Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Date Read: February 12 to 24, 2018
If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would have finished this book in a single night, and then reread it immediately. And then maybe once more in audio because it was that kind of book and exactly what I needed.
I honestly did not expect this book to be so funny, or rather, I didn’t expect it to feature dry British humor so heavily. It had me laughing so hard, so many times, I could not read it in public. And then there were times when it had devastatingly honest commentary that made for some hard reading, but the humor certainly helped to offset the heavier moments.
This book is not without faults or shortcomings by any means. The beginning is slow and longish and very explain-y. You have to wade through a ton of background and set-up info before the action gets going, and the real action doesn’t start until half-way through the book. But it’s got a great cast of characters and snappy dialogue and, once the action started, things happened quickly. Literally, it was just one damned thing after another.
I really like Madeleine Maxwell, simply called Max, as the narrator. She is funny (often without meaning to be),smart quirky, and honest, and I had a great time following her on her journey to the cretaceous period.
Since the quirky characters and their nerdy, haphazard, time-traveling ways are so endearing, I find that I don’t really mind all the other stuff. All the things that normally bother me, things that plague all time-travel books such as plot holes and continuity issues and the method of time-travel itself, don’t really register. Sure, they’re noticeable if you look into them, but I don’t really care (this time). Just gonna enjoy the ride (through time).
Long series are a blessing when you find one that fits. I personally love long series, but rarely do I find one that makes me want to keep reading. This one is one of those rare ones. Good thing there are 8 more books and a couple of short stories already written.
A few memorable moments:
“I certainly wasn’t where I should be and it would be the cautious, the sensible thing to do. But, for God’s sake, I was an historian and cautious and sensible were things that happened to other people.”
“The Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings was the official body whose task it was to oversee repairs and maintenance to our beloved but battered listed building. We had them on speed-dial. They had us on their black list.”
“Time is important in our organisation. If you can’t even get to an appointment in your own building on time, they argue, you’re not going to have much luck trying to find the Battle of Hastings.”
“And finally, I have been asked by Mrs Partridge to raise this issue. As some of you may struggle to remember, next month is your annual appraisal and I’m advised by Mrs Partridge that some of the forms you were asked to complete as a preliminary need… more work.
“Your personal details update form… Mr Sussman; you are not a Jedi Knight. Kindly amend the details in Box 3–Religion. Ditto Mr Markham, Mr Peterson, Miss Maxwell, Mr Dieter and Miss Black.”