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From Time to Time - Jack Finney

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Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Jack Finney / Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed / Paperback / 304 Pages / Book is published 1996-02-01 by Prentice Hall & IBD

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      08.07.2009 22:59
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      An Amazing Novel

      One of the greatest books that I have read for many years was Jack Finney's Time and Again. It's a time travel fantasy novel that concerns an illustrator named Simon Morley who is recruited by a secret project to self-hypnotize himself back in time. He travels back to New York in the 1800's and has fantastic adventures within the city. It really is an amazing novel and I urge everyone to read it.

      Time and Again was an ode to New York, a rich and deep novel that talked about how cities change over the years and how the smallest intricate details can be amazing. Although it was a time travel novel it wasn't per-say a science fiction tale. If you're after a great time travel novel that deals with overlaps and how time travel can alter the future then read David Gerrold's amazing 'The Man Who Folded Himself'.

      Finney's original novel came out in 1970, and this sequel was written and published some twenty five years later. From Time To Time is again about Simon Morley, still living with his wife and son in 1880's New York. He feels detached somewhat from his life in the future and wants to return just one more time.

      Again using self-hypnosis, Morley returns to future and meets up with his old boss from the project. They manage to persuade Morley to go back to 1911 and try and prevent the start of the Great War. Si begins by trawling the streets of the old city, visiting old vaudeville acts in the search for the mysterious 'Z', a man who could prevent the outbreak of war. Si's investigation leads him around the city and eventually to the Titanic and a massive iceberg!

      From Time to Time is an excellent follow up novel to Time and Again. It was also really good to read both books within a year of each other. Both books are fantastic visual treats and well as written ones. Morley's job as a graphic artist and photographer come in handy as many photos and drawings are included in the book.

      I suppose if I were living in New York and knew the places that are described, then these novels would be even better as they are so visually descriptive and loving of the city he admires so much.

      Some of the book was quite confusing and you really have got to keep your wits about you when you are reading it. It does go a little more in depth about changing the course oh history and is more of a science fiction novel than the previous work. Here, there is a purpose to Si's actions - to stop the breakout of the Great War. This also becomes a personal mission for Morley as he realises that there is more riding on this than he realises.

      You can't really read this book without having read the earlier one so I suggest getting them both and reading them in order. They are a little hard to find in shops, but I got them both quite easily on Amazon.co.uk. I highly recommend both books, they truly are two of the best books I have ever read.


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