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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time And Again, and again,and again!
I just finished what has been one of the best novels I have read in a long time (no pun intended)since reading HG Wells' 'The Time Machine'. This has to be Jack Finney's best though I've started the sequel novel 'From Time To Time' which also looks very awesome which carries on the time travel adventures of Si Morley. I have to admit, I took ages to finish 'Time And...
Published on 6 Oct 2008 by S. Johnson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time travel a differnt way
I bought and read this book after reading Stephen King's 11/22/63, as he referred to it as the best time travel book ever and, I think, took some ideas from it.

I found it had promise at first but then got a bit stale and turgid and drawn out too much. Maybe would be better received by someone who know New York well (where it's set), but I wasn't interested in...
Published 8 months ago by HPVEE


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time And Again, and again,and again!, 6 Oct 2008
By 
S. Johnson "sijon" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time and Again (Paperback)
I just finished what has been one of the best novels I have read in a long time (no pun intended)since reading HG Wells' 'The Time Machine'. This has to be Jack Finney's best though I've started the sequel novel 'From Time To Time' which also looks very awesome which carries on the time travel adventures of Si Morley. I have to admit, I took ages to finish 'Time And Again' maybe because I just didn't want it to end, a quality you do not often find in a book. Every page of every chapter is gripping stuff which really does take the reader on a journey with the characters and invokes a very vivid picture in the reader's mind's eye, what also helps is that this novel is illustrated with black and white sketches and photos which help create this atmosphere. Jack Finney has been extremely descriptive in some of the long chapters but this has been invaluable to the reader's imagination. Overall, the book has a great plot, my only slight problem was with the time travel science; there is no real explaination on HOW Si Morley time traveled apart from the odd mention of hypnotism - based time travel theory a bit similair to the film 'Somewhere In Time' starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve based on the book 'Bid Time Return' by Richard Matheson. I have to say, I think this novel along with its sequel probably surpasses Wells' 'The Time Machine'. 'Time and Again' would make a wonderful film! So, if you are into time travel or even just a good read then treat yourself to this book, it is truely brilliant.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romanticized, but Highly Entertaining, 21 Dec 2002
This review is from: Time And Again: Time and Again: Book One (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Si Morely is a late twentieth-century artist who spends his days in the comfortable but non-creative pursuit of drawing boring illustrations, and his nights in an equally comfortable but not-so-great relationship with an interesting (but definitely not hot) antiques dealer. It's the type of relationship where you might get married someday, but then again, you might not. Si's girlfriend, however, is a lady with a secret: a burned, blue envelope that appears to warn of the the end of the world by fire.
The government interrupts Si's comfortable but mundane life when they make a proposal. The only problem is, Si has to agree before he can learn any of the details. As nothing particularly spectacular is happening in Si's life right now, he agrees and learns the government has been experimenting with time travel. They are now searching for the perfect people to send back in time, i.e., people who love history, who can recreate the past in their imaginations.
As it turns out, Si has a very good imagination and is the first to make the trip. He crosses time's threshold and enters New York in 1882, a place where he will encounter an old mystery and a future love.
Finney's Old New York is both magical and romanticized, a little like Mark Helprin's in Winter's Tale. Horses trot down the city streets, skyscrapers are only a dream and snow transforms the city into a winter wonderland. The streets are cobblestone, the men are gentlemen and people live in boarding houses whose windows reflect the light from the gas lamps lining the streets. It's an idealized version of New York, to be sure, and Finney doesn't tell us about the child labor, the rampant racism, the myriad of problems that were portrayed in Caleb Carr's The Alienist, for example. That's okay, because Time and Again is so good, and such wonderful entertainment, that we easily forgive Finney his historical inaccuracies.
While visiting the past, Si investigates his girlfriend's family secret, the secret of the blue envelope. Although a little contrived, this is a mystery with many twists and turns, at times sinister, at times amusing, but always engrossing.
Finney wisely presents no new earth-shaking ideas here and only briefly touches on themes such as the paradox and angst associated with fooling around with the course of history. Si is a man who interacts with the past in much the same way you or I probably would, and, ultimately, this is what makes Time and Again so very believable and so very good.
Gratefully, Finney eschews gimmicks and high-tech solutions to the problem of time travel and gracefully relies on plain old-fashioned will instead. That is part of why Si is able to accomplish it so easily. For him, history is more than names and dates in a book, it's something that's happening right now, something that can be recreated, if only one can get into the right frame of mind.
Time travel is a wonderful and entertaining genre if only it's handled correctly and handling it correctly is something Finney never fails to do. In Time and Again Finney gives us the complexity of a murder mystery wrapped in a "Russian" enigma. It's a wonderful book with wonderful characters that never fails to entertain.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling read., 7 Aug 2001
By 
S. A. Perry "sperry@heavyfish.co.uk" (Wolverhampton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time And Again: Time and Again: Book One (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
A beautifully written time-travel fantasy, that manages to be believable without the need for techno-babble solutions to how its done.
The book also succeeds in evoking the feel of 1880s New York, and its linking with a real, if minor, historical event makes an intriguing mystery.
The ending is one of the most touching I have read in science fiction or fantasy.
My only complaints are that I wanted the book to be twice as long, and why have I not come across it until now!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Largely charming time travel story, 17 Mar 2010
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time and Again (Paperback)
A good read and for the most part a rather charming tale of time travel, though there are some unlikely plot developments. The book is perhaps a bit too long, with a lot of description and rambling rather in places. Some of it would mean more to me if I had ever been to New York or in any case knew it better; the sheer wealth of detail suggests that the author was determined to get down on paper all the results of his undoubtedly thorough research into the social history of the late 19th century city. The plot resolution also seemed to me to rely on a somewhat rosy view of the supposed innocence and incorruptibility of the 19th century versus the horrors of the 20th. The pictures are a nice touch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars overlong and wordy, but still a gripping time travel story, 28 Feb 2010
By 
L. Bretherton "dempie" (Tiverton, Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time and Again (Paperback)
I am left a bit confused at the end of this book. I thought it started off really well, I loved the idea of Si Morley willing himself to travel across time to the Dakota Building in New York in the late 1880s. Maybe if you are American, you will enjoy this book a lot more, knowing New York and all the buildings mentioned.

I did enjoy the story, and couldn't figure out what was going to happen, or how it was going to end, but I found the last two thirds of the book quite heavy going, in particular I found the section which deals with the fire, very long. The time when Si and Julia are trapped in the office went particularly slowly, I found.

There were an awful lot of names to remember, and I just couldn't be bothered to keep working out who was who. I did like the section which takes place in the boarding house, and the sleigh ride sequence.

This could have been made into a marvellous film, and I'm surprised that nobody has ever attempted it.

It's different, and you will get absorbed by this book, it will make you think about time, and how the world has changed .....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 21 years, 6 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Time and Again (Paperback)
I first read this book 21 years but unfortunately did not make a note of the author. Since then i have spent endless hours in libraries trying to find it.
A few weeks ago I put into the search engine on Amazon -Dakota buildings and back in time and it came up with Time and Again.
I have just finished reading it and once again I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact I think it is one of the most enjoyable books that i have ever read. It is fascinating
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of all time!!, 3 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Time and Again (Paperback)
This is without question one of the most original and totally absorbing books I've ever read. I will admit that the beginning was a little slow. The first time I started to read it, I stopped at the beginning and gave it to a friend, because it just didn't grab me. My friend read it, loved it, and convinced me to try again. I am so glad I did! On my second attempt, I was completely drawn in and mesmerized by Sy's travels. I live in NYC and love its past, and was thrilled to have old NY described in such vivid detail. I really felt like I was there. This book also affected my sleep - I had dreams about travelling into NY's past almost every night. This book makes you believe it really can be done. For those who are interested in science fiction, forget this book. It is a non-sci-fi book about time travel that really holds a person's interest. I have recommended this book to everyone, have read it twice myself, and can't wait to read it again and again and again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cries out for a deluxe edition, 1 Sep 2012
By 
Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time And Again: Time and Again: Book One (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
'Psst! Wanna work on a secret project for the Government? So secret I can't tell you anything about it!' Most of us, I suspect, would shy away from such an unlikely offer, but not the hero of this time-travel classic. This is the first of many suspensions of disbelief needed to get the most out of this book. The project turns out to be a highly implausible method of slipping into 1882 New York, basically to see if it can be done.

Once the rather laborious set-up is done with, it gets very interesting, and the descriptions make the period come to life. They are a little overdone, but the photos help, and it becomes clear this is a labour of love on the part of the author. Once the plot gets underway, the usual time-travel plot logic problems occur, notably the ending, which I won't give away.

Even so, I really enjoyed this, and my thought throughout was that it cries out to be made into a large scale deluxe hardback, complete with street atlases and photographs of New York in 1882 and 1970, when the novel is set. The publishers are missing a real opportunity! I've read nothing else like it in the fantasy genre. Some of the 1970s perspective is a little dated now, and the poverty of the period is alarmingly by-passed for much of the time, but this was still a most enjoyable read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finney's Unbeatable Gem, 9 July 2006
By 
Mr. John Frank Herbert (Greenwich, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time And Again: Time and Again: Book One (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
The outline of the story is well documented here already. But I simply had to add, being an absolute time-travel freak, that this book is simply, by far and away, the best of all the time travel stories that I've ever read.

No need for a time machine - this travel by will is far more convincing, and the traveller interacts brilliantly with the people and the times.

The ending - oh the ending!! It's worth the entrance fee alone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time travel a differnt way, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Time And Again: Time and Again: Book One (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I bought and read this book after reading Stephen King's 11/22/63, as he referred to it as the best time travel book ever and, I think, took some ideas from it.

I found it had promise at first but then got a bit stale and turgid and drawn out too much. Maybe would be better received by someone who know New York well (where it's set), but I wasn't interested in that; more of the mechanism Finney used to get his character back and forth in time. And this wasn't a machine - seems just a thought process.

Anyway not outstanding, but sufficiently intriguing for me to buy his more recent sequel. Let’s see how that goes...
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