Thursday, June 30, 2005
The Time Traveler's Wife
Since I am an avid reader, I decided that from time to time I would post my thoughts on some books I've read. Last night I finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife. It took me a while to read it because it was pretty lengthy but also because it was one of those delicious books that you don't want to injest too much of at once. You want the story to sink in and to roll around in your mind for awhile before you tackle some more. The story was absolutely beautiful. People had sometimes described this book as science fiction because the main character time travels, but I disagree with this assessment. His time traveling, though supposedly due to a genetic disorder, is something that the reader must just accept and the author doesn't try to make it more than it is by dealing with the nature of time. As a scientist I MUCH appreciated this. Like any other reader, I just went with it. And while Henry's time traveling is what the novel is about, it's more of a device that Audrey Niffenegger uses to make time seem fluid and to make the story one in which the relationship between Henry and Clare is completely different depending on which one is telling the story. It's like their relationship changed with the reference frame. It was brilliant. As a scientist who is familiar with relativity and the odd things that it does, I found this idea even more intriguing. This reminds me of a joke for those of you who were expecting something funny: A bar walks into a man. Ooops! Wrong reference frame!