Monday, April 17, 2006

Timeline by Michael Crichton

Title: Timeline

Author: Michael Crichton

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: A team of archeologists specializing in 14th century France use quantum physics to travel back in time to rescue the director of their dig.

The Take-Away: The plot was fantastic as was the premise. Quantum physics is an exploding field of study that leaves wide holes for authors to drive their plots into. It is a daunting undertaking, however, and Mr. Crichton handles it well.

That being said, I did have two major problems with the book, both of which I'm willing to over look given, A) everything else was fantastic and B) the topics he covers are huge.

A ton of information needs to be conveyed since the average reader doesn't have a basic knowledge of archeology or quantum physics. In writer speak, this is called an info dump. They are handled well, in the sense that he used dialogue for them. Most of it occurs very natural and between characters who have a purpose outside of the exchange of information except during the info dump for the archeology portion of the novel. A set of characters was created just for this purpose. I feel like they are still hanging out there, waiting to find out why the main characters disappeared.

My second issue related to their explanation of how quantum physics works. I might have missed something in it, but I ran my theory by Word Nerd and she had the same issue with it.

Basically, time travel is possible because the travel is not through time but to another universe that is at the same time as our history. If that is the case, a note for help, couldn't not have been left in the past, because it wasn't our past, but another world's past.

That might make more sense if you've read the book.

Again, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief because everything else works. And I like the entertainment value of Michael Crichton's books.

Recommendation: Read it and let me know what you think of about his views on quantum physics.

Other books read in March

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