Book Review: To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis

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If you follow science fiction, you have probably heard of Connie Willis. She has won six Nebula Awards, six Hugo awards and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Those are just a few of her achievements. She’s a heavy hitter in the world of writing. Based on that, it should be no surprise to hear To Say Nothing of the Dog is an excellent read. And, it is. It is something of a comedy of errors and coincidences, loosely based on the Jerome St. Jerome classic novel, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), and Willis makes several references to it in her story, including one passage where they spot the actual boaters on the Thames River.

The story is about a future, time-traveling society that has somehow upset the time-continuum, but doesn’t know how or where. The team is racing to fix the continuum while at the same time working at the detailed reconstruction of the St Michel’s Cathedral in Coventry, England, which was destroyed in a blitz attack during World War II. Throw in some love interest and you have the making of a very fine story. There is a great deal of humor and intrigue in the story, as well as mystery. It is a little long (my edition had nearly 500 pages), but it moves rapidly and easily. Definitely put it on your to-read list, if you haven’t already read it.

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