Blackout

Blackout

Book - 2010
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In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds--great and small--of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collide--and the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill's next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London's Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can "catch up" to her in age. 

But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone's schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history--to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody--from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid--is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.
Publisher: New York : Spectra Ballantine Books, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780553803198
Branch Call Number: ScF Will
Characteristics: 491p

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Pippi_L Dec 21, 2012

Connie Willis won the 2011 Hugo Award for this book.


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t
tjdickey
May 08, 2017

As with so much of her work in this area, the pacing is fast, the historical details strong, and the mixture of time-travel shenanigans and absurd academic politics keeps a frenetic plot flowing.

j
JaniceDeG
Oct 06, 2016

An outstanding read! I could not put this book down, and was so glad that I had book 2 ready to go. Very well written, and fast paced.

m
mamabadger56
Jul 25, 2016

Like all Connie Willis' work, this novel was clever, engrossing, and simply fun to read. Looking forward to reading the second volume, All Clear.

k
Kregel
Jul 15, 2015

Where has this writer been all of my life? Willis has an expert pacing, comic timing, a clear understanding of tension, and able to hide twists only to reveal them at the right moment. This could have been a really, really boring novel fully cliches and sentimentality about "The Greatest Generation": no, instead she provides a great yarn. Looking forward to reading other things from her, mainly because this is my first entry in her world.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 20, 2014

Not up to the quality of its predecessor, "The Doomsday Book." Willis has us bouncing around between multiple protagonists stuck at various points in WWII Britain, and she finds it difficult to maintain the momentum. This is the first of two parts, ending on a cliffhanger.

s
Steve_Read
Apr 30, 2014

Seems you are either going to love or hate this book. For me is was the most annoying book(s) I have ever read. The characters should not be let out of the house without a guide dog let alone 100 years back in time. They can't wait to get to the past & spend the next 500 pages trying to get back to the future & then we find the climax is going to be in another book, 650 page later.
On the other hand, I liked the descriptions of ordinary peoples lives during the Blitz etc. Something my family did but refused to talk about.

The best bit about time travel would be for me to go back & save the time I wasted with reading 11 hundred pages, when 2 or 3 would have sufficed.

And now you don't have to

z
zipread
Sep 22, 2013

Historians of the future, three of them, employ time travel to explore the past. Their destination is England at the time of WW II when something seems to go wrong and they seem to become stranded in time. One of our travellers participates in the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk; another shepherds a couple of engaging street urchins evacuated from London to the English counryside while a third, contrary to expectations, ends up hunkered down in the London tube during the blitz.There isn't much shoot 'em up violence in this novel but there is suspense for sure. The plot, however, is not resolved within the confines of this book. To find out how the story ends, we have to ante up the money (or the library card) for the next installment of this story. Read this book: it is a good yarn of historical fiction.

Pippi_L Dec 21, 2012

Connie Willis won the 2011 Hugo Award for this book.

b
barbros
Aug 21, 2012

Found this to be as addictive as other books by Ms. Willis. Sympathetic characters, good story, interesting setting. Can't read this without its other half, "All Clear"

c
crayment
Jul 25, 2012

Didn't actually finish this book, and skipped through it a fair bit. Unlike most of the other Connie Willis books I've read this one just didn't hold the attention. Way too many characters to keep track of, and the skipping between characters made it hard to get too interested in any of them.

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andreareads
Mar 10, 2011

Open for business. And we do mean open. - SIGN IN BLOWN-OUT WINDOW OF A LONDON DEPARTMENT STORE

a
andreareads
Mar 09, 2011

Any one of us could be killed tonight, or next week, and if that's the case, then why not go out dancing and all the rest of it? Have a bit of fun? It would be better than never having lived at all.

a
andreareads
Mar 09, 2011

The steps were perilously steep and one was broken, and the beams in the low-ceilinged cellar looked as if they might give way at the mere sound of a bomb, let alone a direct hit.

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