Mark’s #16 – Time and Again by Jack Finney

Simon Morely was an illustrator for a local ad agency in New York City when he was approached by a government agent with “the opportunity of a lifetime”.  The top-secret government program which enables Simon to step into New York City 1882.  While there, Simon gets caught up in uncovering a historical mystery as well as a romantic interest.

I’m a fan of time travel movies and books. As such, I discovered that many people consider Jack Finney to be the preeminent author in the genre (he’s written several books and short stories about time travel).  Naturally, I was excited to read this ‘classic’ time travel book…

I was disappointed at first.  The story seemed to move slowly and the time-travel details seemed vague, if not nonexistent (I like the theories and details).  However, I persevered and continued to read… I’m glad I did.  The strength of this book is found in the story of Simon’s life in 1882.  The author does an excellent job of transporting the reader to what New York City must have been like in 1882.  Along the way,  there are several illustrations and photographs provided by Simon to help the reader ‘see’ NYC.

While the time-travel details, conundrums, and paradoxes are a bit scarce, the plot, characters, and surprises make this book an enjoyable and rich experience.

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