Friday, November 14, 2014

SciFi Book Month - Book Review: "The Accidental Time Machine" by Joe Haldeman

Sci-Fi November - Hosted by Rinn Reads & Oh, the Books!

I read this as a part of my library's adult summer reading program, it's probably not a book I would have picked out on my own to read but I totally enjoyed it!

Our narrator and main character is Matt. Matt is one of those people who is brilliant but isn't quite living up to his potential. He's a grad school dropout from MIT but has stuck around as a lowly lab assistant. However, through a series of events I won't get into, he realizes he's got a time machine. Matt does all kinds of math and science stuff and realizes that this time machine has a pattern to where it will move, and how far into the future it will go.It starts with tiny shifts and small gaps in time but they both grow expositionally bigger the more you use it.

The first time he uses the machine he is zapped 30 days into the future and finds himself in the middle of a Boston street during rush hour (he's wearing a wetsuit and has a turtle named Hermann in a Chinese takeout box with him, just to make it that more crazy. Also the car has no tires. So.Yeah.) This obviously takes some explaining to the HIGHLY skeptical Boston PD. He manages to activate the time machine and get himself thrown even farther into the future.

He encounters many types of people and places in his travels as he bounces his way west across the United States and beyond and through time. He lands in a world where he is lauded as a hero, one where no one really thinks he's that special, one where he barely escapes trouble because he's not circumcised and more.

There's also a world that takes places thousands of years in the future where all of Los Angeles is grown back into wilderness and is inhabited by talking bears who are kind of a-holes. Loved it.

1 qualm: It seemed like (with the exception of Martha) that if you were a character in this book and you were religious you were bad and or stupid and or backwards. I'm not saying that there aren't religious people who are those things, because there certainly are, but it was kind of like okay okay I get it.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the talking bears, even though they were in the book for less than 5 pages. I like the different ideas presented about what the world will look like in 50, 500, 1,000 years from now. Most of them aren't super appealing, but some had good parts. There is some science and math involved in this book but it's easily skimmed :)

The cover is cheesy, but you know, judging book by it's cover and blah blah

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