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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, Review: Oozing intelligence

Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of the most intelligent and enjoyable audiobooks I have ever listened to. Read on for our full review

To Say Nothing of the Dog Book Synopsis

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

Connie Willis’ Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat.

When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love-at-first-sight make Ned’s holiday anything but restful – to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Literature, Historical, Sci-Fi-Fantasy, Audio

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BOOK REVIEW

There is no need to beat around the bush with this one — To Say Nothing of the Dog is a ‘must listen to’ audiobook.

Connie Willis is such a clever author. Her prose and complex plot lines are delivered seemingly effortlessly, oozing intelligence, wit and class. Narrator Steven Crossley takes Willis’ wonderful novel and takes it to another level in audio with his perfect comedic timing and colourful characterisation.

History was indeed controlled by blind forces, as well as character and courage and treachery and love. And accident and random chance. And stray bullets and telegrams and tips. And cats.

Connie Willis’ novel To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of the most enjoyable audiobooks I have listened to. Willis’ characters, both the human and animal variety, exude such personality that one cannot help to cheer them on in this hapless yet charming romp through time and space.

I was never going to get any sleep. I was going to have Alice in Wonderland conversation after Alice in Wonderland conversation until I died of exhaustion. Here, in the restful, idyllic Victorian era.

Protagonist Ned Henry is your quintessential good-hearted underdog finding his way through a maze of Victorian manners, literary debate, domineering women and animal wrangling with absolutely hilarious consequences.

That’s the thing about poetry, it’s scarcely ever accurate. Take the Lady of Shalott. ‘She loosed the chain and down she lay; The broad stream bore her far away.’ She lies down in the boat and goes floating down to Camelot, which couldn’t possibly happen. I mean, one can’t steer lying down, can one? She’d have ended up stuck in the reeds a quarter of a mile out. I mean, Cyril and I always have trouble keeping the boat headed in a straight line, and we’re not lying down in the bottom of the boat where one can’t see anything, are we?

I thoroughly enjoyed the other title I have read by Connie Willis, Bellwether, also. In To Say Nothing of the Dog Connie Willis has again created literary fiction that you just do not want to end.

I look forward to reading more from this wonderful author.

BOOK RATING: The Story 5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5

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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, Review

Related Reads:
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas  /  The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  /  This is How You Lose the Time War by El-Mohtear & Gladstone  /  Crosstalk by Connie Willis   /  A Room With A View by E M Forster

 

About the Author, Connie Willis

Connie Willis is an established author of many science fiction books including The Doomsday Book, and winner of both the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction novel.