Friday, May 24, 2013

Timeline by Micheal Crichton : Mini Review

Publisher : Ballantine books
Copy source : Personal
Rating : 3.5/5

Synopsis from Good reads

When you step into a time machine, fax yourself through a "quantum foam wormhole" and step out in feudal France circa 1357, be very, very afraid. If you aren't strapped back in precisely 37 hours after your visit begins, you'll miss the quantum bus back to 1999 and be stranded in a civil war, caught between crafty abbots, mad lords and peasant bandits all eager to cut your throat. You'll also have to dodge catapults that hurl sizzling pitch over castle battlements. On the social front, you should avoid provoking "the butcher of Crecy" or Sir Oliver may lop your head off with a swoosh of his broadsword or cage and immerse you in "Milady's Bath", a brackish dungeon pit into which live rats are tossed now and then for prisoners to eat.
This is the plight of the heroes of Timeline, Michael Crichton's thriller. They're historians in 1999 employed by a tech billionaire-genius with more than a few of Bill Gates' most unlovable quirks. Like the entrepreneur in Crichton's Jurassic Park, Doniger plans a theme park featuring artefacts from a lost world revived via cutting-edge science. When the project's chief historian sends a distress call to 1999 from 1357, the boss man doesn't tell the younger historians the risks they'll face trying to save him. At first, the interplay between eras is clever but Timeline swiftly becomes a swashbuckling old-fashioned adventure, with just a dash of science and time paradox in the mix. Most of the cool facts are about the Middle Ages and Crichton marvellously brings the past to life without ever letting the pulse-pounding action slow down. At one point, a time-tripper tries to enter the Chapel of Green Death. Unfortunately, its custodian, a crazed giant with terrible teeth and a bad case of lice, soon has her head on a block. "She saw a shadow move across the grass as he raised his axe into the air." Try not to turn the page!

Through the narrative can be glimpsed the glowing bones of the movie that may be made from Timeline and the high tech computer game that should hit the market in 2000. Expect many clashing swords and chase scenes through secret castle passages. But the book stands alone, tall and scary as a knight in armour shining with blood. --Tim Appelo
My thoughts : 
The way it started , I thought it was going to be a 4 star book for me , but somewhere in the middle the narrative started sagging and getting a little repetitive. Definitely a memorable cast of characters .The idea is exhilarating, maybe the editing could have been tauter.Towards the end I was just waiting for the book to get over and move on to something else. 

If you like reading about the medieval times ( which I don't ) , you might enjoy the vast amounts of information you can glean about 14th century France. I just found the be headings and blood shed and the bravado of the knights just too much to stomach. Maybe I really don't fancy historical fiction (though this isn't technically of that genre).  The technology part of the idea behind the book is rather interesting , and I found myself enjoying the parts where Crichton explained the nitty- gritties of quantum physics. I am definitely going to pick up more books on the idea of parallel universes and quantum physics (though I never enjoyed my physics classes in school).Which just goes on to prove my pet peeve that our education system sucks and does not pique enough interest in children. Rote -learning   
of formulas is definitely not the recipe for life-long love and curiosity. 

Amazing amounts of research has gone into creating this book( as evident from the bibliography at the end ) , and I respect that ,which is why I am giving this book a 3.5.(less)

Overall , an ok read. If you dig Knights and gory stuff , you might like this one! I loved it because the idea of parallel universe is just so intriguing.

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