Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“A simply wonderful time-travel adventure/romance with a huge cult following. If you are a New Yorker, the pleasures are increased ten-fold as Finney transports his hero back to New York City in the Gilded Age. There is a sequel, but it hasn’t got quite the panache of the original. Great...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“So much wrong with this "time travel" book.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Slow start. I wasn't sure if the speech of the late 1960's as well as the social interactions between the characters were going to bother me too much to finish it.
I'm glad I didn't let it keep me from reading what turned out to be a very good book.
“So much wrong with this "time travel" book. ”reggie list wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Author: Jack Finney // Best all-time favorite in time travel novels. A very fun and interesting government experiment takes Si Morley back to New York City in 1882. A wonderful story full of action and romance brings 1882 NYC to vivid life: I can hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it, see it! Finny's writing is impeccable.”zzz wrote this review Thursday, April 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As part of secret government program Simon Morley, an advertising illustrator, travels back in time. I thought, what a great idea—I’d love to “see” the past through an illustrator’s eyes. However, I quickly became bored by the long, stilted descriptions of 1882 New York City. Finney’s technique of having Simon explain what he’s seeing and drawing and then saying “as you can see by the picture on the following page” disrupted the flow of the story and was a distraction that led me to skim sections. Once Finney stopped trying to show 1882 in this manner and instead let the descriptions flow naturally as Simon became a participant in events rather than a spectator, the story picked up. The latter ¼ of the book became rather exciting and led to a satisfying ending. ”Bluebird wrote this review Tuesday, February 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Simon Morley, an illustrator, is recruited into a government Time Travel program. By means of intense belief and self-hypnosis, he travels back to New York in 1882. Intending to remain an observer, he quickly becomes involved in the life of a young woman. Will he change history, or will history change him?”Norman H wrote this review Monday, February 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Time and Again is known to be a classic of time-travel fiction. In the afterword of 11/22/63, King mentions that he was heavily influenced by this book. It is the story of Si Morley, who gets recruited to participate in a top-secret government project. He must accept the assignment, before knowing that the project involves trying to time travel. Once indoctrinated, Si requests to go back to 1880's New York so that he can solve a mystery concerning his girlfriend's grandfather.
I was a bit disappointed in this book. Si is an artist, so his drawings of 1880's New York are sprinkled throughout the book --- which I enjoyed seeing. In the NYC story, Si meets a cast of characters when he books a room in a boarding house. I really liked some of the historical details and descriptions which captured what life was like without TV, internet and even radio. The issues that I had involved the romance aspects of the book ---- [spoiler] Si has a serious girlfriend, but he drops her like a hot potato for a girl with a big bustle [/spoiler]. Also, the modern story-line about the government project overall threw off the pacing of the book.
Overall, this book was somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for me. Some of the modern story was amusing because it was a bit dated as well -- the book was published in 1970. ”
“2.5 stars”Marian wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
"In November 1970, Simon Morley, an advertising sketch artist, is approached by U.S. Army Major Ruben Prien to participate in a secret government project.
He is taken to a huge warehouse on the West Side of Manhattan, where he views what seem to be movie sets, with people acting on them. "
It seems this is a project to learn whether it is feasible to send people back into the past.
Si travels by what appears to be self hypnosis to NYC 1882.The past holds blackmail, subterfuge, romance among other things.
Initially, his activities in the past are making no difference to the present.
Dr Danzinger (originator of the project) resigns when it appears that time manipulation has occurred in another wing of the project.
The plot evolves............
Bear in mind that the book was written over 40 years ago
Things may appear simplistic and not very challenging to the reader
While not an engrossing tale, it's an enjoyable tale.
“What happens when you take an interesting twist on how to time travel, mix it up with old and badly printed photos from the 1800s, and try to spin them together with a patchwork of boring events to link said photos starring a main character more whiney and obnoxious than Holden Caufield? You get Time and Again by Jack Finney!
I am not sure if the author just found a bunch of photos he loves or is fascinated with and as a pet project decided to try and spin a story around them, had an interesting burst of inspiration about a neat way to time travel but no solid story to put into place, or was drunk and thought this would be a great love story! He did think this was a great platform to get on his soapbox about how much he hates the human race as it is now and thinks that life back then was better and the people nicer... even though the story completely contradicts it at every turn.
Where to begin? Well for starters, as an author Finney commits one of the most heinous crimes (IMHO) that an author can make... he breaks his own rules. Finney goes on, and on... AND ON about how rare it is to find someone that MIGHT work for the program. That just a small handful of the population can be tested, even a smaller handful from that will pass the tests, and then a select few might -MIGHT- succeed, and by the end of the book its like anyone can do it. All that training, and the girlfriend just waltzes in (which btw, gov organization trying to keep it hush hush would never 1) let the gf even know of the project, and 2) try to go with him) and travels with him. Super easy, no sweat. Finney then power creeps (if you read fantasy you know what I am talking about) and becomes able to travel without any hardship, no constructed period setting needed, on the run, in any random construction whether its in the same place in each time period or not.... in short the guy breaks all the rules that were set up and offers no explanation for it. Oh, and then I guess just being near him, Julia becomes able to travel to the future with him from, i don't know, seeing a brief sketch with a faint outline of a car in it, and then is able to time travel on a whim back home to her time while rounding a street corner! WHAT?!! You have GOT to be joking. Which is then followed by the main character deciding that he can no longer interfere with the past (esp since he wants to go back and live with Julia, thus by forever changing it anyways) and the heads of the program then exclaiming that that was fine as there were hundreds, nay thousands, that can replace him. I guess they found the magic juice to enable anyone to time travel?
My other huge problem with this book was this soapbox that the author had to have, provided through the words of his main character. Simon claims, on more than one occasion, that he has discovered the reason why he loves the 1880s so much. That it is because by his time humanity is hateful and disgusting and will bring about the end of the world, and the 1880s were a time of 'realness,' genuine excitement, and adventure that is lacking in the human race of the future. And yet every time he goes to the 1880s he is confronted with just how vile and horrible people are back then as well. The character lives in a state of denial, he has no real attachments in his time and instead of facing it he wants to run away to the one place he managed to make one, which given his track record he will more than likely time travel again when he is once again bored and disillusioned with his life. But this wonderment and greatness of humanity he finds in the 1880s, where does he find it? In the array of orphans that sleep on the street or in a warehouse of hay in the cold of winter, living more like a parasite off the adults around them, shining shoes or hocking things to passers by? Or maybe it was in finding the working class and the hardship and dangerous working conditions they endure to earn just enough to go hungry so their children can eat while their employers live like happy fat pigs? Or perhaps it was being a party to seeing time and again how the rich stay rich or the poor become rich by blackmail and murder? I bet discovering that the police were far more crooked and evil than any blackmailing politician was the deciding factor to stay.
While in the 1880s Simon never found one example as to why it was a better time period, humanity at its finest, and a great reason to go back and live in that time. The best he could come up with was a 'missing quality' of the human face that disappears between the 1800s and his own time. It sounded like a bunch of BS to me, and anytime FInney had Simon try to explain it he never could, because he was full of it. Not even Julia counts, the be honest the pairing felt forced.
Aside from that the story was boring, it had no real purpose until the end when he finally decided to pull together something he claims was a climax with an evil villain that his character actually likes even though he is just as vile as the people he claims humanity has become. The story felt more like a series of random events pulled together to connect the photos he just had to put in the book.
I will give him one thing other than the interesting play on how to time travel, and that is the very end and how Simon plans to undo the teaching of time travel. It was a bit of info given at the beginning of the book never mentioned again, and once it happened I finally remembered and thought it was clever. But 2 clever things a great book does not make.
I don't think I will be pursuing any more of Mr Finney's works, no need to waste my time.”