To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at LastWe all like a good laugh don t we But for me, comedy works best in TV shows or movies Humour in print works best in shorter formats, like cartoon strips or magazine articles I tend to find comic novels not to be confused with graphic novels problematical The trouble is I keep expecting to laugh at every page and that is a tall order for the authors I don t expect to be thrilled by every page of a thriller or to be scared by every page of a horror novel so I don t know why I have such a high expectation of comic novels Just a personal quirk I guess Consequently, I tend to be less interested in comic novels because I find very few of them consistently funny through out the book To Say Nothing of the Dog is a comic sci fi novel, and it is a good one It is not in the same league as Douglas Adamsor Robert Sheckley mind bendingly funny sf but it is a pleasant read and the humour works well enough from time to time The style of humour is reminiscent of classic comic novels by P.G Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde Of course the title of the book is a tribute to Jerome K Jerome s classic Three Men in a Boat, a book I kind of dislike review I found it to be tedious, tame and almost mirth free Probably not Jerome s fault it just did not work for me Having read Three Men out of curiosity and as a sort of preparation for reading To Say Nothing of the Dog my subsequent dislike of it does not bode well for Connie Willis book On the other hand, I totally love her Doomsday Book, one of the finest sf books I read in the past few years To Say Nothing of the Dog is part of Ms Willis loosely connected Oxford Time Travel series which includes Doomsday Book but the tone is very different While Doomsday Book is intense and tragic To Say Nothing of the Dog is almost entirely breezy I persevered through the less than riveting first few chapters and eventually settled into enjoying the book.It would be a mistake to expect To Say Nothing of the Dog to be a sci fi version of or tribute to Jerome s book Ms Willis is clearly influenced bydiverse material than just one book Her love for the crime fiction of Agatha ChristieAnd Dorothy L Sayers is also evident Best of all she did not neglect the sci fi aspect of it, the book went on to win the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1999, and also a Nebula Award nomination.What raises To Say Nothing of the Dog far above Three Men in a Boat is that there isto it than just trying to elicit laughter There are the intriguing logic and logistics of time travelling which Willis beautifully worked out The characters are also generally amiable and as something of an anglophile myself I enjoy the British culture references like jumble sales, the tube trains and the Jeevesian acerbic butler dialogue.My only complaint is that for the most part there is very little sense of urgency to the proceeding until the last two or three chapters The lighthearted tone is maintained throughout the book and the story moves amiably at a leisurely pace This led to my initial feeling that the novel is too tame, the stakes are too low As it turns out all of time and space continuum is at stake and a sense of danger eventually appears toward the end as the main characters strive to repair incongruities , which is Willis term for time travelling paradoxes I like that she is using a different term for these paradoxes from the standard time travelling stories it somehow makes the story seembelievable To Say Nothing of the Dog is not a laugh a minute book, it is not a complete success as a comic novel, but neither is it a failure More importantly, as a lighthearted time travelling sci fi novel it is worth a read Just don t go into it with the wrong expectations 3.5 stars Christmas 2010 I realised that I had got stuck in a rut I was re reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works Something had to be done.On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci Fi award That s 35 books, 6 of which I d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life so far.Have you readPassage , by Connie Willis I have It was the first Willis I read We didn t get onTo Say Nothing of the Dogarrived in the post shortly afterwards, and I wasn t exactly bouncing off the walls in excitement I looked at the book The book looked at me I shoved in on a shelf and went back to readingCyteenI read another half dozen books before I worked up the courage to even consider it.I was packing books for my honeymoon I wasn t sure how much reading I d get done because we were planning an action packed holiday wink wink nudge nudge so I lobbed in a couple of books I d been putting offThe Dog , andYears of Rice SaltAs it turned out, I nearly broke my ankle on our second day in Malta so we spent our time hobbling around the pool and restaurants instead of all the mountain climbing and scuba diving we had intended Lotstime for reading than expected My darling wife actually nabbedThe Dogbefore I d looked at it I was still grinding my way through the latter half ofCryptonomiconwhen she started flicking through the first chapter.Isn t this by the same writer you called bloody miserable Yeah.It s funny Really Yeah.Really I m borrowing it Kay.It turned out she really enjoyed it and recommended it highly Which came as something of a surprise My point and I understand if you d given up all hope of me reaching it is that stories take you on a journey and how you connect with and take enjoyment from that journey can be hugely influenced by what you expect from the book and what s going on in your life at that time Had I readThe Dogthe moment it came through the letterbox ignoring the fact that I would have been interruptingCyteenmidway through which is most out of character for me I don t think it would have had the same effect on the postPassage , pre Wedding, collapsing quantum wave front that we call my sentient consciousness But this was the right book at the right time, and I loved it With humour, it s all subjective it won t be everyone s cup of tea but I found it very funny It s not exactly laugh out loud funny, but definitely dry tickle in your cheeks funny and stick in your head funny Particularly the effects of time lag in difficulty distinguishing sounds this has become a long running gag in our house ever since Pretending to have difficulty distinguishing what your wife has said when she s asking you to do chores it s hilarious to me anyway.The cats The dog The goldfish The chaos theory The Alice in Wonderland conversations The Bishop s bloody bird stump Oh yes, please More Never before has an author pulled a U turn in my estimations with such panache you wily bird, Willis The Oxford Time Travel series is an odd and scatter shot series This book made me smile,Doomsdaytried hard to make me cry and Blackout All Clear had me tearing out my hair with anxiety Why couldn t she just write a direct sequel to this Ned gets the girl And kissed her for a hundred and sixty nine years but what happened next, hmmm There should be a whole series of Victorian adventures with Ned and Verity And kittens A happy 5 stars Definitely check it out.You might not click I ll admit, it doesn t work for a decent percentage of readers but but you might just discover a new book for your favourites shelf It s worth the risk, read it First, know that I am deeply biased when it comes to this book it s got time travel, which I love with a love that isthan love, and it s got Cyril, who I love with a love that makes my time travel love look like a Tuesday afternoon romance Plus, it s inspired by and references, oh my god, REFERENCES one of my favorite books, Jerome K Jerome s Three Men in a Boat So, you know, I won t even attempt a qualitative review I ll just say that this is fun, and funny, and it hits my narrative kinks so hard that I would marry it if there was a church that solemnized bibliopolygamy This book is a frequent re read and a joy forever. Fateful re read 5 4 18 This is one of my all time favorite books From the clever phrases and deep PTSD exasperation to the total eventual collapse of the space time continuum because of a freaking cat to THE BISHOP S BIRD STUMP, I find myself chortling nearly twenty years after the first read and again on the re read.We re catapulted through time thanks to the Oxford History Department s time machine put to the disposal of a wealthy American patron who is, let s be frank, NUTS She s sent seemingly countless overworked historians into the Blitz to recover artifacts from the destroyed cathedral at Coventry What really happens is a LOT of slippage in the time stream, a deep mystery, evenmiscommunication and strange coincidences and classic slapstick and some of the funniest Victorian Romance I ve come across Oh, it s definitely hardcore SF, but it s also a tribute to Jerome K Jerome s Three Men in a Boat and the spirit is very much alive and well.What we ve got is a genre masher of epic proportions It s a high stakes time continuum travel and looming disaster, a truly atrocious MacGuffin that has everyone running around like headless chickens in a slapstick comedy, and a classic 1930 s Hercule Peroit Agatha Christie mystery All three genres are pulled off wonderfully And she tops it all off with VERY well turned phrases that stick with you so warmly Charming Beyond charming Utterly delightful No poppycock. 2.99 Kindle sale, Dec 11, 2018 While this offbeat time travel novel is a sequel of sorts to Doomsday Book, they have completely different vibes, and it s not really necessary to have read Doomsday Book before this one This is one of my favorite books in the world, but it s kind of an odd one that probably won t work for everyone It s a little bit madcap farce, with people running and time hopping around trying to find some obscure, ugly piece of Victorian art it s got a bit of romantic comedy, a bit of mystery, and a lot of this and that kind of all mashed together in a way that can seem confusing at times, but in the end is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.Give it a shot That s all. Oh, dear Every time I see the title of this book it makes me feel anxious I am almost ashamed to say this in public, but I will be brave I didn t like it I know Everyone loves it and I can t explain why I don t Normally I love all the elements that make up this book time travel, romance, the 19th century Just to be sure about it I have read it twice over the years once in traditional book format and once as an audio book sigh It makes me feel defective but there you are I didn t like it.The only reason I m really posting this review is in case there is another person out there who doesn t like it and would be comforted to know that they aren t alone Maybe we can start a club Two weeks ago I d not heard of Connie Willis or of this novel It came into my life because I randomly clicked through to this article in The Guardian when I was looking for something completely different Had I done my random clicking pre Goodreads, I may well have passed on this novel, because science fiction fantasy does not describe the kind of novel I generally read But these days I m muchadventurous, so I jumped right in What fun this was It s a time travel story that sort of makes sense, a farce, a romp, a screwball comedy, a comedy of manners, a romance, a mystery and a homage to Three Men in a Boat It includes some truly hideous Victoriana, the burning of Coventry Cathedral, a dog and a cat, an eccentric Oxford don, a boat, a butler and allusions to writers including Shakespeare, Tennyson, Agatha Christie, Lewis Carroll, and Dorothy L Sayers which was particularly special for me, because I m a Dorothy L Sayers nut There was even a reference to The Princess Bride, or at least I think there was view spoiler A character saying As you wishthan once to a young lady struck me as a clue hide spoiler A most entertaining adventure where Oxford dons get to meddle with time travel and a chance for the author to exercise her wit and to pay homage to great British authors Everything is thrown into the pot from ancient Greek battles to the decisions that sealed the fate of Napoleon at Waterloo, from Shakespeare to Tennyson, G K Chesterton to P G Wodehouse, Victorian morals and artistic expressions, boating on the Thames or the raid that destroyed the Coventry Cathedral in World War II, Lord Peter Whimsey or Hercule Poirot , jumble sales or spiritualismto say nothing of the dog or the cat I couldn t stop laughing as I followed the well intended but clueless attempts of a pair of young historians to fix the time travel paradox of an errant cat and to discover the whereabouts of the infamous Bishop s Bird Stump I can understand how the numerous academic insider jokes and references to British culture and history can put off some readers, but I have always been a fan of some of the names mentioned above, so this book was exactly what I needed to put me in a good mood edit spelling Previous rating 5 stars eyerolls at her 2015 Self of Despicable Book Taste and Total Lack of Judgement New rating 20 million stars And a half. And the moral of this rerererererereread is Connie Willis amazingly clever writing one of the most beautifully constructed tale ever the top ranking boyfriend in my High Security Harem aka Cyril the Bulldog time travel restful Victorian times delightfully wacky Victorian escapades PG Wodehouse awesome space time continuum incongruities and self corrections and stuff hahahahaha the very aptly named Lady Shrapnell Difficulty Distinguishing Sounds Agatha Christie and my boyfriend Hercule Poirot exotic Japanese goldfish or lack thereof high explosive bombs deliciously eccentric Oxford dons calamities who look like naiads and vice versa Slowness in Answering infirmary nurses and the Spanish Inquisition the regulations of animals in bed aged relicts and not so aged ones, too Ultra Maudlin Sentimentality eating vile, unspeakable Victorian things for breakfast the Blitz Couples That Come To A Bad End naughty bad doggums vs deawest, dearum, pwecious Juju cats and cabs and fans, oh my Dorothy L Sayers and Lord Peter Wimsey slightly exasperating, spoiled Victorian brats Disorientation Mrs Chattisbourne s ever giggling flower garden the Enigma machine cat induced suffocation Napoleon s hemorrhoids butler pinching chaos theory the bird Luftwaffe the somewhat hideous bishop s bird stump view spoiler duh hide spoiler 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 BoatWhen Too Many Jumps Back ToLeave St 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

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground August 2008 She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti

❴Reading❵ ➸ To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last Author Connie Willis –
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 493 pages
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
  • Connie Willis
  • English
  • 04 October 2017
  • 9780553575385

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