Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman
mjlayman

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

Blackout by Connie Willis


We pretty much all agreed that this had a lot of padding in it. When you add All Clear, which is really the second part of the book, I wonder if it was the publisher who wanted her to break it and thus put in the padding. The structure of this book is somewhat similar to Doomsday Book, involving time travel gone wrong.

In 1960, we meet a number of people from Oxford who are historians and need to be in history to get the information. While they're all set up for their drops, their supervisor changes many of the times and placements and on top of that, their placements -- time and position -- turn out wrong. This book only covers three of the people in depth: Polly is being a shopgirl in the Blitz, Merope is watching the children's evacuation in WWII, and Mike wanted to know who the ordinary heros were at Dunkirk. They all have their drops stop working as well as lots of things go wrong and it takes them until the last fifth of the book to get the idea that something might have been/gone wrong because all those drops were rescheduled. They do get together near the end of the book rushing off for errands, and then we see an "ending" with an unknown boy clattering down the emergency stairwell in a tube station.

The only inaccurate thing I found was that she says the "cargo kilt" wasn't made until 2014, but of course, Utilikits came out with one in 2000. Those who knew more about the UK and that history had lists of errors, starting with the pictures on the front cover. The planes are US bombing Tokyo and the dome is St. Patrick. One of the bookgroup members shared Simon Bisson's two LJ posts on it.

I'm going to read All Clear next, but at this point, I'm not sure how good it will be. The only thing I'm really looking forward to finding out is if one old man at that time was a boy who has aged himself to be Polly's boyfriend. He went a little over-date, if that's true, but he sure knows things that should only be known by time travelers.
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