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Publisher's Summary

Connie Willis' Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.
Delightfully aided by the perfect comedic timing of narrator Steven Crossley, To Say Nothing of the Dog shows once again why Connie Willis is one of the most talented writers working today.
©1998 Connie Willis (P)2000 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1999
"Willis effortlessly juggles comedy of manners, chaos theory and a wide range of literary allusions [with a] near flawlessness of plot, character and prose." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 07-23-08

A fun read

Part country-house farce, part chaos theory, part time travel fantasy and all fun. This book was long but held the interest and had moments of laugh-out-loud silliness. There wasn't a rush to end the story but a careful playing out of the tale that lent to a sense of near perfect closure as loose ends were neatly woven together. Highly recommended.

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78 of 80 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 05-28-16

A Sentimental Favorite

This is one of the books that has lived on my nightstand so I'll always have it close at hand for years. It's my favorite Mr. Dunworthy (auto correct keeps changing his name to Unworthy; forgive me, Connie Willis!) story. It combines elements of farce, light-hearted comedy, gallant romance and time travel. Oh, and the Bishop's bird stump. So glad to now have it in Audible format too. Just charming.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Derek on 08-17-08

Not what I expected but good,

It took me a while to get into as it is not really science fiction as I would have expected. I nearly gave up at an early stage but I'm glad I didn't.
I would describe it as a blend of historical mystery and romance, with satire and some rather amusing characters. Plenty of clues are given out as the well thought out plot develops. The story moves at a good pace and at all stages there is a lot going on, but I never lost the thread. It is witty with many twists and surprises.
A mixture of genres and not the sort of thing that would normally appeal to my taste, but good enough to keep me entertained.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Cay Hasselmann on 09-15-08

The best Sci-fi since the time travellers wife

If you like mystery stories (Agathe Christie) and Sci-fi this is the best book

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Faith Newton on 09-04-17

Brilliant and hilarious

If you could sum up To Say Nothing of the Dog in three words, what would they be?

I had no idea it was possible to combine so many wonderful genres. mystery, victorian novel, and sci fi adventure all in one. Its hilarious, and such a pleasant read. the characters are wonderful, and the reader does an excellent job. I'm recommending it to everyone. Really great if you want something a little less heavy without giving up wit, intelligence, good plot, and great writing. Beautifully done!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh out loud reactions consistently. What a great book to read on road trips or on breaks between work

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Lachlan Kendall on 07-14-18

Fantastic Time Travel Rom-Com

I picked up this book after several recommendations from reddit’s r/Fantasy. To Say Nothing of the Dog stands by itself very well, and is fantastically happy and comedic. It was just over 20 hours in audio, and took me a very long time to get through. It felt like a bit of a drag at times, but I think that had more to do with how long it took me to listen to the audiobook, rather than any writing flaws. Overall the book is great fun to listen to, and/or read.


To Say Nothing of the Dog (How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump) by Connie Willis is mostly set in Victorian Era England, with a few exceptions for various different time travel locations. Overall, about 80-90% of the book is probably set in the past during the Victorian Era, with small parts in the present (2050s), and World War 2.


There are 2 main characters who are thoroughly developed – Ned Henry and Verity Kindle. They’re both time travellers spending their time in Victorian England. There is a large supporting cast, which isn’t overly developed. I found a few of the characters to be more like caricatures, however this was well suited to the comedic elements of the book.


The book focuses on how small moments can have a massive effect on history, and follows Ned and Verity around as they try to fix an “irregularity” which could cause the Nazi’s to win WWII, or possibly tear apart the space-time continuum, that is to say, reality. They’re also simultaneously required to play the part expected of them in Victorian society.

Overall the book has a large number of plot threads which appear to be wholly irrelevant when you first read them, however they do become important later on. Willis does an excellent job of bringing all the events throughout the novel together in the end.

Other Thoughts

I listened to this audiobook while walking around the streets, and ended up receiving a few weird looks as I randomly started giggling and laughing. The narrator also did a fantastic job.

This is book 2 in the Oxford Time Travel series, but can be read separately from book 1. I’ve been told the tone of book 1 is quite different, but haven’t yet read it myself.


This book is probably best for people who like:
* Comedy
* Romance
* Time Travel
* History
* Historical fiction
* Sci-fi (it’s pretty light sci-fi though)
* Happy books

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