Reviews of Timeline (1999)
Review by StefanY (2007-08-24)
Entertaining novel with a good sounding scientific premise (whether it could actually be done or not is definitely up for debate.) Like most Crichton books, his material is extremely well research and presented in a manner that you don't question where he got his facts from and if you did, he provides a lengthy bibliography.
This is not one of his better novels, but is still a good read. The basic gist of the story is that some scientists create a sort of time travel but one of their scientists gets left in the past and a group of his graduate students are selected to go back and rescue him from medieval times. It is a well paced book and fun to read.
I had some issues with the timeline (ha ha) of the storyline itself. Once again (see my review of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons) the characters in the story accomplish things and travel great distances in impossibly short amounts of time. Even if it physically could be done, the author is not taking into account the weariness that the human body would endure from such hardships. This doesn't take away from the story really, it is just a bit frustrating.
I also found the ending to be a bit predictable. Not bad, but predictable. Otherwise a really nice read.
And before you ask, NO I didn't see the movie. Paul Walker sucks!
Review by wombat (2005-05-16)
I had so much fun reading this book! i got sucked in very early on and it just kept me excited the whole time. The characters are well written, the action was intense, but mostly it was so fun to read about a time in history that I know so little about (yet I have a lot of assumptions about). I want to go pick up a history book next.
Review by predsy (2005-03-20)
As a history fanatic, I tend to enjoy everything that even remotely has to do with history. This book was no different. Science and adventure mixed together, a surprisingly good combination.
Personally, I would have preferred some more historic facts than science explanations but then again, I know very little about science so this was a good opportunity to brush things up a bit.
Review by Jabes (2003-06-29)
All the way through this book, I felt Crichton was writing a screenplay for a movie. It seemed shallow and obvious. Try Airframe or A Case of Need (written by his alias Jeffrey Hudson) instead.
Review by Beaver (2003-05-10)
Timeline was a fun, quick read with a little science thrown in. Some of the action and plot points in the book were a little implausible and a little too obviously orchestrated. However, that didn't prevent me from enjoying the book. 8/10
Review by Kidkarysma (2003-04-25)
I love Crichton's books because you get a small piece of science education and a great adventure story. I love this book and can't wait for the movie. The action is great and it seemed different than Crichton's other works.
Review by nzilla (2003-03-20)
This is one of Crichton's better novels. The writing style and characters are actually half decent in this one. The science is very intriguing. I did find myself wanting more of the the vignetts in the present while reading the parts set back in the middle ages, but that's probably just because I'm a science nerd. There are some interesting ideas put forth that are never delved into, most notably the concept of paradoxes. It kind of seems like Crichton was going to do something with them and then forgot he mentioned them. Overall, probably the most scientifically accurate time travel novel ever, and a decent read, though, H.G. Wells's novel is probably the better novel (but then again, I'm sure when this one is made into a movie, it will be a hell of a lot better than the recent Time Machine stinker that came to theaters). 7/10