the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog
intertext

50 Book Challenge: #6

Connie Willis, Blackout

Connie Willis is one of my absolute favourite sf authors, always reliable, but sadly not prolific - I can't remember exactly how long it's been since the last novel, but I do remember that my mother was still alive when I was reading Passage. This long-awaited new novel did not disappoint, except to the extent that we are left with our characters in dire straits at the end of it. But we know that the next one will be out in the Fall, so there's not too long to wait. It is set in the future of The Domesday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog; time travel is real, and Oxford historians are queuing up to make trips into the past to do research. This time, our main characters are visiting different events in WWII, except that somehow things don't go quite as planned. There are as always very likeable characters and a zippy, almost too breathless plot, with wrong turns and mistakes and suspense. It is as always meticulously researched, which made a few details that I think are probably errors stand out rather: I don't think a WWII nurse would have used a centigrade scale to describe a person's temperature, or that a British person would use the term "blocks" in London (as in "just a few more blocks, and we'll be there"), or that someone would have bought grapes for someone in hospital without having to do some black-market dealing, or at least mentioning queues or coupons... But these are forgivable in the overall context of a very enjoyable and un-put-downable book. I can't wait for October!
Tags: 50books2010, books
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