Thursday, March 1, 2007

BBC: The Time Traveler's Wife

Hullo all. I’m sorry this post is terribly late. All my fault, I was sidetracked for a bit LOL. Anyway, let me tell you what I think of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Honestly, I’m still not sure if I should love or hate it. Why? Well, for starters, I continually fucking cried for the last ¼ part of it!—(was I the only one who’s loony enough to do that? :/)—yet I couldn’t stop reading! TTTW made me feel something I’d only experience with The Bronze Horseman—NEVER a good thing.

I don’t know if it’s just the state I was in, but whilst I was reading, Henry and Clare felt so REAL to me. It freaked me out a bit, actually, because everything they did affected me. They’re soooo alive it felt like if I stretch my arm I could touch them; they sure did touch me. It’s that “I laughed when they’re happy, I cried when they’re sad” thingy—and through it all, I was helpless about it. It’s fascinating, compelling, EXQUISITELY beautiful, like a poignant, PERFECT love story that wasn’t meant to be. It will therefore haunt you, because you want it SO FUCKING MUCH to continue...

But it won’t. *sniff* And no matter how much you wish otherwise, you know it’s going to end. Like watching a car accident, you want to turn away but you’re glued to where you are, hypnotized to watch the fucking thing to happen. And what’s worse, you still savor each and every minute of it! Gack, what kind of sick perverted freako way is that??? Books like this should be illegal, I tell ya!!! It’s like crack—or, er, pot!!! (Give me a break, I’ve never done drugs so dunno which gives what effect. :/ You get the gist, anyway! *hmph*)

Okay, before I get diverted way too much LOL, here are the questions we should be discussing:
  • Although Henry does the time traveling, Clare is equally impacted. How does she cope with his journeys and does she ultimately accept them?
  • How does the writer introduce the reader to the concept of time travel as a realistic occurrence? Does she succeed?
  • TTTW is ultimately an enduring love story. What trials and tribulations do Henry and Clare face that are the same as or different from other “normal” relationships?

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16 comment(s):

Blogger Isabella said...

This book made me cry too, but I loved it. I think this book is amazing.

1. I'm amazed as to how Clare coped with Henry's time traveling. I don't think I could have stand the torture of always being left behind, not knowing where my husband is or if he's still alive. I think one of the reasons why Henry has been meeting Clare when she's still young is to prepare her, to make her get used to Henry time traveling while she's still young.

2. I think Audrey Niffenegger did a great job with the time travelling. I was never confused by the time differences even if scenes go back from the past, to the future, to the present. To be honest, I didn't really buy that gene abnormalcy issue, it's really hard to believe in. And I didn't really follow all the science bit talk. I just read on and I think the author has explained it the best way she could.

3. For one thing, Henry time travels. One thing they have is advantage of knowing what's going to happen in the future. Even before meeting the "real" Henry, Clare already knows she's going to meet Henry and is going to be his wife.

3/01/2007 11:30:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

I thought we won't have BB cuntil next week! LOL. OK, I'll be back for my answers.

3/01/2007 02:05:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

First, I want to say how much I loved this book. It's smart and really compelling.

1. I think because Clare has seen Henry time traveling since she's 6, she's used to him doing it. Clare has always been affected by Henry's time traveling. Since she was little, she already knew that someday, she and Henry are going to get married. Things like that. But the biggest impact on Clare is not being able to get with child because of Henry's "abnormality".

2. I think AN did a wonderful job making the readers accept time traveling. It's highly improbable, but not impossible.

3. Unlike other normal couples, as weird as it may sound, Henry and Clare have to deal with time as a hindrance to the continuity of their life. Henry even died because of it. I think that's the biggest sacrifice. How ironic that Clare met Henry through time traveling, and then she lost him because of the same thing too.

3/01/2007 02:19:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

Why do you think AN gave the book such an awful ending? I would have loved Henry and Clare to be together. It was heart breaking when he died. :(

3/01/2007 02:21:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...

I think this book is artfully written. An did a good job keeping the readers interested even if the plot is a bit unbelievable. But I think that's actually one of the reasons why this book is good.

I feel sorry for Clare for always getting left behind, for bearing the brunt of Henry's time traveling. Her life was shaped by Henry's foray into the future and the past.

I didn't really get the explained why Henry could time travel. It's probably just me. I'm not good with all that biology talk. LOL. I also have one complain. If Henry could travel in the past to see his mom's accident, why didn't he travel more into the future to visit Clare? That's what I would have done.

3/01/2007 02:38:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Did Clare really have to wait till she's 82 to see Henry again?

3/01/2007 03:10:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

There are things in the book that left me a bit confused. :/ Like, there are always at least two or three or four Henrys lurking around somewhere? And why can't Henry visit only Alba and not Clare?

Also, how selfish of him to tell her that she'll be able to see him again when she's 82! He knows she will wait! Did she die after this?

Clare sorta doing it with Gomez bothered me too. :/ Especially when Clarise is her best friend. Okay, will be back later LOL.

3/01/2007 04:27:00 PM  

Blogger Menchie said...

OMG, I agree with you Harlot a 100%. I wanted to cry after reading the book, it was THAT real for me.

I was a bit confused at the ending though. When Henry comes for Clare, is he dead already? ANd yes, didn't make sense to me that he could only visit Alba and not Clare.

I think because of the time travel, their relationship is already very different. The normal, everyday things a married couple experience, even though they go through it, is given a different flavor because I think, at the back of their minds, they know how uncertain everything is.

I love that AN didn't make too much of a technical explanation on the time traveling. It's because I pay attention to technical details when it is offered in a book and it ruins it for me if it doesn't make sense. So by not harping on the technicalities, she allows the reader to focus on the story itself and how it impacts the main characters.

I love, love, love this book.

3/01/2007 05:57:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I love this book. Love love love love it. It's one of the best books I've reead in a long time. With that said, what was Henry thinking leaving that note? He knows she would wait regardless of what he said and that would leave Clare waiting for long!

Did Clare ever moved on? I couldn't see her moving on based on that thing that happened with Gomez. That's one of the things that was left unclear. Did she ever got another man in her life or did she really wait all that time for Henry until she's 82?

3/01/2007 09:15:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Re: I love that AN didn't make too much of a technical explanation on the time traveling.

I'm with Menchie. The time difference is a bit confusing all ready. LOL.

I think TTTW is one of those books you have to suspend disbelief and just take the story in. When I stopped taking too much attention on the dates and just read on, I enjoyed the book better.

3/01/2007 09:19:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Finally! I'm glad we're discussing TTTW already. ;P

1. Why did Henry kept visiting Clare when she was a kid? If I remember it correctly, they met for 152 times when Clare was 6-18? All those times, her life was shaped according to Henry's time traveling ways. He was her friend, playmate, teacher, boyfriend.

2. I like that AN didn't elaborate much on time traveling. This isn't a sci fi book, a genre I have to admit I don't enjoy reading. She focussed more on the more "real" things. Like Henry and Clare's feelings, how Henry's time traveling affects their lives.

3. This is such a bittersweet love story that I couldn't help crying. I didn't expect it to be so sad. I wanted Henry to grow old with Clare or at least him being able to visit her often in the future. I thought when it was mentioned that Henry kept time traveling a lot when he was 40-43, that time after he finds out he's going to die, I thought he's making sure he's visiting Clare in the future. Apparently he's not.

3/01/2007 09:48:00 PM  

Blogger Polly King said...

I love this book. There's romance, suspense, sci-fi. It's really moving and magical.

I understand why Clare has been drawn to Henry ever since. He's very intelligent, he's funny, and though I can't recall AN describing him in detail, I see him as this young Brad Pitt (like in The Legends of the Fall) but thinner and more rough around the edges. He's a very extreme guy and he knows exactly what he wants.

Clare' life has always been intertwined with Henry's. She grew up knowing they're going to marry someday, she knew already that her future, whatever happens, belongs with Henry. There's nothing she can't do with that I think because in her mind, she already set up this future that includes Henry.

The time traveling concept is a brilliant idea. Though I'm not a fan of sci-fi novels, I really liked the way AN made it, not as a center of the story but as a background that influenced her characters. It's like a storm. I just accepted it as it is. I didn't have to ask where it came from or how it was formed.

TTTW is a very emotional love story. I have to admit I cried too while reading. Henry and Clare are both strong characters and it's hard not to care about them.

I think the main trial Henry and Clare encountered, besides time traveling itself, was Clare's miscarriages. That's always hard for any couple especially when they really want a child. I can't believe they had to try 7 times! I would have given up or I don't think I could have gone that far because that's really dangerous. It's funny that Clare got pregnant by a Henry who's not from her "real" time. Clare's pregnancies wouldn't push through because of Henry's "abnormalcy" yet she finally got a child because a past Henry impregnated her. I loved that.

3/01/2007 11:31:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

"It's like a storm. I just accepted it as it is. I didn't have to ask where it came from or how it was formed."

I agree with this. AN did a good job with the time traveling thing.

I have to ask about the cage. I didn't get that. What is that about? And why? I don't think it was explained in the book at all.

3/01/2007 11:53:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Re: Clare's pregnancies wouldn't push through because of Henry's "abnormalcy" yet she finally got a child because a past Henry impregnated her

It's sardonic, isn't it? When a future Henry told Clare that they have a child in the future, I thought, thank God. And then after a week she had a miscarriage! I thought what's going to happen now that Henry had his vasectomy already?


Re: I have to ask about the cage.

Yeah, I didn't get that one either, LOL. I know Henry was afraid of it, but why? And what's the relation o the whole cage thing with the story?

3/02/2007 12:12:00 AM  

Blogger Ra-Ra-Ra-Rachel said...

This is undoubtably horrible late ... and I don't know if anyone will actually read this or not, but as The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my all time favorite books, I feel that I have to leave one comment in response to the question "why do you think AN decided to end the book this way, I would have loved Henry and Claire to be together."

They were together ... in some of the most amazingly lovely wonderful ways. I honestly think that even though it was so hard for Claire to deal with Henry's time travel ... if my husband could time travel and come and visit me even when he were dead would be one of the greatest gifts that I could ever receive. Maybe it's just because of all of the loss that I have experienced in my life ... but I honestly would not know what to do if Aaron were to die. The ending to this novel made me burst into tears, because yes it was sad that Henry died. But because I was so happy that Claire knew that she was going to be able to see him again.

This story was amazing. Beautiful. And I can not WAIT to find out when AN is going to be writing another novel.

7/18/2007 11:29:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Tachel, did you hear there's going to be a movie already? Eric Bana will play Henry and Rachel McAdams will be Clare. ;)

7/20/2007 06:20:00 AM