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Publisher's Summary

Michael Crichton's novel opens on the threshold of the twenty-first century. It is a world of exploding advances on the frontiers of technology. Information moves instantly between two points, without wires or networks. Computers are built from single molecules. Any moment of the past can be actualized - and a group of historians can enter, literally, life in fourteenth-century feudal France. Imagine the risks of such a journey. Not since Jurassic Park has Michael Crichton given you such a magnificent adventure. Here, he combines a science of the future - the emerging field of quantum technology - with the complex realities of the medieval past. In a heart-stopping narrative, Timeline carries you into a realm of unexpected suspense and danger, overturning your most basic ideas of what is possible.
©1999 by Michael Crichton (P)1999 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Charles Stembridge on 06-26-07


I enjoyed this book more than most, and am now 1/3 of the way through my second listining. I almost didn't start it the second time because of the narrator.

Most of his vocal charactarizations were at least OK, even his Arnold imitation of the Merrik character got the point across that he wasen't an American. To show that he was Dutch, and use Goldmember's accent (Bring out Austin Power's Faaasha!) would have been too much. I can live with this one.

The use of a whispering voice for the Gordon character, who was key for many important science-type explainations, was the most annoying. I listen to AudioBooks while driving, and had to back up and shove my ear plug right up against my eardrum to hear what the character was trying to say. Also, whenever two of the other characters were involved in an 'aside' between themselves (like saying something they didn't want the others to hear), the narrator would actually either whisper, or lower his voice so much that I couldn't hear what was going on.

I gave the book a '4' for content and general listenability. I had to average in the '1' I gave for narration. The narrator should be required to listen to his own performance before being allowed to release this edition to the public.

Otherwise, I found the Quantum theory explainations to be facinating. "If you can explain Quantum Physics, you don't understand it yourself." Its so counter-intuitive, and trashes most or all 'Natural Laws', that explaining it at all was quite a streach. Good job here.

This book is a Cliff-Hanger, Sci-Fi, psudo-historical genre. If you don't like this type of fiction, don't buy it. Of course its going to be somewhat predictable. Naturally its going to be a 'damsel in distress' old movie seriel type of book. Expect it!

I liked especially the descriptions of Medevil France. I've read alot of histories, but none brought across the absolute brutality of this world as well as this author. Life back then was Short & Violent.

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36 of 36 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 08-26-08

entertaining story entwined with some real science

I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this book as I had never previously read anything by Crichton. I was pleasantly surprised. The first part of the book combines real history with (mostly) real science and then, almost seamlessly flows into the fantasy/sci-fi story-line. Crichton slowly introduces his main characters, and he develops them into believable persons about whom we start to form our own opinions. However, it's when the setting jumps from the present back into the 14th Century that Crichton expands our knowledge-base, and the story really starts to unfold. Using well-researched history - social, cultural and economic - Crichton tells a story of another era when life was hard, and often little-valued. Our protagonists race against time to uncover a secret, a secret which might enable them to fulfill their mission and possibly enable them to return safely to the present time. A thriller, which is also educational - very satisfying.

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31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By V. S. on 07-15-05

Crichton at his best!

Don't be put off by the rubbish movie made of this book. In fact if you haven't seen the movie, don't bother, get this book instead. Crichton is a master at seeing the possibilities in today's technology and weaving masterful fiction around the 'what ifs'. This is my favorite Michael Crichton book - the research he put into this is phenomenal and the narrator does a wonderful, wonderful job. A brilliant blend of science fiction and medieval history.

Well worth using an audio credit on!

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By WJE Hoppitt on 08-29-07

Crichton writes of science gone wrong- again!

I got this book after seeing the film which I thought was good fun. As with Jurassic Park the book has much more depth to it, with much more to the characters, science fiction aspects and historical descriptions. Crichton paints a gruesome picture of medieval warfare and conflict, which contrasts with some of the rather quaint depictions we are used to from films and children?s stories. It is, therefore, somewhat surprising to hear his conclusion in the epilogue that the so-called ?Dark Ages? were an invention of the Renaissance, and that humankind has not since advanced to a better way of life. Whether you agree with Crichton?s usual paranoia of scientific and technological advancement, it always makes for an exciting read, and Timeline is no exception, with a catastrophe around every corner for our heroes! Well worth a credit.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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