Customer Reviews for

Timeline

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

excellent book

The book Timeline by Michael Crichton is an extremely captivating book. The characters in the book are architects digging up a fourteenth century castle sponsored by the science lab. Little do they know the science lab has created a way to travel back in time, until o...
The book Timeline by Michael Crichton is an extremely captivating book. The characters in the book are architects digging up a fourteenth century castle sponsored by the science lab. Little do they know the science lab has created a way to travel back in time, until one of the professors goes back in time, disobeying the scientists and doesn't come back to the present time. The scientists call upon a small group of the architects to go back in time and retrieve him, but they only have thirty seven hours. What they thought would be a quick and easy trip turns into a lot more than just that once they get there. They quickly become wanted dead by everyone, which is not a very good thing during a time of war and havoc where no one can be trusted. Follow them on their many near death experiences on their quest to find their friend and escape to a secluded place to go back home before time runs out. Will they all make it back alive? I found this book extremely difficult to put down, being that the characters run into one near death experience after another, escaping being captured. The author does a wonderful job of writing form each characters point of view, which gives you a very good insight on what is happening in the book. Timeline is a must read.

posted by 1274830 on April 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

astounding book

Timeline by Michael Crichton is an breath taking book. It is set in modern time period, but takes you on the journey to 14th century. The novel focuses on four archeologist who takes this journey back to 14th century. In the novel that say that time travel is not possi...
Timeline by Michael Crichton is an breath taking book. It is set in modern time period, but takes you on the journey to 14th century. The novel focuses on four archeologist who takes this journey back to 14th century. In the novel that say that time travel is not possible because the past isn't a location. But a company named ITC has developed a technology which is a form of a space travel. ITC uses Quantum technology to manipulate an orthogonal multiverse coordinate change. This technology works like a 3D fax machine which can literally fax a 3d object even human form one place to another, form one time to another. This technology give chance to this archeologist not only to study the past but enter it. The twist in story begins when the professor breaks the rules set by ITC company and gets lost in 14th century. Now it is up to his students to save him. But a little do they new the dangers of this time period. War is everywhere, women and children and beheaded and no one even cares. Due to miscommunication between the company back home and this four archeologist in 14th century things get worse. But by the end everyone is back home safe except one. The book is excellently paced and easily understood every the hardest concept of multiverse and space travel.

posted by summer6195 on March 21, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    As bad as the movie

    x

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not Crichton's best!

    The beauty of Michael Crichton novels is he is almost always able to blend science and personality into a creative adventure that makes you think and feel at the same time. Sadly, that's not on display here. While the concept is interesting, the science is dense and full of holes (at least in my mind). The adventure was present but there wasn't any actual drama. The outcome was very predictable and the antagonists were very cookie cutter. Overall, this is a huge step down from most Crichton novels I've read.

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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    Timeline has likeable protagonists and many vivid and suspensefu

    Timeline has likeable protagonists and many vivid and suspenseful scenes; and Crichton's apparently meticulous research and interest in his subject matter shine through.

    Yet I didn’t really enjoy this book. The plot crosses quantum technology with medieval life, which is as awkward a mashup as it sounds. And there is way too much exposition for my taste – pages of minute detail about castle architecture and such, that weigh down the narrative.

    The action sequences are some of the most frenetic I’ve (tried to) read. I found the "play-by-play" very hard to follow and couldn't get clear visuals in my mind -- similar to a poorly edited action movie where you can’t tell what’s going on. In fact, I got the distinct impression Crichton really wrote Timeline as an action movie screenplay, but wanted to include all of the exhaustive detail too, and that's how it ended up as a novel.

    I would recommend Crichton's Jurassic Park, Sphere or Congo as more enjoyable alternatives.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    Mediocre read, not his best

    It's an okay book if you can get past all the silly science and just accept it as an update of Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee story, though this one is much darker in tone. I thought the ending was rather dopey. I llooked forward to it from the decriptions and reveiws but I think they were written by his buddies and dihard, Crichton Walks on Water, fans. You know, Trekkie types. It wasn't a hideous read, but I was pretty disappointed in it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    Well it could be better.....

    Well i read the book about 2 years ago, and to me it could have been a lot better. I mean its an interesting topic...but the beggining was slow and had very little detail...the characters could have been more descriptive i mean i couldnt really tell who they were as a person. And also it never really gets to the point of the whole book. It took me a month just to get through it...usually it takes me a couple of days. From all the hipe it was getting i thought it would be worth my time...but it was a waste of my time. But hey if u dont believe me read it for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    Surprisingly disappointing

    I was so looking forward to this book but found it disappointing. I love time travel books and there seem to be so few good ones. This is not one of them. If anyone wants to try great time travel books, read Barbara Erskine or Diana Gabaldon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2003

    Good but not all there

    Michael Crichton is an author known for his complex story lines. One of his latest novels, Timeline, is no exception. Although Crichton¿s novels are usually fresh with new ideas and divinitive new plot schemes, timeline was not. From the start you could get a sense that you have had read this plot before, and knew exactly what new fate was in store for the characters. The summary of this book seems interesting enough; a very private company invents a time travel machine and plans on restoring historical sites around the world. However, they also buy all the property around it to develop. The main characters now come into play. They are students and a professor restoring a castle being sponsored by this company and the professor one way or another get wished back In time and the company has to get four students to go back in time to rescue him. Unknown to the students they were warped in right in the middle of a French invasion and also there was another person who wanted to get back into the present world that didn¿t come back their trip. This book had some good point¿s I would have to say. It being the Middle Ages and most people are not aware of all the tings that go on, Crichton did a good job of explaining the Middle Ages in this book. He also explained in detail about activities that would go on, for example, chopping off someone¿s head. This happened more than once during this novel. I give this book two to three stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    slow and dull

    i love michael crichton...however, this book definitely fell short of my usual rating of his work. i was interested in the quantum physics at the beginning though after a while, it just started to become terribly boring. so i put it down and i didn't even feel compelled to find out how it ended (which just shows how interesting it was) and by the way...for everyone that keeps saying...'leave this to the high school students' or 'this is an 8th grade level book'...please stop. because you're really stereotyping ppl there. i am a high school student myself and could read anything 'an older, more mature' reader could (and i'm not trying to be prideful, that's just the truth)...and i believe that it's in the rules of posting a review here that you shouldn't degrade anyone. anyway, that's my two cents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2002

    Crichton = Confusion

    Timeline was a book that contradicted itself many times. He would explain how if you try to change something in the past it would not affect the future. Then the group of historians gets a letter from the past saying how he is trapped. Crichton barely tells you about the characters. All he talks about are their names and their skills. He barely would describe the setting all he would say is we are in 1350 medieval times. Then the local cops wondered about the dead guy and then later it is talked about in two sentences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    Not as good as Ahlgren's DISCIPLINE

    Like Paco Ahlgren, Crichton uses the principles introduced by Hugh Everett and David Deutsch to spin a tale about time travel. Unlike Ahlgren's DISCIPLINE, Deutsch misses the mark. Ahlgren's work is deeper, richer and more plausible. I was disappointed with this story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    Mediocre reading, poor book

    Trust the people who wrote bad reviews of the print edition: this is not a novel but a text written to be converted, quickly, to a movie script. Many of the descriptions don't make sense, the dialogue is weak and undifferentiated, the characters are predictable, unlikable, and undeveloped, the plot details don't add up (I'd give examples, but they'd give away the story), and some editor should have at least made the author work a little harder to give us a genuine sense of place--it sounds like these castles are all built within a quarter mile of each other, more like a procession of Walmarts and HomeDepots and BestBuys than defensible territories. (Paragraph) The reader, to his credit (and as a favor for the author, who either wasn't capable or else to busy with his other projects), does a good job of adopting different voices for the characters, which helps the listener keep track of things. But his choice of voices is limited, and his delivery is monotonic (think Costner). (Paragraph) That said, the story keeps moving, and I listened to with anticipation all the way the end, even though I knew exactly how it would end within the first quarter of the book. I don't regret the time spent listening and driving, or listening and baking bread, or listening and washing dishes, nor the $2.60 I spent renting it from my local library. But I'd be considerably less charitable had I actually purchased the thing. Recommendation: Rent/borrow. Don't purchase.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    Distorted Timeline

    While the story-telling is admirable, and the story itself fast-paced, I was ultimately disappointed by the lack of moral content and underlying bigotry. There is anti-Catholicism strewn throughout the story, with fornicating abbots, hypocritical speech and actions, and glorification of a heroine with no scruples. While undoubtedly a dark point in history for the Church, Crichton's one-sided portrayal of the clerics and lip-service Christians is anything but balanced. For a man of such intellect who obviously did his homework, it's disappointing that he chose to distort reality. While many of the abuses and hypocrisy he highlights throughout the story certainly existed, he seemingly purposely left out any of the positive attributes of the Christianity of the Middle Ages, and of the Catholic Church in particular. If you're looking for a fast-paced read, try 'Timeline'; if you're looking for a balanced historical novel with an accurate portrayal of the Middle Ages spiritual life, look elsewhere.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2001

    Solid - but Disappointing

    Crichton's Timeline has much of the same magic he's demonstrated in earlier works, but it's not enough to save this mediocre offering. The characters aren't interesting and the plot is very predictable. Timeline struck me as a cheap knock-off of 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe' - minus the suspense. You've done better, Michael. Much, much better.

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    Posted June 27, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2011

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    Posted December 5, 2009

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    Posted September 21, 2011

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    Posted December 14, 2010

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    Posted June 15, 2011

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    Posted July 7, 2011

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