Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 5

A Book That Makes You Happy

TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG by Connie Willis. 

The first of Willis's Oxford Time Travel series, in which historians from Oxford use the carefully regulated ability to time travel in order to study the past. The others in the series--DOOMSDAY BOOK, BLACKOUT, and ALL CLEAR--are much more sweeping in scope and intensity than this one. But TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG is the laugh-out-loud funniest book I can ever remember reading.

Poor Ned Henry is a historian in desperate need of rest. He's been shuttling through time in search of something called the bishop's bird stump as part of the restoration of Coventry Cathedral. But when fellow historian Verity Kindle brings a cat into the future, the entire fate of history hinges on restoring order to the Victorian past and ensuring a man and woman fall in love. Quickly.

How is it not possible to be happy with a book that contains quotes like these?

"No," I said finally.
"Slowness in Answering," she said into the handheld. "When's the last time you slept?"
"1940" I said promptly, which is the problem with Quickness in Answering.” 


“The reason Victorian society was so restricted and repressed was that it was impossible to move without knocking something over.”

Just when think the book is one long Victorian, drawing-room comedy farce, Willis pulls off an ending that is breathtaking in its meaning and beauty.

If you need to be happy, read TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG.

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