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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars *Nearly* perfect
This book is a hoot! Time-travel romantic comedy, with literary allusions stirred in to taste. Most of the characters are stereotypes, but not badly-done, and I'm glad she's rationed the effusions of the mawkish Victorian maiden.
I could guess some but not all of the plot, and when I realised who the Victorian maiden was going to fall in love with—and why she...
Published on 24 Mar 2004 by adrianfagg

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, not up to the standards of Doomsday Book
This is the second novel by the author based around a time travel facility in Oxford in the mid twenty-first century. However, while Doomsday Book had a very strong historical element set during the Black Death, this had a rather ridiculous storyline set in the Victorian era and satirising Three Men in a Boat. I found the main characters mostly rather irritating with...
Published 1 month ago by John Hopper


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected - but wonderful on its own, 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
I had a hard time getting into the start of the book because, as others have said, I was expecting science fiction. Yes, there is time travel - but for all that it doesn't follow the basic sci-fi outline at all. However, once I got into the book I thought it was hillarious. I couldn't put it down once I was half way through. Yes, the story has been done before (Oh no! We changed history!) it was the characters and the humor that made the book. Very enjoyable, very funny, well worth the read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, funny and damned clever all at the same time, 10 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
To Say Nothing of the Dog allegedly is a rethinking of the 1888 vaudevillian-like 'novel' by Jerome K Jerome, Three Men in a Boat. In fact, Connie Willis has combined chaos theory, time travel, Victorian sensibilities (with a Jane Austen type flair)and really funny bits into a plot that would make an engineer proud. This is a terrific book! Our hero is trying to straighten out an historical incongruity which arose through an oversight by a fellow time traveler. The pace begins with a leaisurely, absurd river trip (a la Jerome) but pace and purpose subtly change through the pages to become a scientific thriller, a love story or two, a consideration of chaos theory and history, and ends with a masterful blending of all of the elements into a congruent whole (including one plotline that ends with an appropriate Victorian melodramatic twist).
This was my first try at Connie Willis, but I immediately picked up Lincoln's Dreams (which also starts slowly and picks up both emotional and plotting impact through its pages)and Uncharted Territory. Each of the books is very different than the next. If you like an author who is well informed in science, history, is sensitive to character, has her tongue firmly planted in her cheek with wit and grace and best of all can actually write well, I enthusiastically recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog. It may well start you, too, on ferreting out the rest of the books by this writer whose biggest fault is that she is under-prolific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To Read It You Must Be Barking!, 31 May 2009
By 
Mr. John Frank Herbert (Greenwich, London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
WHAT A HOOT!

Having read so many time travel novels I approached this comedy caper with more than a little trepidation.
No need.
What FUN! ....What LARKS!

Time travelling between the 1940's and the 21st century, backwards and forwards, is enough to send you giddy.

And the explanations of time incongruities and slippages will have you signing up for the funny farm!

But, HEY, it was a very entertaining read and the 1940's chit chat will have you in stitches.

What's it all about, you ask?
Alright, it's about Coventry Cathedral and rescuing the Bishop's Bird Stump from the Nazi air raid and .....oh, just go and read it .....and titter .....
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars connie willis' best, 6 Jan 2006
By 
M. ynes (drammen, norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book by Connie Willis I read, and it was recommended to me because of other purchases (e.g. Jasper Fforde).
This is a brilliant, fascinating read. You are hurled into the action, and understand very little as the story progresses. Fortunately, the protagonist shares your confusion.
This is a very successful blend of science fiction, historical novel, romance and satire, and will be loved by anyone who enjoy genre mixing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new novel that feels like an old favorite., 9 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
As I read this book, I quickly realized that Connie Willis has the same affection for British fiction that I myself have. I'd never have thought that anyone could pay homage to so many other novelists without creating a big muddle, but Willis not only manages to juggle hundreds of literary allusions, but also does so while creating her own very intricate mystery, and manages to tie all the pieces together in a fairly spectacular knot at the end. The novel begins in the same future Oxford University shown in Willis' Nebula Award-winning novel Doomsday Book, but where that novel brought tears to my eyes a number of times, the only tears that To Say Nothing of the Dog elicited were tears of laughter. I'm not going to try and explain the plot. You have to experience it as it develops to follow it, with characters shuttling back and forth between multiple eras. But somehow Willis manages to create scenes that feel just like your favorite bits from Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Alfred Bester, E.M. Forster, Robert Heinlein, to say nothing of Jerome K. Jerome, and makes them all fit together seamlessly. And adds more than a little humor to the mix. Read this book, and then read it again. You'll admire it even more the second time through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historians Out Of Time, 9 Nov 2010
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
Connie Willis has produced an intelligent, very entertaining time travel mystery story.

The book is set in a near future where time travel is possible but is used only by historians for research purposes. Her protagonists have been conscripted by the overbearing American wife of a peer into a project to recreate the Coventry Cathedral destroyed in the Blitz. When one of them inadvertently causes a potential interference with the timeline in the nineteenth century, they must try to restore the position, and identify what damage may have been done. Ultimately, thanks to causality, it is possible they will change the course of history and allow the Nazis to win WWII.

Ms Willis writes extremely well. She combines various literary styles, from Victorian comedies of manners, through Sherlock Holmes to Dorothy L Sayers. The title is, of course, a reference to Jerome K Jerome's "Three Men In A Boat", although that forms a very minor part in the book.

The book is deftly executed. The pace is maintained, the plot twists neat and introduced carefully and the characters engaging. In the best tradition of whodunnits, the reader gets to the plot points smugly ahead of the protagonists right up until the last one.

My only gripe is that the author is occasionally careless with detail, which detracts from the novel. The odd stylistic or social slip is understandable (She uses "school" to mean university - an Englishman in the 1860s asked his school would name his public school, not his college). However, there is one egregious one. On p.118 she refers to Pearl Harbor happening three weeks after the destruction of Coventry. In our reality, Pearl Harbor came a YEAR and three weeks after 14th November 1940. I expected this to be a key plot point, but it wasn't, just a mistake. A foolish one given her readership is likely spot it and be confused, as I was.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a contrast....., 28 Oct 2010
By 
Blencathra (West Yorkshire.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
.....to The Doomsday Book. Whilst I really enjoyed the latter, I have to say I found this a bit special - the humour and pastiche on Victorian country house life, the Victorian melodrama, added a whole lot more, and really made this a 'stand out' read. Quirky, even genuinely funny in places (and it's not often I find that in a book), it still managed to retain a sense of the adventure, of the uncertainly of travelling to a different time, and thus very different culture, and plenty of twists and turns! A great story, different to anything else I've read, and one I put down very reluctantly, knowing that there is little else quite like it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, not up to the standards of Doomsday Book, 28 July 2014
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the second novel by the author based around a time travel facility in Oxford in the mid twenty-first century. However, while Doomsday Book had a very strong historical element set during the Black Death, this had a rather ridiculous storyline set in the Victorian era and satirising Three Men in a Boat. I found the main characters mostly rather irritating with the exceptions of the dog Cyril (a lovely depiction) and the long suffering manservant Baine. The convolutions of the time distortions were extremely complicated and not really worth trying to follow as the whole thing revolved around events so inconsequential - why would the timestream choose such a ludicrously convoluted way of correcting an incongruity? The author's imagination is vivid and I kept turning the pages, but ultimately this was rather a disappointment.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romp through the Victorian Era, 16 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
The only problem I could find with this book is its unfortunate ability to make me snort loudly in public places. Continually diminishing social life aside, this is by far the funniest, smartest novel I have ever read. Willis expertly juggles chaos theory, time travel, a period novel, a romance novel, a sci-fi piece, and assorted fauna, and yet maintains coherence throughout. Details connect wonderfully, sneaking up on you from behind as pieces fall into place. But, more than just being a romp among the Victorians--which it is--To Say Nothing of the Dog is informed with a steadily growing deep view of the universe. It is a book about the incredible interconnected complexity of the world, where every detail matters, where no one and nothing is really insignificant. It is rare and wondrous to find a comedy with a spiritual dimension, a joyous book of philosophy. Thought is not sacrificed for humor. To avoid this book would be like avoiding life. It overflows with joy and insight. After re-reading it, I feel enriched.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious, can't-put-it-down time travel adventure!, 9 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) (Mass Market Paperback)
I opened this book and was caught up from the first page. It is a clever, funny tale of mishaps, misunderstandings, and time travel confusion that you will not want to put down once you've started, and had me laughing out loud many times throughout. The characters were vibrant and interesting (even the shallow ones!), the setting and historical information clever and eloquently depicted, and the subject of the book itself fascinating -- what happens when you remove one cat from its place in time and then try to put it back unnoticed. A must-read, even for those who are not necessarily sci/fi/fantasy fans.
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To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (Bantam Spectra Book) by Connie Willis (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Nov 1999)
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