An engrossing, fast-paced, action-packed adventure.
Mar 26, 2009
Professor Johnston is working in France as the chief archaeologist on a dig of a historical medieval town when the multi-millionaire Robert Doniger, owner of ITC, the company financing his project, suddenly calls him away to the US. A few days later, his son, Chris, and the students working on the dig learn from ITC that the Professor has mysteriously disappeared. Not long after, while working on the site, they find, inside a room that has been sealed for over 600 years, a disturbing manuscript bearing the Professor's handwriting; and when the document is unquestionably dated to the year 1357 they quickly turn to ITC demanding to know the Professor's whereabouts. Doniger explains that ITC, whose intent is to create a historical theme park by using cutting-edge technology to bring the past to life, has discovered a way to travel in time through a quantum wormhole. The Professor, who was sent to 1357 France, missed his return window and hasn't been heard from since. Before long, Chris and a team of archaeologists, historians, and even the military are on a mission to find and rescue the Professor, but as soon as they are sent back, and with a rapidly approaching deadline of 37 hours, things turn horribly wrong, both in the present and the past, and their chances of success start to look less and less promising. In this novel, Michael Crichton masterfully combines mystery, action, adventure, history, technology, and science to give us an engrossing read. Through great, well-defined characters, Crichton immerses us in a marvelous adventure of clashing swords, secret passages, invading armies, and mysterious knights, and transports us into a realistically rendered medieval world. For a novel containing a five-page bibliography, it is only fair to mention that the true to life details present in Crichton's medieval world (on topics so far ranging as fashion, social customs, warfare and politics) are a direct result of the vast historical research he carefully conducted. Even though, towards the end of the book, the never-slowing action takes the characters into too many life-threatening situations, the quality of the story is not irreparably affected, as Crichton compensates with a perfect ending, making this a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable adventure. --Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
What a shame! Compared with Crichton's past stellar work and exciting accomplishments like "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain", "Timeline" is a derivative, pedestrian work riddled with inconsistencies and cardboard characters that falls completely flat! ITC, a typical power driven, megalomaniacal firm built on cutting edge technology advances has developed the ability to travel in time. Crichton's clever and extremely well-imagined description … more
Timeline essentially uses time travel as a device to thrust modern humans into the medieval past to write an action adventure story in that setting. It begins, for all intents and purposes, when a group of graduate student archaeologists, working on a dig under the auspices of a secretive corporation, find a note from their professor asking for help. It just happens the note was written during the Middle Ages. Thus, they are whisked off in a corporate jet and thrust into the past to find the professor … more
One of Crichton's best. Opens a fascinating door into the past, both technologically (the time travel aspect) and culturally (a glimpse of what it might really have been like, based upon lots of research). Well-conceived tale, tantalizingly possible (quantum "fax"? Wow...). Great story.
I found this book really interesting. I found deviation from the scientific (that Crichton focuses most of his books around) to the historic refreshing and intriguing. There is no lack of science, but it was a nice change of pace.
This book had a lot of potential and is indeed rich in history. What hurt this book a lot was that Crichton decided to emphasize and amount of time available for the characters to complete their mission and return. Without completing the book you could easily guess that it would go down to the last second (at least in the movie "Goldfinger" the clock wound down to 007). Quantum physics is the focus of the book and its many possibilities. These include parallel universes, time travel and subatomic … more
I've been a freelance artist, graphic designer, editor, and translator for over 15 years, and I love and greatly enjoy my job. Although my biggest passion is art and languages, I am interested in … more
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About the Author Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, in 1942. His novels include The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, and Airframe. He is also the creator of the television series ER.