A classic time Time Travel
novel written in 1970 by Jack Finney. Commercial artist Simon "Si" Morley is chosen as a candidate for a government experiment in Mental Time Travel
. However, Si (through his girlfriend) has a personal stake in
the time period in question, which leads him to take a trip back to the New York of the 1880s. Slow-paced, exceptionally well-researched intrigue follows as Si attempts to solve a nearly hundred-year-old-mystery.
Much of the early part of the novel is devoted to the protagonist's
lovingly created Nostalgia
for the period, creating a definite mood for the setting.
It helps that the Victorian Gothic Dakota Apartments received Retroactive Recognition
due to this novel, becoming once again the home to high-class artistes such as John Lennon
Originated the interesting concept
of going back in time via surrounding the protagonist with all the trappings of the Victorian or Edwardian Era
and imagining yourself
to be back in time
Finney wrote a well-received sequel much later, From Time To Time
(1995), before he died.Needs a Better Description
This book provides examples of:
- Born in the Wrong Century: The premise of the novel.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his first proper appearance, Jake Pickering very nearly (and very intentionally) breaks Si's hand with a handshake.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Those are actual quotations, word for word, from The New York Times, February 1, 1882, anyone free to read it and check up."
- Mental Time Travel: one of the originals.
- Monumental Battle: That depends — does hiding from the police in the Statue of Liberty's disembodied arm count?
- Ret Gone: Sorry, college guy. We don't know who you were, but you ain't anymore.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Well, except for the guy who accidentally wiped him from existence. Still, even knowing that he existed in the original timeline is enough to make the director try to stop the project.
- Later joined by... well, if you really want to know, you can check Wikipedia, but this one doesn't bear spoiling.
- Shown Their Work: Finney put a lot of work into figuring out what life was like in 1880s New York, and by golly, he is going to let you know it.
- Trapped in the Past: A rare example of averting the "trapped" aspect, with Si and a fellow chrononaut preferring to settle down and live there. In fact, in the sequel From Time To Time the other man actually reverses Si's attempt to erase the time machine's inventor from ever existing. He's quite happy where he is, thank you.
- Your Universe or Mine?: What the protagonist tries to decide upon.