Time Travel

Time Travel

A History

Book - 2016
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"A time-jumping, head-tripping odyssey." -- The Millions
"A bracing swim in the waters of science, technology and fiction." -- Washington Post
"A thrilling journey of ideas." -- Boston Globe

From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, here is a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.

The story begins at the turn of the previous century, with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book and an international sensation: The Time Machine . It was an era when a host of forces was 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. James Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea that becomes part of contemporary culture--from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Jorge Luis Borges to Woody Allen. He investigates 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.

(With a color frontispiece and black-and-white illustrations throughout)
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2016
ISBN: 9780307908797
0307908798
Branch Call Number: 530.1 Glei
Characteristics: 336 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm

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WhidbeyIslander
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.")

AL_ANNA 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

amazing!

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