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Description

In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history.

Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill's next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London's Blitz. And 17-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can catch up to her in age. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyones schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

BONUS AUDIO: In an exclusive introduction, author Connie Willis discusses her fascination with WWII and the historic context of Blackout.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Blackout is the first volume of a two-part novel. To find out what happens to the time-traveling historians from Oxford, we invite you to download the concluding volume, All Clear.

©2010 Connie Willis (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critiques

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2010
  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2011
  • Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2010: Readers' Choice (SF Site)

“If you're a science-fiction fan, you'll want to read this book by one of the most honored writers in the field; if you're interested in World War II, you should pick up Blackout for its you-are-there authenticity; and if you just like to read, you'll find here a novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness that Preston Sturges might envy.” ( The Washington Post)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Notations

Global

  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Histoire

  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
Trier par :
  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Monica
  • 03/06/2012

Double review - Blackout and All Clear

It was Sunday morning, and I was standing over my cup of coffee in the kitchen, tears streaming down my cheeks, hoping none of my family would walk in just then. But this is time travel. What came first was 42 hours of audiobook, sometimes tedious, sometimes gripping. Even though the author could have edited out some of the characters' more repetitive thought-loops, I still give this book a wall of stars. If I could give the narrator 10 out of 5 stars I would - her performance was phenomenal.

I read other reviews on Audible before I bought these books. A number of people complained that Blackout didn't stand on its own as a book because of the abrupt ending. They felt that the author had just taken one book and chopped it in two. It is true that the two books must be read as a whole, but honestly, if the two books had been published as one it would have been too heavy to read comfortably! In audio format, I have absolutely no problem using two credits for this 42 1/2 hour read.

I loved these books, would read them again, and highly recommend them. As an added bonus, for anyone wasn't there, this book will give you a real appreciation for how difficult life was during WW2 and how easy we have it today.

46 sur 50 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 29/10/2010

A Masterwork - across two parts.

I have just finished listening to 'All Clear'.... and am still buzzing hours later... I loved every moment of it.

Blackout as other reviewers have said is 'part one' and doesn't come to any resolution. Think of when 'The Fellowship of the Ring' ends and you know you have two more books of the Lord of the Rings to go. The first book doesn't resolve anything, just sets up lots of characters and plots....which is what Connie Willis does here. The first few reviewers who's disappointment I have read here must have had no idea a second book was weeks/days away from being available. I couldn't wait for 'All Clear' to be available. 'Blackout' would be disappointing without 'All Clear', so plan on getting both, you won't be disappointed.

The narration is just fantastic, The characters are just as detailed and believable as her previous books. The writing is Connie Willis at her best. Blackout is embedded with subplots that the reader is allowed to enjoy alone, but offer no idea what the heck they are about until the last half of 'All Clear'. For this this just makes it all the more enjoyable.

Get 'Blackout' AND 'All Clear' and encourage Connie Willis to write more books....

24 sur 28 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Joel
  • 15/02/2014

Good story, poor execution

What did you like best about Blackout? What did you like least?

Its a splendid idea for a story. However, the execution is repetitious and long-winded.

What could Connie Willis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Shorten it by a hundred pages or so.

What does Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Kellgren does a wonderful job. Ms. Willis could have quickened the pace by omitting the unnecessary dialogue and description. For example, the characters fret and speculate over their fate, or the reason for their situation far too much. It becomes repetitious and boring.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • carla
  • 17/03/2013

Sloooooowwwwww story

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The concept of the entire series is very good, and the historic element is excellent. However, there is way, way too much repetition of individual character's thoughts and worries.

What was most disappointing about Connie Willis’s story?

Also, the details of travelling via trains and underground, schedules and stopped trips are excessive.

What about Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis ’s performance did you like?

Reading and changing voices for different people is very good

Could you see Blackout being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

no

Any additional comments?

I am listening to these as audio books so I can not skip these tedious parts. Had I been reading, I would have skipped through at least half the text.

7 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Marc
  • 13/04/2013

Taking the slow train to no where....

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is the first of two volumes (Blackout and All Clear). I made the mistake of downloading both before listening to the first. I soldiered through both and was deeply disapointed. Here is my review for All Clear, everything I said there applies here:This book seems like it was written for an adolescent or teenage audience - but regretfully does not deliver the goods - even for that audience.It is repetitive, boring and slow. The protagonists bumble around in the dark repeating errors and themes in a seemingly endless cycle. The characters never develop, showing neither common sense nor worldliness even though they are supposedly experienced time - travelling historians.There were no reasons (other than chasing dollars) to make this a two volume novel (Blackout and All Clear). In fact the obvious attempt to stretch this tale out into two books is what makes it so bad.the ingredients are there for a good story. It could have been a wonderful novel delivered in about 250 pages. Too bad.

Would you ever listen to anything by Connie Willis again?

No

23 sur 29 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • B M C
  • 21/09/2017

8 hrs too long

This was too drawn out, especially for it to have a book following it. I can't recommend it.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 06/11/2014

No End In Sight!

I just finished Blackout not realizing that there is absolutely no end in sight. Why did the author choose to end this book here? I have no idea. It makes no sense, except to force the reader to buy the next book. In my mind, the only reason she divided it into 2 books was $$$. There is absolutely no resolution at the end...it just stops! WHAT? Not even a cliff hanger? I'm not sure I want to know what happens that bad and will probably not download the next book at this point. I'm just so disappointed with Willis. Yes, it was interesting but you shouldn't treat your reader this way.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 04/04/2013

Good history, Lackluster Scifi

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The fictional (although based in fact) historical stories about what life in WW2 might have been like were great. I don't need my history to be completely about facts and dates of great men doing great things. The little things can be just as interesting. Not so great was the time travel component. The time travelers give a good perspective for those of us not living through a war, but the contrivances of plot were unnecessary at best and distractingly bad at worst. I don't need my scifi to be "hard" to enjoy it, but I feel like the Historians really don't live up to that title. It seems to me that they are a narrative convenience rather than something something necessary to telling some great stories about WW2.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marilyn
  • 20/04/2012

Living The History ... Wonderful!

Where does Blackout rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's up there in the top ten ... and I read virtually all the time. I've recommended this and the second part, "All Clea"r to many people and no one has been disappointed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Blackout?

There's no "moment" ... It is a continuity, an experience very much like really being dropped into another time and place and living in that time.

What does Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I read very fast, so audio books slow me down to the pace of human speech. The narrator is very good and brings the characters alive. It's like a very absorbing movie, but I am the casting director, the cinematographer, the costume designer ... and sometimes, one of the main players.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have if it were possible! I could barely bring myself to stop listening and get something to eat or remember that I had to sleep.

Any additional comments?

Wonderfully complete characters, richly drawn. Beautiful writing, superb research. And this was a period in which I had never had any particular interest before reading this book and its sequel (they are really one book divided into two pieces).

11 sur 14 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 02/02/2012

Engaging Plot, Great Historical Detail

I love Connie Willis's books on time traveling, and in this one the historians travel to WWII London. The characters and plot drew me in, and the details brought this time to life. My comprehension of WWII history had been a collection of facts; Connie Willis puts a very human face on the war's impact on daily life in Britain. I think that this book, and its sequel "All Clear," could be used as part of teaching WWII history, because it gives a story context to the facts - and it is very entertaining! The narrator's voice and delivery occasionally annoyed me. She had a habit of raising the pitch and increasing volume at the end of sentences - a minor annoyance.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

Trier par :
  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • BikerJoe
  • 23/11/2015

Blundering historians during the Blitz in London

Connie Willis, how can you do this to me? How can you write such a masterpiece like “The Doomsday Book” and then deliver such a blunder like “Blackout”. Where “The Doomsday Book” is deeply moving and touches the essence of humanity in its description of compassion, love and kindness, “Blackout” is a description of helpless blunders of some time travelling historians during the Blitz in London. The story does not do justice to the people, who showed incredible endurance and heroism during that time.

Mr. Dunworthy’s time travelling lab, which we know already from The Doomsday Book, sends 3 young historians to the United Kingdom during worldwar 2. Michael Davis is supposed to travel to Dover to observe the heroic evacuation of the British army after the disaster at Dunkirk by private yacht owners and fishermen. Merope is send to a country mansion to study the situation of evacuated children during the bombing of London and Polly is in the heart of London during the air raids acting as a sales girl in Oxford street. All 3 historians are badly prepared for their tasks and stumble from one blunder to the next. Since they observe some major difficulties with the mechanics of time travel and cannot return as planned, they set out to find each other. The major part of the book describes these boring and endless efforts and near misses until they finally meet each other and the book suddenly ends.

Overall the book is very disappointing, the prose rambles on and is simply boring at times. There are a lot of repetitive situations and pointless, long dialogs, which make it very hard to continue to listen.

I know that Connie Willis can do better than that. Simply forget this book and don’t buy the sequel.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Walter
  • 11/12/2012

Murphy's Law of Time Travel Applied

Three historians from the future definitely get more of an experience than they expected when they find out that they are trapped in WW2 Britain. And that the supreme law of time travel apparently has Murphy as an author…

One hour into this (audio) book and you are hooked because not only is it funny in a screwball-comedy kind of way but also tremendously good history about a dark age and the power of endurance and the will not to despair.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • avaudebe
  • 09/04/2011

World War II and historians from the future, what could go wrong?

A lot is what!
There are a lot of books about or set in World War II.
There are a lot of books about Time Travel.

"Blackout" is a book about both.
And it delivers on every level. I am much too young to have experienced the war, all I know is taken from history books, but those are very matter of fact.
What the war was like for those who had to live through it I could only glimpse through the tales of my grandparents or older acquaintances, if they even chose to talk about it.

It feels a lot like something someone who was in London at the time could tell you and manages to transmit the anxiety of those trapped in London during the Blackout.

As if this wasn't enough Connie Wills adds the anxiety of scientific observers from the future, trapped in time and ever afraid of changing events, which could easily have devastating consequences for WWII.

All in all "Blackout" is filled with as much suspense as it its with historic facts, to be clear it's a lot.

Mrs Kellgren does a solid job voicing the many characters of Blackout.

So it gets 4 stars, because there are better books and readers out there, but this one's still thrilling to listen to.

P.S: Be aware you will want to hear the next one as well,
don't say you haven't been warned.