Monday, 8 April 2013

Palma, Félix J. "The Map of Time"

Palma, Félix J. "The Map of Time" (Spanish: El mapa del tiempo) - 2008

I absolutely loved this book. It's the first time I really enjoyed a book about time travel, usually that is not my type of thing. Some reasons might be the time and place this is happening, I absolutely love Victorian and pre-Victorian England, the fact that there is a book background ... or maybe because I had the feeling that the author does not really believe in time travel, either, but had a lot of fun writing this story. I enjoyed going through all the different kinds of explanations there are that time travel could be possible and certainly would enjoy taking all the arguments apart.

There are several different stories in the book. I think the first one was the best, someone who wanted to go back in time in order to save someone's life and somebody else who does everything possible in order to save that person's life again (or rather quite a few others working together). Very sweet.
I did think it was a good way to start the story, it would not have been as exciting, if the author had started with another one of the chapters.

I have not read "The Time Machine" that is more or less the basis for this story, only watched the classic movie. The novel is on my wish list now.

I believe that any dystopian novel (and this is one from the point of view of the protagonists) reflects on the time it has been written, it reveals the angst of the time, if you want. The people of the late 19th century were afraid that technology would take over, and it has, even more than they could ever have imagined. Same as I believe that 1984 has come true today, I believe that the vision described in this book has come true today, even though London still stands. And I'm more than grateful for that, it's my favourite city.

At the end of the day, I do believe time travel is possible and we all do it every day when we pick up our books and let us transfer to places and times we have never seen and probably will never see but we live a new life with every new story.

Now, I hope this is the beginning of a long discussion ...

This is one of the books from the Chunky Book Club. If you are interested in reading big books, you might want to join there. It's a great group.

From the back cover:

"An epic, ambitious and page-turning mystery that will appeal to fans of 'The Shadow of the Wind', 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' and 'The Time Traveller’s Wife'

London, 1896. Andrew Harrington is young, wealthy and heartbroken. His lover Marie Kelly was murdered by Jack the Ripper and he longs to turn back the clock and save her.

Meanwhile, Claire Haggerty rails against the position of women in Victorian society. Forever being matched with men her family consider suitable, she yearns for a time when she can be free to love whom she choses.

But hidden in the attic of popular author – and noted scientific speculator – H.G. Wells is a machine that will change everything.

As their quests converge, it becomes clear that time is the problem – to escape it, to change it, might offer them the hope they need…

I have read the sequel in the meantime, "The Map of the Sky". Also a great novel.


  1. I typically don't like time travel either but the concept of this one seems so different. I love the idea of exploring time as the problem. I am adding The Map of Time to my reading list. Thanks for sharing a great review!
    Happy Reading,
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  2. I have this book on my shelf. My son gave it to me, but I haven't read it. He liked it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Silver's Reviews

  3. Thank you, both of you.

    Rebecca, that's why I mentioned that I don't normally like time travel because if you are anything like me, you would have just skipped the post as soon as you saw time travel. I thank Audrey Niffenegger for that. ;-)

    Elizabeth, I found the Chunky Book Challenge through one of the blogs I found through you and Carole, they have a lot of good books I itnend to read.

    I do enjoy both your blogs, probably because we seem to have a similar taste in reading. Thanks for commenting here, I love "talking books".

  4. Marianne, thanks for joining in again with BYL. Cheers

    PS I'm with you about time travel books (although I do like Diana Gabaldon)

  5. Thank you, Carole, for giving us the opportunity to exchange our ideas and getting to know more books and meet new book addicts, I love your page. One of the reasons is probably because we seem to have a similar taste but also because you are doing such a great job.

    I have never read Diana Gabaldon, maybe I should give her a go. I also find it interesting to hear how many people say they don't like time travel, either, as soon as I mention it. We are not alone!

    Thanks again and have a great weekend.