Doomsday Book : Oxford Time Travel

  • by Connie Willis
  • Narrated by Jenny Sterlin
  • Series: Oxford Time Travel
  • 26 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the most respected and awarded of all contemporary science-fiction writers, Connie Willis repeatedly amazes her many admiring fans with her ability to create vivid characters in unusual situations. With Doomsday Book, she takes listeners on a thrilling trip through time to discover the things that make us most human.For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong. When an accident leaves Kivrin trapped in one of the deadliest eras in human history, the two find themselves in equally gripping - and oddly connected - struggles to survive. Deftly juggling stories from the 14th and 21st centuries, Willis provides thrilling action - as well as an insightful examination of the things that connect human beings to each other.


What the Critics Say

"Ms. Willis displays impressive control of her material; virtually every detail introduced in the early chapters is made to pay off as the separate threads of the story are brought together." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope....The best work yet from one of science fiction's best writers." (The Denver Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

enthralling tale of time travel

do not be put off by the old fashioned start to this book as it improves as it goes on and the plot unfolds. I will be searching out another book by this author. Agreat listen
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- lesley

Disappointing comedy of manners

This listener found Jenny Sterlin's voice flat and uninteresting, which was a drawback for such a long book. There's also a passage of a few paragraphs which gets repeated in the first section of the download, an indication of a lower standard of audio production than most recent Audible recordings.

As for the story itself, I was very disappointed. The pace is extremely leisurely and while the depiction of the pettiness of academic life is mildly amusing, the story failed to grip. Every time I was getting into it, I found myself shaken out by jarring inaccuracies of language or geographical detail. Clearly, these haven't bothered other listeners, but this one found that they severely impeded his ability to suspend disbelief.

A British character who refers to cars as "automobiles"? Cases that are called "valises"? A hospital accident and emergency department called "Casualties" rather than "Casualty"? A pub in the centre of Oxford which is nearly empty a few days before Christmas?

The geography is particularly bad. The heroine, who has travelled back to the fourteenth century to a location 10 miles west of Oxford, imagines that she might be able to see the sky glow of London "50 miles away". From that location, mediaeval London would be 70 miles away. I can't imagine much of a sky glow at that period but, besides, the Chiltern Hills would have blocked any such view even had it been available.

In her cover story, she is supposedly travelling from Yorkshire to Evesham via Oxford, which is a strange and indirect route to take, and is travelling on the road from Oxford to Bath, which runs in entirely the wrong direction.

Such details are individually trivial but cumulatively produce an impression of an author who really doesn't know Oxford and has a poor grasp of British idiom.

I was hoping for history and adventure, but while these are present, they are mostly subordinated to a mild and uninvolving comedy of manners. Disappointing.
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- N. Price

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-03-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books