Confession time: Usually after reading a book, I review it immediately, but I had a hard time reviewing The Time Traveler’s Wife because I couldn’t figure out then (I read it last year I think) whether I liked it or not. I couldn’t match my friends’ crazy worship of the book, and I thought it might be necessary to do a bit of reevaluation.
I admire it, that’s for sure. It’s a very well-constructed story, and the language is gorgeous. However, the narrative style felt inconsistent to me. Inconsistent in the way that at times Henry sounds like Clare (the book is divided into segments, with two perspectives – Clare’s and Henry’s). There is an entire block of description about a dance that did nothing to me. At that point where Henry tells Clare about how his mother died, I cringed. Not because it is gruesome, but because it is too gruesome to be believed. My reaction was not, How awful; it was Oh really? It did not help me some that the melodrama reaches a high at that point in the book. Drama, yes. Melodrama, no. Gomez and his wife are interesting characters, but their communist posturing gets old after several chapters.
Just my opinion. I only read the book once, so perhaps I may have to read it again. Don’t shoot me.
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Photo from scifiwire.com
Bottom line is, it’s a damn good premise. Good enough for a film? Why of course. The film itself has high production values, everything looks pretty. Rachel McAdams has a lovely smile, and Ron Livingston is a joy to watch. (Not too much of an Eric Bana fan, haha.)
It can, however, use more pauses, more silences. And with a running time of only 108 minutes, it can actually use another hour.
Most effective scene for me: When Henry meets his mother on the subway. Heartbreaking.