No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Friday, September 04, 2009

#65: The Time-Traveller's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger

Reread after seeing the film (link goes to my review) which I liked: suspect I am in a minority again.

- they're both trapped, helpless, incapable of free will. Henry's timetravel makes him uniquely vulnerable. The story of his life with Clare is basically "This woman came up to me in the library, said we were meant to be together, seduced me and told me all this stuff I haven't yet done. So now I've got to do it because I can't change anything."

- much darker than I remembered, with Henry being an animal that does what it must to survive.

- the prose is gorgeous, lush and poetic but also edgily brittle -- fits Henry and Clare's alternative/punk lifestyle, social circle etc.

- it's a book about growing up.

- Clare is the woman, waiting -- patient Griselda -- Marianna in the moated grange -- and pretty much her entire life is spent waiting for Henry. (At least in the book her art is important too.)

- most devastating line on reread: "If anything ever happens to my feet you might as well shoot me." (p.163)

Intriguingly, only after I'd written this post did I realise I had a previous review on here: from January 2005. And this is why rereading is worthwhile, because I feel quite differently about the last few chapters now. Though I stick with my assertion that 'at least one scene' (9/11) feels like an afterthought.

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