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All Clear [Hardcover]

Connie Willis
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 21.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Oct 2011
Award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (20 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575099305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575099302
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,149,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Enthralling . . . a story so packed with thrills, comedy, drama and a bit of red herring that the result is apt to satisfy the most discriminating, and hungry, reader."--"The Denver Post""[Connie] Willis can tell a story like no other. . . . One of her specialties is sparkling, rapid-fire dialogue; another, suspenseful plotting; and yet another, dramatic scenes so fierce that they burn like after-images in the reader's memory."--"The Village Voice""Ambitious, and moving . . . with a lovely twist at the end."--"The San Diego Union-Tribune" "[Willis's] re-creation of wartime England is meticulous, energetic and exhaustive."--"The Wall Street Journal" "[A] tour de force."--"The Charlotte Observer"

Book Description

The thrilling sequel to BLACKOUT, and a superb World War II novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overlong but diverting enough 27 Mar 2011
By John Tierney VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the second and final part of the time travel story set in WWII started in Black Out. You can't really read All Clear without reading Black Out, so don't start with this part if you haven't already read the first.
The story of our three students from 2060 stuck in WWII continues and it suffers from the problems that Black Out had, namely that it takes another 641 pages to resolve everything. When you add that to Black Out's page tally we are talking a total of over 1100 pages, which is just far too long. As I also said in my Black Out review I am a big fan of Willis, but with her time travel stories there is just too much spinning out of the story. Things almost - but not quite - happen again and again and again. It's really frustrating.
Not to say that the scope, ideas and detail are not good - they are, especially the detail. There is lots of good stuff in here about how the Allies tried to fool the Germans into thinking the Normandy landings would happen elsewhere, and this is at least partially based on fact. And really interesting. But the number of times Michael, Merope and Polly almost get rescued/work everything out but don't quite manage it this time starts to frustrate.
I think the book is somewhat saved by the details mentioned above and also some plot twists that I didn't see coming - but they just take far to long to happen.
I wish Willis would put her books on diets - if she did they would be small masterpieces of wit and intelligence. For an example of this see Bellwether.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars overall. 8 April 2012

Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place, with scores of time-traveling historians being sent into the past. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill's next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London's Blitz.

But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments and switching around everyone's schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, and dive-bombing Stukas--to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control.

Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

Overall I enjoyed the story. The problems came when there was a time lapse between me reading book 1A and book 1b (this is one book spit into two parts). I had a bit of difficulty trying to remember what had gone on in Blackout. Then Polly really frustrated me when she withheld information from Mike and Eileen.

Really, this book needed to be trimmed down, and I'm blaming her editor for that.

I also got frustrated with the inner monologues/thoughts of the individuals which just seemed to go on and on.

Finally, sorry to be dim, but what did the ending mean? Was Colin Merope's great grandchild? I was puzzled by the ending and read it three times, but I still can't tell. Someone PLEASE leave and comment and clue me in.

I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't read it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Infuriating! 3 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The good news is that "All Clear" is an improvement on "Blackout", the first part of this novel that turned out so long that it only seems to go by the name of its two parts, "Blackout/All Clear". "Tinhead" and "J. Irish" have summed up its strengths and weakness perfectly in their reviews: in "Blackout" the time-travelling protagonists investigating different aspects of World War Two were all involved in their separate activities, and we had a soap opera with masses of very dull detail and next to no dramatic tension. In "All Clear" the time-travellers find each other in London and begin to seek a way out of their predicament, which is that they are stuck in the middle of the Blitz because their time gates won't open. This brings some genuine dramatic tension to the book, and you begin to care a bit about the characters. The time complications start to become more interesting, and Connie Willis's enormous amount of research begins to pay dividends. And in the end she makes a pretty good job (in so far as anyone can!) of resolving the time paradoxes. And yet! ... the book remains infuriating: like "Blackout", it is still far too long, too soapy, and too full of dull minutiae. If only the book had been 300 or 400 pages long rather than well over 1,000, we could have had a terrific time travel novel fully deserving of the Hugo and Nebula Awards it has won, instead of simply rewarding Connie Willis's undoubted effort and her status in the American science fiction community.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloated and packed full of howlers 13 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Warning, this is a continuation of Blackout. There is no summary of the story so far and neither book stands alone. You cannot read this volume before or without the first. The actual story could have been edited down to a quarter of the two volumes but the highly irritating padding of Blackout continues unabated for a while. Marketing ploy to double the revenue, attempt to somehow disguise bloating, you judge.

Blackout made me angry and bored. But I had already bought All Clear (pre-warned it was in 2 parts and this was holiday reading matter) so my masochism stepped in. I hadn't got to the first sentence and was fuming. The dedication lists the groups of people "who won the war" including debutants and mystery novelists (what?) but fails to mention the servicemen and women or the thousands of women who toiled in the munitions and other wartime industry factories targeted by the Luftwaffe. So we start with an insult by omission.

Then the usual clutch of howlers. Nelson's Monument again, transposed from Edinburgh once more I suppose. Or could it be Nelson's Column maybe. The Edgware stretchers and bandages discrepancy reported as being in Blackout soon appears. Did no-one at all proof read this book before publication? It changes from stretchers to bandages on the same page. Then back to stretchers on the next. Ah the good old pre-decimal tuppenny coin. I'm sure I would have remembered them had they existed. Which they didn't apart from ceremonial Maundy half groats, not minted since George III. And I'm not that old. Flight Officer, addressed as Officer? A WW2 US and WAAF military rank not an RAF one. That would be Flight Lieutenant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in a very long time!
Brilliant book. Just brilliant.
Published 29 days ago by Sara123
3.0 out of 5 stars Its half a book
Blackout and All clear are a single book, not two parts of a series, a single book.

I bought this (and blackout) as I was so impressed with "Doomesday Book", a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lesley
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing - suggestions for optimal joy
My introduction to Willis was through the Doomsday Book.

First up, I think that Willis is an absolutely astonishing novelist and thus the question that you should be... Read more
Published 12 months ago by jonathan505154
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going
Got this book as i didnt realise the the story was in 2 parts .

Not very interesting and am still reading it after 12 months. Read more
Published 14 months ago by paul g chambers
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading
I Only read a couple of chapters to see if it improved on blackout but it didn't. Very poor book.
Published 14 months ago by Sarah g
4.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric
Although Connie Willis is from Colorado, she has managed to evoke the atmosphere of Eng;and durng the second world war very well.
Published 17 months ago by Liz H-L
2.0 out of 5 stars .... and on and on ... after "Blackout"
After a promising "plot" in "Doolmsday" I found both "Blackout" and "All Clear" sadly lacking in actual "Time Travel" although - to give... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bob, Fareham.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets Better Each Reading
I agree with most of the reviews here -- EXCEPT -- I just found myself picking up these books again, a few years after first reading them. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jennie Lyn
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated but good!
This is a sequel to a previous book 'Blackout' so I would recommend reading that first.It was brilliant to be able to download this book on to my kindle having read 'Blackout'... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mrs. H. F. Charles
3.0 out of 5 stars Return From World War II
In "All Clear", Connie Willis finishes the story she started in "Blackout". "All Clear" was published on October 19th, 2010. Read more
Published on 9 July 2012 by Dave_42
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