Review of Time and Time Again – Ben Elton

Posted: January 29, 2015 in history, Review, science fiction

Time and Time Again

TV comedy scriptwriter is what springs to mind when someone mentions Ben Elton to me. After that is: stand up comic and then writer of satirical novels. So when I sat down to read Time and Time Again I was anticipating either more biting satire or a gently droll piece not what I actually got, which is a serious science fiction work i.e. little or no humour. Reassuringly, Mr Elton has delivered a novel that does credit to him and the genre.

In the late seventeenth century Sir Isaac Newton, through his studies of gravity, determined that the for a brief interval of one or two seconds that time in 2025 would overlap time in 1914, thus making time travel possible. He entrusted these calculations to the Masters of Trinity College, Cambridge. Viewed from 2025, the twentieth century was a disaster and the opportunity to avert World War I is a golden opportunity and Hugh Stanton is the man chosen to make the journey. But after he starts his mission Hugh begins to question whether the mission was such a good idea – and then his life gets complicated.

Hugh Stanton is the appropriate choice for time travelling adventurer: a loner, with no attachments to the twenty first century, adaptive and able to blend into the crowd; and willing to go.

I enjoyed this story. The characters were well drawn, the culture shocks of moving from twenty first century Britain to early twentieth century Europe were nicely shaded and the reveal later in the book suitably handled. Mr Elton has a future outside of comedy.

Bantam Press

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon

Another review of Time And Time Again

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