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Sci-Fi Saturday Review – Time and Again

Time and Again by Jack Finney

Review by Dianne (gardngal)


If you live and work in NYC, or are very familiar with it, you could enjoy this book immensely.  In Time and Again,  Jack Finney provides detailed pictures and descriptions of a New York during the 1880’s. I loved the premise of the story. A man, Simon Morley, is sent back in time by scientists and the government in a highly classified experiment.  He is told only that they want to see if they can accomplish such an amazing fete, in order to observe the events of history.  They believe that history and the present exist simultaneously in the here and now.  They have warned him to be observant only.  He is told he must be extremely cautious in what he says and does, so that there will be no changes or consequences to the future. He then undergoes weeks of training in preparation.  However, they are unaware that he has a personal agenda as well. He plans on observing two men in order to solve the mystery of their interactions, based only on an ancient cryptic note he’s read in modern times.

The plot is somewhat thin, so the book is filled with a tourist’s eye view of New York in the 19th century.  It is a fascinating look at history, and the author took great pains to be completely accurate, even for very little known events woven into his story.  I would have personally enjoyed more of the mystery and less of the city.  But there is also romance when he meets and falls in love with a girl from “her” time.  Together they pursue her fiance, Jake, and his associate, barely escaping with their lives.

Eventually, the mystery is sorted out and solved.  Then Morley finally realizes the true meaning behind the experiments in which he has so willingly participated.  The time travel is the core of the story, and what Morley does in the end is fantastic.  Can’t wait to read the sequel to find out what he does next!




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