Review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

time and timeOkay, I have to say that this book isn’t perfect. Heck I guess no book is. However, I feel like I must give this one 5 stars….even though any book with time travel makes for a book that might have a few logical issues. I mean the whole butterfly effect thing can drive you mental if you dwell on it too long….If you dare to add historical factors in it…well, I’m sure there will be people who nitpick all the way through it and tell you why x, y and z just isn’t possible…..

But I say screw all that….This book was a fantastic read for me because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I continue to think about it now that I have finished the last sentence. I looked for ways to mention this book and the concept in my everyday conversation.

Finally….well….truth be told…it boggles my mind. I don’t mean that it’s hard to follow. I simply mean that the more I think about this book and the possibilities…well, the more I get drawn deep into my imagination. I can’t stop thinking of the ramifications of the concepts this book brings forth.

I’ve read a few time travel books and have always enjoyed them. *Most* of the ones I have read are people trying to change to revisit history for their own gains….In this, Elton has giving us a story of a hero that is trying to revisit history for the greater good of the entire planet.

Let’s face it…this is hard book to review….why? Because my mind won’t shut down. Even now I am still scrolling through the endless possibilities that lie within this novel. Imagining past worlds and future worlds and all of the players that are on the stage of making history….both minor and major players all have their parts….

So really, are people made by history? Or do people make history? Is history just a matter of being in the right place at the right time? If something happens and a key player is no longer there….well, does history still right itself and just call in another key player to take the place of the one who doesn’t show?

I won’t say more than that….you don’t need to know all the details….but you do need to read this book. There are some really interesting stuff that’s going on. I will say that the entire book grabs you from the start and it’s a steady stream of happy reading….but at the last 20% there are lots of twists and turns that I did not see coming and if the book can be called “fast paced”…well the last 20% was turbo speed paced!

Finally this book has loads of great quotes so I wish to leave you with a few…

What fun those long, semi-drunken Sunday afternoons had been. The debates always degenerated into loud, name-calling battles between the Marxists, who contended that much of history was inevitable, the result of preordained economic and material forces, and the romantics, who believed that history was made by individuals and that a single stomach ache or an undelivered love letter could have changed everything

‘Proof? What proof can I give beyond the fact that logic requires it?’ he said, his voice rising. ‘Time is time. It ticks aways from the beginning until the end.’

‘but it doesn’t, you damned fool!’ Newton exclaimed ‘Am I really the only person on earth to have grasped this fact? Time is not linear. It does not go along on a steady course like a road from London to York. It does not have a beginning and it does not have an end, nor is it the same to one person as it is to another, nor to two planets or a million starts. It is different in all circumstances. Because it is relative.’

Such is the terrible irony of bereavement, turning every familiar joy to misery. Each smile a twisting knife. Each thing of beauty an added burden of pain.

‘I really hope you didn’t get me here to suggest I take comfort in religion,’ he growled.
‘Not in the slightest,’ McCluskey replied. ‘I don’t think religion should be comfortable. That’s where it all went wrong for the Anglicans, trying to be comfortable. Deep down people want fire and brimstone. They want a violent vengeful God who tells them what to do and smites them if they don’t do it. That’s why the Prophet Mohammed’s doing so well these days. I’ve occasionally thought about switching myself. At least Allah’s got a bit of fire in his belly. But you see I could never give up the turps.’

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Review – The Fall of Giants, part one of the Century Trilogy, by Ken Follett.

7315573As some of you may know, I recently set myself a little challenge to read Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy, back to back. At around 1000 pages per book, this initially would seem like a lot of reading! However, I knew going into it that Follett is the master of pace, and having read his previous books (also 1000+ pages in length), Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I knew that the sheer number of pages would not be a chore; Follett’s skill at making the reader feel as though that even though they’ve just read this huge book, they still want more, is matched only by very few authors.
In The Fall of Giants, we are presented with several families from around the world – Wales, England, America, Russia and Germany. Follett begins in 1911 and continues on until the early 1920’s. In this narrative, we see several families, and how various circumstances, actions and indeed how WWI, have a huge irreversible effect on these people.
Although this novel is work of fiction, Follett does incorporate authentic characters and events that did actually happen in this time period. Thankfully, an author of such caliber as Follett, managed to do this in a non caricature kind of way. This novel is one of those rare ones that are able to teach the reader a lot, whilst still entertaining them, and therefore, I think that anyone with a passing interest in history or even the avid history buff, will enjoy this novel.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I am perhaps one of the most cynical people on this plant, and when I saw that there was a list of characters in the beginning of the book, I did wonder if there would be so many of them that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, or care about the direction that Follett takes them in. Well, I am happy to report that I was completely and utterly wrong! My cynical and jaded self was pleasantly surprised! Each character (the main ones at least) was well fleshed out, authentic, and I was able to see the point of view of each one. There are a couple of them of whom which I cannot wait to see where they are taken by Follett.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. This is a great first part of the trilogy, and I can only hope that books two and three are just as captivating.
Do yourself a favour and get hooked in this wonderful world that Follett has helped to create for just $2.50.

Until next time ~ Pegasus.

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy