Well, I finished The Time Traveler's Wife and I have to admit that it wasn't all bad. There were definitely things I liked about the book, and by the time I finished it felt a little bit like I was competing directly against the author, Audrey Niffenegger.
Great concept for a novel: Point goes to Niffenegger
-I may not have liked the execution all that much, but I have to admit that the time travel twist makes for a very innovative take on the love story.
Niffenegger 1 Roecker 0
Slow starter: Point goes to Roecker
-So many people who are critical of this book, claim they just couldn't get into it. It's well written, but the first 150 pages just seem superfluous to the book itself. I understand that she wanted us to see the full story from where it began (with Clare as a 6-year-old), but it really just wasn't that interesting.
Niffenegger 1 Roecker 1
I finished the book in 3 days: Point goes to Niffenegger
-As critical as I'd like to be of this book, I finished the whole damn thing in a few days. Whether I'd like to admit it or not, I was hooked.
Niffenegger 2 Roecker 1
The book was 518 pages: Point goes to Roecker
-I think this would have been a better book if you took out about 200 pages. There's just so much detail and very little of it was actually compelling. I found myself skimming paragraphs just to get to an actual plot point.
Niffenegger 2 Roecker 2
The book made me cry: Point goes to Niffenegger
As a mother, there were certain aspects of the book that really tugged at my heartstrings. These portions of the book were extremely well written and definitely kept me turning the page, eager to find out what was going to happen next.
Niffenegger 3 Roecker 2
The book was depressing: Point goes to Roecker
Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that all books should be filled with sunshine and rainbows. In fact some of my favorite books, The Lovely Bones and The Book Thief for example, are pretty heavy books. But here's the key, they managed to end on a note of hope. Even in the most hopeless of scenarios the authors infused just the tiniest promise of better things to come that it made the sad stuff more poignant while avoiding the horrible I-should-be-on-suicide-watch-after-reading-this-book-syndrome. Bottom line, The Time Traveler's Wife is essentially about a woman waiting around for a man to show up and *spoiler alert* when he stops showing up, her life sort of just grinds to a halt. This depresses me. Not suicide watch levels of depression, but enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth.
Niffenegger 3 Roecker 3
The book was a RAGING success: Point goes to Niffenegger
-Thousands of book clubs across the country have discussed this book. The movie is one the most anticipated films premiering this summer and girlfriend just scored a $4.5 million advance for her next novel. Even more fascinating to me is that Niffenegger kept her day job throughout the success of her debut because she didn't want to feel pressured to write her second book. And while she most certainly could have sold her second book off a proposal, she waited until the manuscript was complete. Yeah, I'd say that paid off. If you're interested in the full story, check this out.
Niffenegger 4,500,003 Roecker 3
So, safe to say that Niffenegger took this one. Quite handily, I might add. This is one of those books that just didn't work from me, although I can see why other readers might have loved it. Welcome to the subjectivity that is reading and writing. I'm actually wondering if this will be one of those rare occasions where I'll enjoy the movie more than the book (see below for the trailer).
Of course there are about 4.5 million reasons for you guys to completely ignore my little review and for Audrey to laugh in my face.
Well played, Niffenegger. Well played.