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A book by Michael Crichton

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Rich in Science and History but Predictable

  • May 16, 2009
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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 computers. Crichton indicates that several companies are already involved in a great deal of R&D in these fields.

The story focuses on a group of archeologists being sent back in time to rescue a colleague in 14th century England. He had gone back there to the same site at which he was digging at in the present and not returned. He had then left a message in a bunch of parchments that he knew his colleagues would find in the present.

The group of rescuers includes Professor Mare, who always thought himself to be a knight. Mare seems quite at home in the past and one can easily predict what his fate will be. There is Chris, who is a wimpy professor who becomes a "man" but going back and being forced to live in a cruel and menacing era. Kate is the mandatory lady that needs rescuing in this tale though at various points she seems to hold her own. Two "security" types get bumped off rapidly (a la Star Trek) round out the cast.

Back in the lab in the present is Stern the scientist who comes up with the idea a "band-aid" approach to repair the technology that failed in the nick of time. Donniger the head of the project who is similar to some of the project heads in other Crichton books (Jurassic Park).

The book did have its suspenseful moments (the inept Chris having to face a knight in a jousting match) but as one reads you can many times guess the outcome. The cruelty and complete disregard for human life took all the glamour out of what we expect knight tales to be.

This book is definitely not a page-turner but there is enough history and science to make it worth a read.

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More Timeline reviews
review by . March 20, 2010
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
The best book I've ever read!
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
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.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
one of my least favorites by Crichton
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
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.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
An awesome book by on of my favorite authors...and a lot better than the movie that was made based on it.
review by . March 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 …
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … 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.
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ISBN-10: 03454176263
ISBN-13: 978-0345417626
Author: Michael Crichton
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Published: October 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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