The magic of a great ‘fantasy’ writer is to make the reader forget that they are in a fantasy world. The concept of The Time Traveler’s Wife, in which a man travels through time involuntarily and unpredictably, is intriguing, but Niffenegger draws you in so that you become part of this improbable world. In my humble opinion, she earns 5* on two counts – the sheer brilliance of the ‘architecture’ of the story, and the beauty of the writing.
By ‘architecture’, I mean the ability to stitch together scenes where the chronology is scrambled – for example a man who meets his future wife when she is 6 and he is 36 – in such a way that the book masters the complexities of who understands what at any given date. This plot design is a masterpiece.
At its heart, TTTW is a love story, beautifully told. In places, it is profoundly moving, in others funny, and always engaging. For me, it is probably the best book I’ve read for a year.
This rewarding book is the story of a Scottish family with their complex inter-relationships, seen primarily through the eyes of a young man. Note ‘primarily’; at first I found the multiple points of view and multiple time-periods confusing. If hadn’t been so well written, he’d have lost me about 1/4 of the way through, but Banks has a way of pulling the reader in. The Crow Road is witty, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, confusing, but builds a sense of real lives. Characters are very sharply, sometimes brutally drawn; picture the middle aged aunt at a wedding, ‘dressed in something which looked like a cross between a Persian rug and a multi-occupancy poncho, [who] moved with the determined grace of an elephant, and a curious stiffness that made the experience a little like dancing with a garden shed’, and who had ‘the same effect on the dance floor as a loose cannon manned by hippos’.
It is worth persevering through the initial confusion. Plot lines and dominant characters do emerge, and I finished the book well satisfied, and wishing I could capture characters as well.
I’m delighted to announce that Saxon’s Bane has been acquired by Solaris Books, an imprint of Rebellion, and will be released in September 2013. Solaris Books’ press release, excluding the blurb and bio that is already posted on this site, is:
Debut author finds Saxon treasure beneath 21st Century England
COMING IN SEPTEMBER 2013: Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion
Solaris is proud to announce a 2013 debut novel that brings the Dark Ages crashing into the 21st Century.
Geoffrey Gudgion’s historical supernatural thriller, Saxon’s Bane, will be published in September 2013.
A contemporary novel with a thrilling historical heart, Gudgion’s first novel is set in the 21st century but grounded in the Dark Ages, with a Saxon legend at its heart.
The past invades the present in this beautiful, lyrical and frightening tale, inspired by Gudgion’s love of ancient, ethereal places, and his eye for signs of the distant past in the English landscape of today.
“It’s a rare occasion when a submission comes in that I have to read right the way through in one go,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “Saxon’s Bane was such a book. Discovering a new writer is always a thrill, and Geoffrey’s novel is of such a high calibre that I can’t wait for people to read it.”
For all press enquires please contact Michael Molcher
on +44 (0)1865 792 201 or email@example.com