Time and Again
by Jack Finney
I've had this book on my shelf since 2008 and finally managed to read it. I'm a sucker for time travel, and it's been recommended to me many times. But I didn't love it the way I thought I would. I like it just fine, don't get me wrong. But the time travel component seemed too easy (self-hypnosis). I guess I'm used to more of a dramatic concept or more of a dramatic reason. I did like the idea of going back in time for something other than personal ambition or a big reason like killing Hitler. Granted, they thought the situation was a lot more serious than it turned out to be. It wasn't quite "the destruction by fire of the entire World" that they thought it would be. That was nice. History sometimes looks a heck of a lot different when you're in it compared to when you're looking back at it. Details get lost over time. The humanity and people involved become less real.
This book did an excellent job of making me feel like I was travelling back to New York in 1882. I loved the illustrations of the buildings and characters, which seemed realistic (capturing the moments in that way). All the details like the Statue of Liberty's arm made it feel so real. I also liked that Si took someone back in time with him during one visit and brought someone forward in time from the past as well. Seeing the world through their eyes was really interesting. I definitely liked that portion of it--Si setting up a life for himself in the past, meeting various people. The plot/drama wasn't as interesting to me. I never felt all that worried, as I knew he could return to the present whenever he wanted. Or maybe because Pickering never seemed like that big of a rival/baddie to me.
I'm glad I finally read this book. It was a good read, I just didn't fall in love with it the way I'd expected to.