Time Travel

Time Travel

Book - 2016
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Gleick's story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological--the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture--from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307908797
Characteristics: 336 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm


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SFPL_danielay Aug 23, 2018

Gleick starts out with H.G. Well's "The Time Machine" and goes on to examine examples of time travel in popular culture as well as concepts of time in both day-to-day life and physics in this entertaining and insightful book.

Dec 25, 2017

This is an attempt to comprehensively analyze time travel from many points of view, including science fiction, philosophy, and physics. I am not sure if it succeeds for me. There is a lot of information coming from many sources from the predictable H.G. Wells, to Proust to Woody Allen, Chris Marker, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Gilliam, Jorge Luis Borges, William Gibson, Stanislaw Lem, and Douglas adams. Through this book, I discovered Ali Smith and Edith Nesbit, and for this alone, the book has been a valuable resource.

Aug 02, 2017

A quite interesting (and readable) treatise on time travel. The author is witty and while my eyes did glaze over a few times, it was an easy read. He refers to many instances of the subject in popular culture (and goes back to Aristotle to support some theories about it -- and, of course, Einstein). The book includes a long list of suggested reading (fiction and non-) to peruse if you are into the whole concept (and why wouldn't you be if you're reading this?)

He does dwell on H.G. Wells, crediting him as probably the earliest proponent of the idea in popular literature, but also uses many other books, movies and TV shows to underscore a point. (He mentions a Dr. Who episode called "Blink" which I was glad to find online and found it a cleverly written, amusing take on time travel.)

All in all, a fun book, but not what one would call "a beach read.")

ArapahoeAnna Feb 07, 2017

Time travel is an idea so embedded in modern culture that we take it for granted. Paradoxically it is a relatively new idea. The concept was touched upon in various earlier works of fiction, but was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel "The Time Machine". To make a whole book out of just over a hundred years of history, author, Gleick, examines minute details about its evolution. Minutia is not for me.

abruzzo79 Dec 20, 2016



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