31 May 2011

To Say Nothing of the Dog: Connie Willis

To Say Nothing of the DogTo Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that came Highly Recommended, yet it took years before I actually got a copy to read. Was it life-changing? Not really: it was a fun read, but I found myself getting a little tired of (and confused by) the discussions of the nets and continuum and incongruities.

Ned's adventures as a time-traveler, mostly to either Coventry or church sales, to find a relic of the original Coventry Cathedral for Lady Schrapnell (wonderful name, no?) are interrupted because he is seriously suffering from time-lag, a version of jet-lag. Sent to the Victorian Era for some rest and recuperation, as well as to return something back to that era that should not have been capable of being brought through the nets to the late 21st century. That something confuses Ned, but he quickly realizes it's the lost (presumed drowned) cat of Tossie, a rather silly product of that age.

Tossie's "cousin" Verity is actually Ned's contact there, and the two of them do everything they can to return this line of history to its proper settings. I figured out who Tossie's "Mr. C" was long before it was officially revealed, but that's mostly because Verity (whose surname, Kindle, made me wonder whether Jeff Bezos has read the book) is enamored of the Golden Age Mysteries and keeps referring to Lord Peter and Hercule Poirot, among other detectives.

I understand the appeal of the book, but there was sometimes a little too much going on.


  1. The criticism of "a little too much going on" is often leveled at Connie Willis books, and justifiably so. But I've been able to get past that and become a huge fan of her time-travel books. "To Say Nothing of the Dog" launched me on a Connie Willis binge--and my latest review is actually of her "Doomsday Book."

    I enjoyed your review, although I like TSNOTD a lot more than you did! :)

    Hope you'll check out my review:

    My review of Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

  2. Oh, I will say this. It just killed me how Ned never got any sleep, when that was why he was supposed to be there in the first place. As someone who LOVES to sleep, I found that absolutely painful! :)

  3. I enjoyed this one. I'm not sure it is my *favorite* Connie Willis book, but I did enjoy it very much!