Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Time and Again by Jack Finney

Title: Time and Again

Author: Jack Finney

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Simon Morely is the first sucessful canidate to travel back in time. The inevitable applications of the project cross boundaries that Si isn't willing to step over.

The Take-Away: I first read this novel during my college years and loved it. But it was an abridged audio book and I've always wondered what I missed out on. Re-reading it was a pleasure.

The charm of the book comes from the narrator's voice and the quandry he finds himself in. Since time travel is possible in Si's world, can he change the past to suit those of the future? People might not be part of that future, if he changes it drastically? Or is the "twig in the river" theory correct? Could one man really change the course of events so significantly to change the course of the whole river? I don't think that we can even turn to our own history and say that if Hitler had never been, WWII wouldn't have happened. But other individuals were driving this movement too. Or a greater evil would have crept up. Really, the idea could be discussed to death.

The sequel, From Time to Time addresses this idea in great detail.

When I started researching for this post, I found that Jack Finney died in 1995, about three years before I found his book. I was a little crushed to learn that this author that I enjoyed so much wouldn't be adding anything to his body of work. He left behind 14 titles, however, 12 of which I haven't read. I was pleased too with the fact that he was born in Milwaukee, WI.

Recommendation: Purchase both this title and the sequel. Pass it around to your friends and have numerous "what if" discussions afterwards.

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