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4.4 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

An original Doctor Who novel, telling an all new Doctor Who story that hasn't appeared in any other medium.

It runs for two hundred and fifty five pages, and is divided into twenty chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue.

It features the Eleventh Doctor plus Amy and Rory.

The three main characters are perfectly written with dialogue that you can well imagine their tv versions saying.

And the book is suitable for readers of all ages.

The prologue is rather vague. But deliberately so. But after that the prose becomes exceptionally readable. As we're introduced to Andrew Brown. An employee in a bank who is rather drifting through life and to whom work has become everything. We meet him as he has a bad day which leads to him failing dismally at an important presentation.

His luck seems to change when he meets two strange men who can give him all the time he needs. Literally. He will have to pay some back but the interest rate is very reasonable.

Then along come the TARDIS crew, after a mishap on a holiday leads to the Doctor wanting to teach Amy and Rory about a financial crisis. Visiting the bank where Andrew works, they quickly discover strange things going on there. And when someone close to the Doctor makes a deal they come to regret, it's a race against time. Literally.

There's a lot to delight in this one. Very readable prose makes the story fly by. The supporting cast are all well drawn with very believable motivations. There are some delightful throwaway lines and ideas which really add to depth to the tale and the setting. It will teach you a few things about how high finance works. And interest rates.

It does offer a few good plot surprises and twists and turns.

And one rather pleasing continuity reference.

Plus the way things are resolved is rather neat.

Since it deals with time and time travel it's a complex narrative so you do need to keep your wits about you, but you will be rewarded if you do.

And at heart it's about a very real human desire. The desire for all the time you could ever need. It does raise some moral food for thought on that, and lets the reader draw their own conclusions. Also about certain practises of the financial sector as well.

A throughly entertaining read and a well above average entry in this range.
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on 16 August 2017
A very enjoyable read of a original adventure with the 12th doctor, Amy and Rory
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on 8 June 2015
A present which I bought for my mum to add to her collection.
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on 11 July 2011

Borrowed Time is built upon a premise that is perhaps slightly better than the final product. Overall it reads like a decent Doctor Who story but I would say there are a couple of problems.

The first is that the ending is very basic - essentially one glass-type structure is shattered and everything is fixed. I guess there have been simpler endings in the history of Doctor Who (as with David Tennant's final episodes where he shoots a box) but it is a bit of a let-down considering the build-up.

Secondly, the tone is a tad inconsistent. Some of the story is told from certain character's points of view, while other bits are explained in a third-person-type way. As well as that though, there are other sections that read as if told almost by a narrator with a different, perhaps more humourous way of describing things. This makes the read itself slightly disjointed because it switches from one to the other so frequently.

Naomi Alderman is clearly quite funny and has the characters of The Doctor, Amy and Rory nailed on very well. Some of it is a little fan-ish (references to UNIT, Torchwood, The Shadow Proclamation, etc) but there's nothing necessarily wrong with that.

What Naomi has also done very well is to take something like the financial crisis and apply a twist to it that works in the context of the story. It feels like a Doctor Who tale as well, something not all of the books do. We have literal loan sharks as well as giant cockroaches, something you could easily picture as a DW villain.

All-in-all, the book is worth a read and I would be interested in reading another Doctor Who book by the author.
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2011
It wasn't so long ago that BBC Books scored a coup by publishing a Michael Moorcock Doctor Who novel, The Coming of the Terraphiles. That was an okay book, but I was even more delighted when the latest load of Doctor Who review copies arrived, as one of the authors' names really leapt out at me. Could `Naomi A. Alderman' be the `Naomi Alderman' who won the Orange Prize for New Writers with her debut novel Disobedience in 2007? A quick scan of the accompanying press release revealed that it was indeed so. Naomi Alderman was also named by Waterstones as one of their Writers for the Future in 2007. I find it really exciting that BBC Books are able to commission authors of such extraordinary calibre, following the lead of the TV show, which has recently called on the talents of Richard Curtis and Neil Gaiman. Could Doctor Who be in danger of becoming part of the literary establishment? I certainly hope so. To make things even more stellar, Borrowed Time is partly dedicated to Naomi Alderman's cousin, Samuel West, who may or may not be the well-regarded actor of the same name who incredibly appeared in the lamentable Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover Dimensions in Time for Children in Need in 1993 only a couple of years after starring in Howards End, and who also played the Time Lord Morbius in a Big Finish audio adventure. Needless to say, all this pedigree allowed Borrowed Time to jump quite a few places on my to-read list!

It takes Naomi Alderman a couple of chapters to get going, but once she does, she really hits the ground running. Her characterisation of the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are spot on. The henchmen Symington and Blenkinsop appear to have stepped right out of The Matrix (the Wachowski movie, rather than the Time Lord databank), especially when they become `duplicated' and start hunting down the Doctor and his friends as a horde. However, Mr Symington and Mr Blenkinsop turn out to be quite literally loan `sharks', with the added propensity of biting chunks out of anyone that gets in their way, and they're a great example of how Naomi Alderman takes a simple idea to its logical (and somewhat surreal) extremes. The main plot is just as clever, featuring several employees of Lexington International Bank who have borrowed just a bit too much time from the aforementioned henchmen as they attempt to get at least one step ahead of their colleagues. Since time is the commodity that's being traded, it's not long before the Doctor becomes embroiled in the events at Lexington Bank. However, despite the fact that Amy knows the Doctor abhors dodgy dealings with time travel, she can't help but take Symington and Blenkinsop up on their offer to allow her a rare opportunity of visiting her parents. Since the novel's set in 2007, one would have thought that she'd run the risk of bumping into herself, but fortunately, the `real' Amy appears to have spent a great deal of time away from home in Leadworth in 2007. It's just as well that Symington & Blenkinsop's watch has a Blinovitch Limitation Limitation though.

In some places, especially with regards to the explanation of compound interest, Borrowed Time comes dangerously close to following Doctor Who`s original remit of being educational, to the extent that even a financial market is brought vividly to life (albeit a temporal one). Yet Alderman's novel is also very much a thriller, and her well-thought-out plot will have keep you royally entertained as you rapidly flick through its pages. Borrowed Time is also very funny, and it's very evident that Naomi Alderman knows her Doctor Who lore. As she writes in the acknowledgements, Naomi Alderman's first exposure to Doctor Who was a video of The Robots Of Death [1978] [DVD] [1963], and you can't really go wrong with an introduction like that. To my delight, Naomi Alderman also utilises the vworp, vworp noise to representation the landing of the TARDIS, something she's borrowed from the Doctor Who comic strips (if only the subtitles for the TV show would do the same!) Borrowed Time is a very clever satire on both our current 24 hours a day culture, and the 2007 banking crisis, since the novel's events are set just before the beginnings of this calamity. Indeed, in my opinion, Borrowed Time could very well be the best novel written yet on the banking crisis!
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on 29 February 2012
Whilst I found the characterisations of this particular Doctor Who story to be, for the most part, quite good (although I found Touched By An Angel to be even more so) I kept being distracted by the long-winded, sometimes patronising explainations of how banks work, how loans work, etc. Now, I'm not the smartest or "with it" person in the world, especially when it comes to finances. However, parts of this book read like nothing so much as a childrens educational novel wrapped up in popular culture, one with plenty of exposition - "Doctor Who explains compound interest. With cake".

It's a great idea for a story, and on the whole I like how it comes together, although it's a bit predictable in places (the big reveal on who the big villain of the story is honestly came to no surprise whatsoever) and, as I say, it can tend to drag on with explaining how money works. I'd recommend it, but mostly to Doctor Who fans who work in a bank. They seem to be the people who would enjoy this story the most.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 5 December 2012
This is a fairly standard Doctor Who story - aliens (working in pairs, why do they always seem to be in pairs of odd men who finish each others' sentences?) who can offer you back all the time you never seem to have enough of. Too good to be true? Well, yes actually.

The characters are all well put together - the Doctor, Amy and Rory are well portrayed and the characters in the bank, and the aliens, are, overall well rounded and played through the storyline.

A good, readable, Doctor Who story.
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on 12 September 2011
This original Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory novel is a perfect compliment to the current TV series. The characters are just as they appear on the show, while the villains and the plot are both definitely worthy of Steven Moffat's twisted fairytale vision. All in all a great read.
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on 22 February 2016
A story where the Doctor visits the world of investment banking and fights the evil forces of compound interest probably doesn’t initially sound like the most exciting of adventures. However, this being Doctor Who the subject isn’t money but time and those that collect the interest are more than just ‘loan’ sharks.

Essentially this is a humorous mockery of modern financial systems and institutions. It concentrates on the stupidity and fragility of compound interest, identified by the Doctor as a system for making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Something is lending time to those who believe they need more of it at an exorbitant rate of interest that is victims are never likely to pay back. Obviously the major targets become those that are absorbed in the ‘rat race’, living for work at the expense of everything else. This allows the novel to also parody these aspects of modern life.

There is only so much humour that can be derived from these subjects though and it inevitably becomes more repetitive and less interesting as the novel continues. The greater strength of the novel lies in the way individuals are seen attempting to deal with borrowing time. Through the perspectives of a few characters a familiar pattern emerges of borrowing time with good intentions, becoming full of elation at initial results, to becoming almost addicted to just borrowing a bit more for whatever insignificant reason until the realisation dawns that this leads down a road where you could never borrow enough. The personal journeys for both Amy and Andrew Brown are emotionally engaging, especially their naivety, and elicits plenty of empathy for them.

Mr. Blenkinsop and Mr. Syminton certainly owe something to the ‘deadly’ assassins of ‘Diamonds are Forever’, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. They are at their creepiest when in human form. Whilst in shark mode they lose their unsettling presence becoming ravenous monsters instead. The joke of them appearing this way is also rather unsubtle.
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on 8 August 2015
Item received promptly and safely. Thank you.
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