Book Review: To Say Nothing of the Dog

After three attempts, I have finally completed To Say Nothing of the Dog. Although it was a slow beginning, and took forever to get interesting, I discovered it was totally worth the wait.

To Say Nothing of the Dog starts off very slowly. Because of the differing theories of time travel in the science fiction genre, it takes the reader a little time to wrap their mind around the theory that Connie Willis presents in this novel. And again, to quote Jana, I finally decided to just “embrace the weirdness” of the story and plow through. And much like my experience with C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, I came to the end not fully understanding all of the concepts of the story, yet knowing that it all made sense within the universe the author had created.

Once I got through the first few chapters, the story began to pick up, and before I knew it, I was hooked. The story centers mainly around Victorian England, which was a win with me before the book even got interesting. Ned Henry and Verity Brown are the time travellers and are under the belief that a mistake of Verity’s has caused a disruption in the historic time line that will have devastating effects. They think that they must correct that mistake by keeping Terence St. Trewes from marrying that ignorant dolt Tossie Mering. And after that many chapters of reading Tossie’s conversations with her “pwecious wittle Juju”, I was about ready to pull a Thursday Next and jump right in to the book to try and stop them myself. Of course, it turns out that there is much more going on in the time travel world that meets the eye, and that is what makes the novel so fascinating.

Willis won my heart with her writing with the mere mention of a few great Victorians, such as John Ruskin, William Holman Hunt, Lewis Carroll and Agatha Christie. She even threw in a nod to The Lord of the Rings. In some ways, it reminded me of the Thursday Next novels, and perhaps that is why I loved it so much.

I decided to give the book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Not quite 5 because of the slow beginning, but almost 5 because the book was a great read once I got through the beginning.

P.S. Has anyone made it their mission to count exactly how many times I can slip a reference to Thursday Next into this blog?

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