the end.
    Overall I enjoyed this book. While it is not outstanding, in my opinion, it had a steady pace and great plot as well as characters. The Time Traveler's Wife is worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    This was a great book to share with friends before seeing the movie.

    My 20 year old daughter bought the book and passed it on to me. It was such a good read that I shared it with 3 of my friends so that we could all read it before the movie came out. We all enjoyed the book - our ages range from 20 to 40's to 65. The only negative comment is that near the end of the book the author uses some (very brief) language that hadn't been used up until that point. The book would have been excellent without those word choices. After seeing the movie, we all sat and talked about the great parts of the book that had to be cut in the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed both.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed it very much!

    I thought that Audrey Niffenegger did an amazing job writing this book. The development was great. At times it was just a little bit difficult to follow, but you get used to it after a couple chapters. She is truly a talented writer! I couldn't imagine anyone writing this book better! It did get quite adult at times, and I think that partly ruined the book. Other than that, it was great! Definitely one you will want to read before going to see the movie (which was nicely done as well!).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Great story with a bittersweet end

    The Time Traveler's Wife is definitely a very good story, I'm not too fond of her constantly switching narrations and the dates can be a little confusing at first, but overall it was a good read. The book didn't exactly draw me in from the beginning, however I became very interested as the story went on, it was romantic and some times amusing. The end of the story was very sad, which isn't what I'm used to. I enjoy stories with happy endings and The Time Traveler's Wife ends in a bittersweet way. This book will have you smiling and crying. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    sad!

    The book was interesting. Somewhat confusing at some parts, but you come to truly feel for the characters. I just finished the book, and feel like I'm going to cry. I just wish it would have ended a different way.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    Good read for the money

    At first the book was kind of slow going I had to make my self read the first few chapters. But after that man did It take off. If you can stand the slow start the rest of the book is worth the read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT BOOK WITH AN AWFUL ENDING

    I loved the book. The story and character depth was wonderful. Time travel is my most favorite genre. I love to read romance, however with a happier ending. Diana Gabaldon, K S Michaels and too many others to list do the Hollywood endings that I have a penchant for. I recommend this read to anyone who loves romance and doesn't mind the plot going South at the end. I will read anything by Audrey Niffenegger.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A moving, thrilling escape

    Easy to read page turner. I cannot say enough good about this book. If you enjoy losing yourself in fiction, but find a need for a sense of reality, this is the book for you.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Deeply Moving Love Story/Sci-Fi

    I love this book because it combiones 2 of my favorite themes....love story and Sci-Fi (specifically time travel). I found it a little difficult to keep up in the beginning but devoured the entire book in a short period of time. I found it to be a tragically sad book as well and was moved to tears.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2009

    Good Read

    This may not be the most mind-blowing book I've ever read, but it's a good quick read. I'm not sure what initially drew me to this book since I hate the idea of time travel (it's just incomprehensible to me) but I think the author handled it well by not over explaining it. I thought the characters love story was original and I found the book to be emotional (though I cry at the drop of a hat, so take that comment with a grain of salt). I will agree with a comment someone else made about there not being much difference between the way the author wrote Clare's point of view and the way she wrote Henry's. There are some sex scenes, but I don't think they are overly graphic. Though they might be for a more modest reader. If you go into reading this book expecting some life changing novel, then I think you'll be disappointed, but if you're willing to just take it for what it is, a love story with a twist, then I think you may enjoy it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

    loved this book so much. stellar writing and intriguing characte

    loved this book so much. stellar writing and intriguing characters, I am not a sappy person by nature but it really got to me. at one point I was reading on a plane and began sobbing so hard that my seatmates,two Australian guys asked if I needed them to get the flight attendant.

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