If you'd asked me a while ago I'd have said The Time Traveller's Wife was my favourite bookof all time without any hesitation. I discovered it through my mum when I was still living at home (hello 5 years ago!) and she in turn discovered it through Richard and Judy's book club. I was gripped by it, turning every page as if I were being paid for getting through them in the fastest possible time. I carried it to school (I must have been in 6th form so that means it was at least 6/7 years ago) reading it in the common room between lessons and under the table in the ones I thought I could get away with it in. I read through lunch, I read whilst walking home, even crossing roads, oblivious to the on-coming threat of traffic (somthing I do not recommend). I read through dinner and then through the evening hours until I literally fell asleep with itchy red blood shot eyes. I did this for 2 days straight until it was finished. Then I cried.
It could have been exhaustion causing me to feel emotionsl. It could have been because the ending was so final that there was no room for the sequels todays Twilighters have some to depend on to get their next fix. When it was finished. There really was no more and I pined for it.
It could have been because Audrey Niffenegger wrote Henry and Claire so well that they came to life in my mind. I felt like I knew them. I cared about them (somthing which Stephanie Meyer failed to get me to do with Bella and Edward). I wanted them to have a happy ending. They didn't get one. I cried because the book was sad. Because the story was told so exquisitley that the loss and heartbreak made me feel empathy.
Sympathy is an easy thing for an author to conjure up in her readers...but Empathy? To truly not just feel sorry for the person with the heartbreak but to feel it with them? And all of that for characters who didn't exist anywhere but inside the pages of a book?
If only she had been the author of Twilight.
I enjoyed the concept of Twilight, but Staphenie Meyer's writing skills left a lot to be desired with me... I would have enjoyed growing to love and care for her characters but they remained verymuch one dimensional, trapped on their pages, never quite managing to come to life. They lacked Niffenegger's magic touch. And it frustrates me that even though her book made it successfuly into the realms of Adult literature... they still managed to MURDER it with a stupid film adaptation that once again left out vital parts that were in the book and added in random made up scenes that never took place and were completely irrelevent to the story!!! Grrrr.... ever heard of the expression 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it!' ?? hmmm? have you? HAVE YOU!?
All that aside, because loads of people jumped on the band wagon when that atrocity of a film came out, I am no longer going to name The Time Travellers Wife as my favourite book...
Instead I'm going to go with the one that was my favourite for years before it.... the one that I still read again every summer and I see somthing different in it every time I do...
DOUGLAS ADAMS The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy. *which was also nearly ruined by another nearly horrid film adaptation -rescued by martin freeman....but ruined by that god awful bit where Trillian has that emotion ray gun thing that she shoots them with to show them how she's feeling!? what was up with that!? But I'm not goining to go on about that now...
I think it appeals because I love randomness wih a point to it.... and then just plain old randomness which this book does ingeniously well..
One of my favourite characers is slarty bartfast because he reminds me of my step-dad (don't ask!) But what I find intriguing is that as I've read the book at differen ages and stages in my life I have identified with different characters and had different favourites and liked different bis. Heck, I've even noticed different bits.
When I read it in year 13 I was studying war poetry in English (I wanted to poke my eyes out and stuff them in my ears so I wouldn't have to be exposed to another stanza) And I loved the part where they are captured by the volgins and being read poetry as a orture method.
I loved how the answer to life the universe and everything was 42 and deep thought had calculated the answer without knowing what the real question was!! It's just an amazing read... I recommend it to man woman and child from ages 6 and up. my son is 4 but very bright and I have started reading him sections before bed. He loves it....
It's comedy but it makes you think... when you've finished reading it you might not think it, but I bet if you started at page one again you'd keep going til the end... the whole time saying to yourself 'I'll just get to the end of this bit then I'll stop'
Go and pick it up.. I swear you won't put it down without taking somthing away from it worth the time Douglas Adams took to write it. Too bad he popped his cloggs a couple of years (or more now?) ago.... with all the Meyers about we need people like him to balance out the literary world!